Tag Archives: Cake

Tis the Season!

I do  love Christmas. I love that families can come together to celebrate on the day, or they can be apart and drop in over the weeks surrounding the actual day, or they can just phone up on the day. Most of my immediate family is scattered now. My sister Fronkiii of “The road to Serendipity” blog fame lives over 4000km away in Tasmania to the East, my brother Jim lives in the next town to my west, Denmark, and I live in Albany Western Australia. We used to have massive Christmases back when I was young. Whole families and their hangers on would all congregate at either one of my Aunts Alice or Margarets houses or my Grandparents places and eat, drink and be very merry. It was a lot of fun and a time to catch up on long lost rellies and welcome the newborns. Gifts would be exchanged and many plates of food eaten.

What I remember most fondly is the making of the Christmas cakes. Mum used an old recipe that her father and brother had gotten from Arnotts cake factory when they worked there back in the late 40s and 50s and had cut down to a useable size. As children we used to love helping peel the almonds and mix the fruit in and the prize of licking the spoon or bowl was most fought for! Mum passed away a couple of years ago now and we all surely miss her baking. She used to keep us all well supplied with fruit mince pies and fruit cakes and chocolate brandy truffles and savoury dishes. It’s my turn to keep up this tradition and I have offered to make my brother and daughters Christmas cakes this year. Like me, they will one day want to make their own and I look forward to helping them find their own special recipe. The recipe that follows is one I’ve used over the past 2-3 years and it is extremely versatile by way of being able to be eaten as a pudding as well as a cake with custard, cream or ice cream or all three! I’ve made it gluten free and you cannot tell the difference 😀

Rich Christmas fruit cake with Muscat.

Ingredients.

200g raisins

200g sultanas

180g dried apricots, diced

150g dried cranberries (Craisins)

100g pitted prunes, chopped

100g glace cherries

100g mixed peel

250ml liqueur muscat

5 eggs

1/4 cup treacle

1/4 cup ginger marmalade

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond essence

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 oranges

300g Gluten Free plain flour

3tsp gluten free baking powder

2 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp fine salt

250g unsalted butter

300g dark brown sugar

125ml brandy

One of the first things I do is to combine all the fruits and the Muscat into a glass bowl, mix well and cover with cling film. Then they are refrigerated for 2 days or until the fruit has absorbed all of the alcohol and is nice and plump.

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Assemble all the rest of the cake ingredients. Grease and line a 24cm cake pan, either round or square with baking paper. Preheat your oven to 140 Celsius.

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Combine eggs, treacle, marmalade, vanilla, almond essence, orange zest and juice in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.

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Sift flour, baking powder and mixed spice and salt into a large bowl.

Put butter and dark brown sugar in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat for a good 5 minutes or until light and creamy.

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Add egg mixture to butter mixture and beat until smooth.

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Fold in flour mixture and then stir in fruit mixture.

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Spoon batter into tin, put tin on wire rack set on an oven tray and bake rotating every hour, for 3 hours or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

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Pierce the top of the cooked cake several times with skewer then sprinkle with brandy.

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Set aside to cool completely in the tin. When cold, remove cake from tin and wrap tightly in cling film. Put in fridge to mature for 1 week.

This cake keeps really well due to its liberal amount of alcohol. I tend to keep mine in the fridge.

This is a wonderful cake and I hope you all have as much joy as I do in making and eating it.

Gluten Free Carrot Cake.

This recipe was found whilst looking for gluten free recipes for my fiance who has coeliac disease amongst other auto-immune diseases. It is a really good carrot cake and he loved it. I found it in Donna Hays latest magazine at the back. Very nice.

Assemble your ingredients

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5 Eggs, at room temperature

1 and a half cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Half a cup of Oil, I used Rice Bran

3 and a half cups of Almond Meal (440gm)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Half a teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon GF baking powder

400gm finely grated carrots

1 cup of shredded coconut

Half a cup slivered almonds (recipe says roasted but I didn’t, no point unless you like the taste of roasted)

Half a cup of currants

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Add eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer (or hand held electric beaters) and beat for 15 minutes or until thick and tripled in volume. It should look like this,

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Place all the other ingredients in another bowl and mix thoroughly to combine while your egg mixture is whisking away.

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I wasn’t sure if the recipe was telling me to fold this through the egg mixture or fold the egg mixture through the other ingredients so I tipped the mixture into a bigger bowl and poured the egg mixture over the top and folded in gently till it was all combined.

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Spoon this mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 1 hour,20mins to 1 hour, 25 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out with a few crumbs attached. In my oven, fan forced, it seemed to be cooked by an hour so I just popped some cooking paper on top for the last few minutes, just in case.

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Looks too full doesn’t it! If you have a higher sided cake tin, use it but it didn’t overflow the tin that I used. I did put it on another tray just in case 😉

When cooked, allow to cool completely in the tin then refrigerate still in the tin for 2-3 hours or until firm. I left it in the fridge overnight.

To ice this cake, run a knife around the edge of the cake and remove from the tin, spread with the following cream cheese icing recipe.

Cream Cheese Icing

250gm cream cheese, chopped and at room temperature

Half a cup of icing sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Beat the above ingredients all together for 5 minutes then spread over the top of the carrot cake.

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When cut by me, it looks like this 😉

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Obviously, a profressional would not have left cream cheese icing down the side of the slice but I ate this for breakfast! Hahahaha!

Give this recipe a try. It is one of the nicest gluten free cakes I’ve made.

Bon appetite.