My New Year resolution of trying to blog more often has not been too successful. Trouble is I am a born procrastinator, so I have decided to take Marianna's (of Craftluver Marianna) pledge. Now it took me ages to make up my mind to pledge, and even longer to blog about it, but I am getting there
. So far I have-
- cut out material for a Dear Jane block,
- made templates for another one,
- made two cushions,
- have two more cut out
- experimented with baking with quail's eggs
- soaked postage stamps from paper and dried them for my husband's stamp collection.
I now have to think of -
- unpacking some more boxes from the shed,
- finishing the cushions
- blogging more regularly
- learning a poem!
- sewing a cushion for a friend!
- dyeing wool with natural dyes.
This list could go on and on, but I don't want to put myself completely off. If I could get two off the list I would be happy.
I love baking, but never usually find time to make a Christmas cake. This year I found a really quick recipe. I used some of the mix to make individual little cakes. I cut out the marzipan and the royal icing and put them on with apricot jam, but stepped them, so that you could see both.
The individual cakes were finished off with a cherry, and they looked really cute and tasted great. I used the rest of the mix in two x 2lb loaf tins, to make two rectangular cakes, which were decorated with marzipan and royal icing and then sliced. The recipe is below. I did not use currants, but divided the fruit between raisins and sultanas and used ground almonds instead of whole ones. Next time, I would add cherries as well, but it is yummy as it is. This recipe is from the UKTV site.
Quick Christmas Cake
- 225 g lightlight muscovado sugar
- 225 g butter, or margarine
- 225 g plain flour
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- large pinches salt
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp black treacle
- 1 apple
- 1 orange, grated rind
- 275 g raisins
- 275 g currants
- 275 g sultanas
- 65 g almonds
- 5 tbsp brandy
- 1. Turn the oven onto 140C/gas mark 1 and put a shelf onto the centre runner.
2. Grease 10 x 10cm tins using a little of the butter and line with baking parchment.
3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, sieve in the flour with the spices, bicarbonate of soda and salt and add the beaten eggs, treacle, apple and orange rind.
4. Add the fruit and almonds to the bowl, mix together.
5. Finally add in the brandy and mix together thoroughly.
6. Spoon the mixture evenly between the tins and press down gently with the back of a spoon to even it out.
7. Bake for around 1 hour or until cooked. Check if it's cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre - if the skewer comes out gooey then leave the cake in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.
This cake can be enjoyed anytime, not just at Christmas!
Till next time.