Hope you have had a great week. For those of us in Melbourne, we are having an extra long weekend by taking Monday off before the Melbourne cup on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to relaxing and having some downtime with the family.
I know many of you have started preparing for Christmas and are looking for ideas for Christmas. As you know I love baking and it got me thinking that you would love to see some of the gifts I produce, that are homemade and eco-friendly. So over the next few weeks I am going to give you a few suggestions that should fill the Christmas stockings.
Kicking it off I have a Boiled Fruit cake that my family has passed down. This is a great recipe as it is easy to make and stores really well, ensuring you have cake on hand when visitors call, but also prepared in advance for the Christmas rush. I love giving this cake as gifts particularly to Grandparents and older people who grew up with such cakes.
My go-to Boiled Fruit cake
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes – 2 hours
340g (1 cup) raisins
340g (1 cup) sultanas
Finely grated peel of one orange
340g (1 cup) firmly packed brown sugar
227g (2/3 cup) blanched almonds, chopped
80mL (1/4 cup) brandy
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Juice of half an orange
255g (¾ cup) self-raising flour
255g (¾ cup) plain flour
1 teasp. baking powder
1 tablespoon mixed spice
Note: I don't always blanch the almonds, as I don't mind the skin on.
Remember to use local, pesticide free and organic ingredients where possible.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2-3).
Line a 20cm round baking tin with grease proof paper, placing two circles od paper on the base.
Combine all the raisins, sultanas, almonds, peel, brandy, butter, sugar and 250mL (1 cup) water in a large saucepan.
Bring to the boil while stirring occasionally to ensure the butter and sugar dissolves. Then allow to cool.
Add the sieved flours and mixed spice into the cooled fruit mixture and then the eggs and juice. Mix together thoroughly, mixing quickly but don’t overmix.
Pour the mixture into the baking tin, smoothing the dough mixture with wetted hands.
Bake for 1½ to 2 hours until a skewer inserted into the centreof the cake comes out clean.
Cool completely in the tin.
With a screwer place a number of holes on the top of the cake. Then pour enough brandy to smooth over the top and sides. This will protect the cake during storage. Let it dry out before storing.
Place the cake in a cake container and seal until you need to use. When I am making this as a gift I get a cake tin (even an old biscuit tin), place the cake in it and decorate the tin. It makes for a lovely gift that is homemade, that comes from the heart, made with good local ingredients and hasn't had far to travel, making it a great eco gift.
If you want to get a new tin to give as a gift as well, you can order our Jamie Oliver Vintage Cake Tins. Just click the image
Have fun baking this cake,
Attracta & the earthly passion team