Granny's Kitchen

Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, and above all have fun

Classic Christmas Cake November 30, 2012

Classic Christmas

This is a nice easy cake to make if you don’t have the time to be cutting out, shaping & making fondant items to decorate it with.

Just pop to the shop and buy some plastic ones, along with a cake frill to wrap around and a Christmas themed cake board  😉

This is an 8”/21cm cake.

 

Ingredients

 

1 lb (450g) currants

6 oz (175g) sultanas

2 oz (50g) glace cherries

2 oz (50g) candied peel

8 oz (225g)plain flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground mixed spice

8 oz (225g) unsalted butter

8 oz (225g) soft brown sugar

4 large eggs

zest of 1 lemon

zest of 1 orange

You will also need an 8 inch (21cm) round cake tin

500g marzipan

500g ready to roll fondant

6Tbsp apricot jam

 

Method

 

You need to start this cake the night before you want to cook it. All you do is weigh out the dried fruit and mixed peel, place it in a mixing bowl and mix in the hot tea. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave the fruit to absorb the tea for up to 12 hours.

Next day pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C). Then measure out all the rest of the ingredients. The treacle will be easier to measure if you remove the lid and place the tin in a small pan of barely simmering water. Now begin the cake by sifting the flour, salt and spices into a large mixing bowl. Next, in a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until it’s light, pale and fluffy. Now beat the eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the creamed mixture a tablespoonful at a time; keep the whisk running until all the egg is incorporated. If you add the eggs slowly by degrees like this the mixture won’t curdle. If it does, don’t worry, any cake full of such beautiful things can’t fail to taste  good!

When all the egg has been added, fold in the flour and spices, using gentle, folding movements and not beating at all (this is to keep all that precious air in). Now fold in the fruit, peel and treacle and finally the grated lemon and orange zests. Next, using a large kitchen spoon, transfer the cake mixture into the prepared tin, spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon.  Finally cover the top of the cake with a double square of baking parchment with a 50p-size hole in the centre (this gives extra protection during the long slow cooking).

Bake the cake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 4½-4¾ hours. Sometimes it can take up to ½-¾ hour longer than this, but in any case don’t look till at least 4 hours have passed. Cool the cake for 30 minutes in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. When it’s cold ‘feed’ it – make small holes in the top and base of the cake with a cocktail stick or small skewer, then spoon over a few teaspoons of brandy, wrap it in foil secured with an elastic band and store in an airtight container. You can now feed it at odd intervals until you need to ice it.

This particular cake has no alcohol in it. You don’t have to add alcohol if you don’t want it.

To decorate, melt 3 Tbsp of jam in the microwave and brush all over the cake. Roll out the marzipan to fit over and around the cake and place onto the cake, smoothing down with your hand.

You now need to leave it to dry, for about least 2 days.

Again, melt 3 Tbsp of the jam. Roll out the fondant, as you did the marzipan. Place the fondant onto the marzipaned cake.

Attach your plastic decorations and cake frill.

 

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Malted Loaf May 9, 2012

A malt and sultana loaf makes the perfect breakfast or tea-time treat. Serve it sliced and generously spread with butter.

This is a bread machine loaf.

Makes 1, 1lb loaf

Ingredients

200ml/7fl oz warm water

15ml/1Tbsp golden syrup

22ml/1 1/2 Tbsp malt extract

350g/12oz white bread flour

22ml/1 1/2 Tbsp skimmed milk powder

2.5ml/1/2 tsp salt

40g/1 1/2oz butter

2.5ml/1/2 tsp easy bake yeast

75g/3oz sultanas

Method

Pour the water, syrup and malt extract into the bread machine. If the instructions for your machine specify that the yeast is to be placed in the pan first, reverse the order in which you add the liquid and dry ingredients.

Sprinkle over the flour, ensuring that it covers the liquid. Add the milk powder. Add the salt and butter in separate corners of the bread pan. Make a shallow indent in the centre of the flour and add the yeast.

Set the bread machine to basic/normal setting (if available), medium crust. Press start. Add the sultanas when the machine beeps or after the first kneading.

Remove at the end of the baking cycle and turn out onto a wire rack.

If you like a sticky glaze, immediately after baking dissolve 15ml/1 Tbsp caster sugar in 15ml/1Tbsp of milk and brush all over the loaf.

 

Sultana and Almond Bread May 7, 2012

This bread is delicious with a savoury or sweet topping. Try salami, cheese and salad or jam.

Makes 1, 1lb loaf

Ingredients

300g/11oz strong plain flour

2.5ml/1/2tsp salt

15g/1/2oz butter

7.5ml/1 1/2tsp easy-bake yeast

175ml/6fl oz lukewarm water

115g/4oz sultanas

75g/3oz  flaked almonds

melted butter, for brushing

Method

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl, cut in the butter with a knife, then stir in the yeast.

Gradually add in the lukewarm water, stirring with a spoon at first, then gathering the dough together with your hands.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Knead the sultanas and almonds into the dough until they are evenly distributed.

Shape the dough into a rough oval shape, place on a lightly oiled baking sheet, cover and leave to prove for 1 – 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7.

Uncover the loaf and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.

Bake for a further 20 – 25 minutes.

Transfer the loaf to a wire rack, brush with the melted butter and allow to cool before slicing.

 

 
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