Hello, how are we all? So bad news out of the way first, I didn't win the Brownie Bake Off :-( Lets get straight on to happier news from cake towers!!
You may remember a couple of months back I told you I'd joined a gym to try & counteract all the cake I was scoffing as a result of this challenge. Well it was a 6 week trial & in true me style I got bored & have decided not to join up full time, so that leaves a big exercise shaped hole in my week. You might not know this, but as well as being an amateur baker & fluffy marketer, I'm also a tap dancer & go to a class once a week! Inspired by Strictly starting again I decided I'd have a go at a new dance class. I say dance, it's aerobics really, but takes it's moves from a number of different dance styles & it's the new 'thing' to do apparently. It's ZUMBA & quite honestly it's bonkers! You really have to leave your self consciousness at the door & are encouraged to shake what your Mama gave you as much as possible (sadly mine shakes in different directions at the same time!) It's a brilliant work out & a lot of fun, I've never laughed so much through a class before, I'll definitely be going back. I hope I won't get bored of it, I'm starting to run short of exercise options!
Now you may look at the title of this weeks post & think, give over, it's only October I can't possibly think about Christmas yet? But it's exactly the right time to make the cake, especially if you're like me & want it to marinade in brandy for the next 10 weeks. This is a bit of a tradition in the Hodgson household & usually comes with a ABV rating! The recipe is taken from an old Good Housekeeping cook book that has been in the family for years.
100g mixed peel
100g glace cherries chopped
50g flaked almonds
225g plain flour
1tsp mixed spice
225g soft brown sugar
Grated rind of a lemon
4 eggs, beaten
1. Cream the butter, sugar & lemon rind until light & fluffy, then add the eggs a little at a time, beating as you go. Fold in flour, spice & brandy, finally mix in the fruit & nuts.
2. Cut out a piece of baking paper to line the bottom of the tin, then cut another piece that will fit around the inside of the tin. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin & bake in the oven at 150c/GM3 for 3 3/4 - 4 hours. To stop the top over browning I cover it with a piece of baking paper after about an hour and a half.
3. When cooked, lift it out & leave to cool completely in the tin. I leave mine in the baking paper & store it in an airtight tin. About a week later, poke holes in the top of the cake using a skewer, then drizzle a tablespoon of brandy over the top. Repeat once a week (or as often as you like!) until Christmas.
I usually decorate my cake the week before Christmas, so I'll keep you posted about my decoration of choice this year. Enjoy your week, I'll be back with a treat I'm creating for my best friends birthday...it's set to be a challenge for me! Till then, Rebecca x
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