Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas cake

Once in a blue moon I go out, and one such occasion recently was the launch of Bees Blessing's rebrand/launch party at the Empire in Petone. We love Bees Blessing because 3 of our corker wee chooks came from their farm, not to mention the fact they make very tasty cordials and condiments. We love the Empire because they make the finest hot chips (Belgium with cheese and gravy and curry with curry sauce - don't choose, get both), so it was a lovely night (albeit brief, 3 kids in a pub?).

I met Laura there, the brain behind Hungry and Frozen, such a super blog with way more to it that food. She likes music too! And lovely little flights of fancy, read it, you'll see what I mean. So when I put the word out on Twitter that I was after a christmas cake recipe and Laura suggested hers, I went for it. Her recipe is here. I made a few changes based on what I have on hand (a lot of eggs) and what I like in christmas cakes (cherries!). My version follows, but hers is probably better.

1 1/2 cups (375ml) ginger ale
1/2 cup booze (I used Johnny Walker black and Ballentines whisky - dregs!)
1kg fruit (I used glace cherries, dried cranberries, currants, raisins, and also a premixed bag)

300g butter
150g brown sugar
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Orange zest of one orange
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon cocoa 4 eggs 300g flour

Soak dried fruit in ginger ale and grog.

Melt together butter, condensed milk, spices, cocoa and zest.
Whisk up the eggs and add to melted ingredients (quickly, so you don't end up with scrambled eggs)
Add baking soda (suspect this is optional with all those eggs)
Stir in flour.
Double line a cake tin in the christmas cake fashion (I'm partial to brown paper for aethestics, with baking paper insides, but this is frankly lame, so don't worry. Just use baking paper, it won't burn).

Bake in oven at 140 celsius for about 2 1/2 hours.

Ice if you like. I love marzipan, but I have never iced a christmas cake and won't be starting now.

Full credit to Laura, this recipe is a stunner. It has been out of the oven less than 3 hours and look what we've done to it.

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