Wednesday 3rd November 2010
So as I awoke at the weekend and looked out into the brick built jungle in which we live,I made the decision that Saturday would be “Baking Day” …. ! Much to the equal delight and horror of th’usband … as this meant a) he gets to sample the culinary “delights” yet b) he also got the pleasure of keeping the twins occupied whilst I got on with the task in hand (Hurrah for me …..)!
I donned my apron and arranged my ingredients … what first ? Christmas cake .. that’s what ! This year we are headed down to my brothers just outside of Twickenham so I offered to bring the cake ! I found the scrumpled up bit of paper on the side of the fridge with the recipe scrawled on it .. and so the weighing and mixing and weighing and mixing began ……! I do this recipe every year and every year I tweak it a bit “just to see” ….so this year I added the grated zest oforanges , lemon and lime … aswell as keeping in last years addition of walnuts .. I have to say it smelt delicious ! A heady aroma of treacly goodness and Christmas spices …
Here’s my recipe (Its one I found in an old notebook of my Mums that she wrote down all her favourite recipes as a new wife and mother aged 18 … and I have to say I am immensely glad that she did .. My Mum Rocks !!! )
Victorian Christmas Cake (With a Jujubean twist)
Preheat oven to 150degrees/Gas Mark 2
1 lb mixed fruit (I use sultanas and currants)
40z quartered glace cherries
(Soak the fruit and cherries in the sherry overnight .. ort for at least a few hoiurs to make the fruit plump and juicy)
6oz Soft dark Sugar
6oz soft margarine or butter
2oz chopped almonds (I used flaked for texture)
2oz chopped walnuts
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tbsp black treacle
2oz Self raising Flour
4oz Plain Flour
Grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
Mix all the ingredients together …..
Pour into a greased and lined tin (approx 8-10 “)
Make a well in the centre of the mixture .
bake at 150 degrees /gas mark 2 for 2 hours then reduce oven temp to 130 degress/Gas mark 1 for 1 1/4 hrs
It didn’t stop there .. whilst that cake was baking I decided to take a step into the unknown and make some savoury cookies ! My eye was immediately drawn to one of my most favourite things .. the Marmite tub (not jar … as we buy the huuuge catering size tubs of the stuff to sate a whole families appetite for yeasty goodness ….) and then to one of my recipe books which handily had a recipe for Marmite & Cheddar cookies ! Yum I thought ! So I set about grating and spooning .. mixing and rolling …. ! I wasn’t holding out much hope of success .. the mixture appeared far too sloppy ! I made a brave attempt to wrap it in clingfilm to rest in the fridge .. and with the aid of ALOT of plain flour the attempt was succesful ! To a degree ….
Suffice to say my dear friends … the cookies once sliced and baked were not as mouthwateringly girgeous as I had conjured in my head … I was simply salivating at the thought of cracking a cookie in 2 and munching down on the yeasty cheesy delight ! FAIL ! They tasted like a big old vat of salt .. salt salt and more salt …. and I hadn’t even put any salt in them … ! Epic fail ! Disaster ! However … I did make EVERYBODY try them .. and they all hated them as much as I .. so consigned to the bin the cookies were ! Ta-ra marmitey fiends ….!
But as I always say … You never know until you’ve tried ! I tried and on that one .. I shall not be trying again !!! 🙂 Although I am forever on a quest to find clever ways with marnite … oh yes Siree Bob !
And it didn’t stop there ….. my my next attempt at baking deserves a post all of its own …..