“Three French Hens” – If I had known you were coming I would have baked a cake!
I just want to pre-empt that no French Hens were hurt in the creation of this Christmas Cake…. (I am just making the most from my stamping efforts from Monday’s post!!)…
You really know Christmas has arrived in our home when the smell of whisky fermenting fruit is simmering on the stove, followed by the spices of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and citrus baking away slowly in the oven for a few hours…. yummo. Now I am sure many of you have your own recipe, but if you don’t I can highly recommend this one which is still holding it together on a scrap of paper in my bookshelf and is adapted from the British cooking icon Delia Smith….
Irish Whiskey Christmas Cake
Makes four 4 inch (10 cm) square / round cakes or an 8 inch (20 cm) square / round cake.
You need to start this cake at least a week before you intend to bake it. You will need to measure out all the pre-soak ingredients and place them in a pan
275ml Irish Whiskey One and a Half Teaspoons of Angostura Bitters 450g raisins 225g currents 110g stoned prunes - chopped 50g Glace Cherries - chopped 50g Unblanched Almonds - chopped 110g mixed candied peel 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon of grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract 1 tablespoon of molasses sugar grated zest of one orange grated zest of one lemon 3 tablespoons of water
Stir all of these ingredients in a pan and bring to a simmer, keeping the heat low simmer for 15 minutes without a lid on a low heat. Store the mixture in an air tight container in the fridge for at least a week.
When ready to bake the cake, pre heat the oven to 140 deg c and line the cake pans with a double layer of baking paper.
For The Cake 250g sifted self raising flour250g demerara sugar250g unsalted butter softened5 large eggs at room temp
Measure out the flour sugar and the butter into a large bowl, and then add the eggs, whisking or beating, until everything is evenly blended, then gradually fold in the fruit mixture until evenly distributed.
Pour the mixture in to your pan/pans and then bake for three hours without opening the door. Then cover the cake with a double thickness of baking paper and bake for a further 30 minutes – or until it feels springy to the touch…..allow to cool in the tin and then wrap in baking paper and foil and store in an air tight tim till you are read to ice…
Well the cake is baked, and awaits icing….. I will keep you posted on how that goes….Meanwhile I am off to find “four calling birds”…….