Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
If I was heading off to Cornwall this year for Christmas, here are the top five things I would like to do:
Over 80 traders attend, all of whom have been awarded the prestigious ‘Made in Cornwall’ status, meaning their items have been certified by Trading Standards as being genuinely made in the county.
You can find plenty of food and drink on sale as well as work from local artists and craftmakers.
Too late for this Christmas, but here’s a recipe to try in 2020!
1kg of mixed dried fruits – raisins, sultanas, glace cherries, cranberries, currants
50g stem ginger – chopped
zest and juice one lemon, zest and juice one orange
150ml of a spirit of your choice – brandy, whisky, rum or sherry – plus extra for feeding
200g soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon black treacle
175g plain flour
100g flaked almonds
150g chopped pecans
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
4 large free range eggs
1teaspoon vanilla extract
(1) Place all of the dried fruits and stem ginger into a large mixing bowl or pan then mix in
your choice of spirit along with the lemon and orange zest and juice. Cover with a clean cloth or tea towel and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Stir regularly to ensure that the fruit plumps up nicely.
(2) Mix together the almonds, pecans, flour, baking powder and spices in a bowl.
(3) In a different bowl, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and treacle together. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour with each. Finally, gently fold in the dry ingredients.
(4)Tip the creamed mixture into the fruit. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
(5)Prepare a 23-25cm and 8 cm deep cake tin: grease then double-line the inside of the tin with greased baking parchment. Allow the parchment to come about 1cm above the top of the tin. Cut a double circle of parchment with a diameter approximately 5cm bigger than the tin.
Fold and cut a hole in the centre about 4cm across.
(6)Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas mark 2. Pour the mixture into the lined tin. Even out the surface and make a slight indentation in the centre with the back of a spoon. Put into the middle of the oven and carefully balance the circular disk of parchment on top of the tin. (This stops the top of the cake over-browning and drying out, but it won’t work in a fan oven as it tends to blow the parchment off.)
(7)Bake for 3 hours and 45 minutes.
(8)Place on a rack and allow to go cold in the tin – preferably overnight.
(9)Remove from tin and take off the side parchment, leaving the bottom in place. Pierce all over with a skewer and carefully spoon over 5 tablespoons of your chosen spirit. Wrap carefully in a double layer of parchment then in two layers of foil so that the cake is completely covered.
(10) Leave to mature in an airtight tin in a cool, dark place for at least 3 months. ‘Feed’ every 3 to 4 weeks with four additional tablespoons of your chosen spirit. Rewrap carefully each time.
(11)Two weeks before serving, cover with marzipan and allow to dry for 5 days.
(12) Before serving, ice with fondant or royal icing, and decorate as desired.
Thank you so much for your festive post, Darcie, I’m definitely adding this recipe to my collection – it sounds like a tasty treat!
I’ve loved reading every book I’ve read by Darcie. You can check out my reviews for them here.