Tag Archives: Fruit cake

Feed me!

12 Nov

Lammermuir Christmas Cake

In the words of Slade, I wish it could be Christmas everyday. But not for all the reasons they list. I can do without the snowman bringing the snow, and the kids singing with the band. But Christmas cake baking, that’s quite another thing. Although a very traditional fruit cake, there are still many variations on the fruit, nuts, booze, decoration, size, icing and so-on. Only being given the indulgence to bake one a year can give one a lot to think about.

One recipe I come back to time and time again is Nigel Slater’s offering, with each bite imparting a crunch of dried figs and hazelnuts. I’ve already decided next year will be dedicated baking demigod Dan Lepard’s caramel Christmas Cake, although there will have to be some booze involved. And you can’t beat Delia for a bevvy of Chrimbo cake options.

This year it’s the turn of Mother Cakes and her recipe for Lammermuir House Christmas Cake. Why, when I’ll be getting some of mother’s cake anyway? Just because, okay? It’s less fruited than most Christmas cake recipes are these days, and it’ll be interesting to see how mine turns out in comparison (especially as mother gave me a list of ingredients, but not the method. Thanks ma!)

fruit, nuts, christmas cake

Lammermuir Christmas Cake

1oz/25g self-raising flour
7oz/200g plain flour
6oz/175g soft brown sugar
6oz/175g butter
4 large eggs
8oz/225g sultanas
8oz/225g currants
4oz/110g glace cherries, halved
2oz/55g mixed peel
2oz/55g walnuts, chopped into chunks
2oz/55g almonds, halved
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tbsp treacle
60ml brandy (plus more to feed the cake)

Begin by soaking the currants, sultanas and mixed peel in the brandy for a week before you wish to make the cake

Preheat the oven to 140C/120C fan/Gas mark 1 and grease and line an 8 inch (20 cm) round cake tin or a 7 inch (18 cm) square tin with a double layer of baking parchment, making sure the paper comes nice and high above the cake tin. You should use a deep cake tin for this too, at least 2 inches deep.

Cream the butter and sugar together and then beat in the eggs one at a time. Sieve together the flours and spice and fold this into the butter, sugar and egg mixture. Then fold in the soaked fruit, glace cherries, walnuts, almonds and treacle.

Put the cake mix into the tin and bake for about 3 hours. It’ll be ready when a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. When cooked, leave in the tin to cool for about 30 minutes and then prick the surface of the cake with a toothpick or skewer and drizzle on another couple of tablespoons of brandy.

Once the cake has properly cooled wrap up in foil and store in a cake tin. Feed the cake once a week with another tablespoon of brandy, until you’re ready to ice the cake. I’ll be doing this a week before Chrimbo. Come back then…

Bah humbug!

6 Nov Xmas Cake 2011

Xmas Cake 2011

Okay, it’s November. Halloween and Bonfire night have been and gone, so I suppose we can start talking about the C word. Christmas! A bit later than usual, I got my Chrismas cake on the go at the weekend. This year it’s Mother Cakes recipe – watch this space.

These two pics are of last years offering. Get your reindeer cake toppers here.

Cake Xmas 2011

If you fancy making this Christmas cake, get yourself 550g of dried fruit and mixed peel and soak for a week in 60ml of brandy. This year I went for sultanas, currants, raisins and apricots for the dried fruit. Figs are really special in a Christmas Cake too. If you do use mixed peel, this should make up about 60g of the 550g of fruit.

Come back next week for what to do next…

How To Make A Wedding Cake

2 Jun

First of all, have a wedding…

The Kiss

But very first of all, remember this is your weekend. And if you flipping well want to go swimming at the beach on the morning of your wedding, then do it!

hive beach wedding swim

Then invite friends and family back to your manor house (in this case we used Symondsbury Manor near Bridport in Dorset)

symondsbury manor

Ask Granny to bake you her signature fruit cake, and get it iced accordingly

wedding cake close up

Then get a chum to make some amazing cake toppers in your likeness

Kick Ass Bride

This step can be omitted, only use if you have a good sense of humour

Kick Ass Groom

Act like your manga selves and STAB THE CAKE!

stab the cake

Then remember where you are, take a deep breath, relax and cut the cake folks. Hurrah! You are now officially Mr & Mrs Cakes.

cut the wedding cake

Granny Cakes lovingly made the cake for our wedding. And now, you lucky people, she shares her recipe with us! Use it wisely – it would probably make a good Christmas cake too…



The night before you want to bake your cake weigh out the fruity ingredients and add the booze. Cover with a teatowel and leave to infuse.

The next day pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1,/275 F /140 C and grease and line your cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar together, and then beat the eggs in one at a time. Fold in the flour and spices and then the boozy fruits, almonds, and the grated lemon rind.

Spoon the cake mix into the cake tin and spread out to level. Cover the top of the cake with a double layer of greaseproof paper that has a small hole cut in the centre (about the size of say, a wedding ring!) Bake for 4½ hours for the 7 inch cake, 4¾ hours for the 9 inch, and 5½ for the 11 inch cake.

When the cake comes out the oven leave to cool and when completely cold wrap well in greaseproof paper and store in a cake tin. If you so desire you can “feed” your cake at regular intervals with some extra booze. Ooh, go on then!

About a week before the wedding the cake should be iced. Granny Cakes did a great job, now you know where the rest of us get it from!

Thank you very much to the wonderful and talented Dave Johnson for taking the photographs of our wedding. You can find more photos on his blog.

Mother’s Bake

18 Mar

slice of boozy fruit cake
Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mothers. I hope your sons and daughters have spent all day being nice to you, or hopefully remembered to give you a card, or at least text to say hi.

I don’t normally see my Mum on Mothering Sunday. Usually I’ll send a card, and sometimes tuck in a packet of seeds as a gift (not sesame seeds, or some other healthy snack you understand – but some seeds to plant in the garden, like some pretty freesias or something…) and it’ll probably turn up a few days late. Hey, is it my fault there is no post on Sunday?
simmer boozy cakesift boozy fruit cakeraw boozy fruit cakeBoozy fruit cake
This year Ma and Pa are in Shoreditch, and it just so happens to be Mother’s Day. I’d better get baking, methought. So I did – this rather lovely boozy fruit cake offering from the hallowed baking bible of Mary Berry (again). It’s really quite quick to make – simmer dried fruit, butter, golden syrup, walnuts and milk for five minutes. Mix with flour, bicarbonate of soda, mixed spice and eggs, tip into your 20cm round tin and bake. Splash with booze (brandy for me) when the cake comes out the oven. It Would make a perfect last minute Christmas cake, as you can eat it right away, no maturing required.

Happy Mum’s Day!