Tuesday 23 November 2021

Tuesday 23rd November - Stir up Tuesday - Christmas Cakes

 Yes, I know, should have been 'Stir up Sunday'.

I could have made the Christmas Cake then, but my eggs weren't perfectly fresh. The are fine for ordinary cooking, but not for Christmas Cake!

I used them for an experimental cake on the Saturday. This is all that is left;

It is so good that I am going full steam ahead with the real version now that I have obtained fresh eggs from the milkman.

The original recipe comes from BBC Good Food, and is called the 'Simmer and Stir Christmas Cake'.                          

As usual I have NOT followed the recipe exactly! For a start, I want to make a 5" square version in our Air Fryer, for the sake of convenience, time, and energy-saving. However the cake turned out so well that I would be confident to work to the original version if I wanted an 8" cake.

From somewhere else - I think from the Nigella website - I discovered that to reduce the ingredients from 8" to 6" round cake you want to use 40% of the original quantities. That was a useful bit of information to start with.

So, for a 5" square cake, this is what I did;

Weigh into a suitable pan 

  • 60g butter chopped into pieces
  • 70g dark muscovado sugar
  • 250g luxury mixed fruit including mixed peel and cherries 
  • juice and zest of either an orange or a lemon
  • 20 ml whisky (Laphroig!)

and bring to the boil, stir and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Allow to cool. First time around I did this on the hob, second time in the microwave.

Meanwhile, prepare the cake tin, lightly beat an egg, weigh out 30g flaked almonds, and sift together

  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 80g plain flour
  • generous teaspoon of mixed spice

Once the fruit and sugar mix is cool enough that it won't cook the egg, stir in the egg and the almonds and mix, then add flour little by little and mix well, but gently, until there is no visible flour.

I didn't have to pre-heat the air fryer, so I put the cake in for 50 minutes at 115C, and then 77 minutes at 110C. I have a feeling that maybe I should have take it out at about 70 minutes, but the first cake was a little under baked so I didn't want to risk it. (For the Airfryer, we've worked out that lowering the temperature by around 10C and the time by a guesswork amount seems to be about right.)

When I took the cake out at the end, I stabbed the top all over with a skewer and pour a tablespoon of whisky over the surface. That should deal with any dryness!

It's looking (and smelling!) very promising.  


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