Nov 26, 2010

A mixed up day…

Well, I got a very fresh wake up this morning… as I pottered about getting the girls breakfast ready (still in my pyjamas mind you)I went to use the cold water tap. Much to my surprise the tap came off in my hand! Now this alone wouldn’t have caused me too much concern BUT as the handle had come off and the pipe was open water began spraying out of the wall where the tap once was! It went EVERYWHERE!
So I pity the poor neighbours, were they unfortunate enough to see me burst from the house, looking like a drowned rat in ever so stylish pink pyjamas and barefoot as I raced to the water main tap out near the street side to turn the water off!
So, what was meant to be a nice relaxing morning turned into quite a time mopping up all the water (which thankfully was contained to just the kitchen area). Luckily, Mr D (husband) was home from his shift work and was able to fix the problem (because as handy as I like to think I am I wouldn’t know where to start to put the tap back on) . The only problem now is I’m more than a little afraid to use the tap because I’m paranoid it will happen again and one impromptu shower and floor mopping session is more than enough for one day!
Well, onto other things… Here’s a photo of the sling I made last night. I put my Little little Miss M in it (she still loves to be carried in one from time to time).
Might have to make up a couple more to use up the fabric I have left… maybe it will inspire me to get my ebay selling back in gear!
Oh…. and this is the recipe for my Christmas cake.
Fruit & Nuts (alternative measure is 250g of each of the fruits and candied peel)
1 cup pitted dates
1 1/2 cups candied citrus peel
¾ cup pitted dates
¾ cup dried apricots
¾ cup dried figs
¾ cup glace cherries
¾ cup glace pineapple
½ cup crystallized ginger
1 cup each of seedless raisins, sultanas & currants
½ cup each of walnuts, pecans, almonds
¼ cup each of brazil nuts & hazelnuts
2tsp each of nutmeg, cinnamon & allspice

Alcohol to soak all the fruit and nuts:
1 cup orange liqueur (Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
1 cup brandy

Coarsely chop the dates, apricots, figs, cherries, and ginger then add candied citrus peels. Place in a large bowl or other suitable container, and stir in the raisins, currants, orange liqueur, and cognac and nutmeg, cinnamon & allspice. Cover and set aside in a fridge for up to a week, stirring each day to get it all nice and alcohol drenched.
A week later:
1 ½ cups flour
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. finely ground espresso roast coffee
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground mace
2/3 cup golden syrup or molasses
250g butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (540g) dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 large eggs
Good-quality bourbon/brandy or rum for dredging….

Grease cake pan well and line the bottom with baking paper and set oven to approx. 150C (low temp cause slow cooking time required).
Using a whisk, combine the flour, cocoa, coffee, baking powder, salt, and spices in a medium bowl, and set aside.
In separate bowl beat the butter until creamy, then add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy and then add vanilla. Beat in the eggs one or two at a time, blending the batter fully before adding the next egg(s).
Beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the syrup or molasses (grease the cup that you measure the syrup in cause this keeps it from sticking and allows it to pour out cleanly) in three parts each. Scrape down the bowl and beaters and beat a little longer to be sure everything is well-blended. The mixture may look a little curdled, especially if the butter was very soft to start with.
Scrape the batter into the bowl with the fruit and nuts, and use a large rubber spatula to stir and combine the various elements. It's a very heavy, sticky batter, and will take some time and muscle to thoroughly blend it.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pressing with the back of the spoon to fill the corners. Fill the pan all the way, even with the top. The batter will only expand slightly with baking, and won't spill over the top.
Bake the cake until set in the middle (test with a skewer into the middle which should come out pretty clean). Cooking time is approximately 3 ½ hours or so but its best to be guided by the skewer test – if cake is still not cooked but getting a little too dark (starting to burn on top) place a sheet of foil or baking paper loosely over the cake to prevent burning.
When cooked let cool for 20minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Brush cake generously with bourbon or rum (I prefer to pierce the prior to brushing cake all over with a skewer and then drizzle with the alcohol)
Once the cake is completely cooled, wrap in plastic wrap and then foil and refrigerate. Brush with a tablespoon or two of bourbon (or drizzle with a couple of capfuls) every day or two for the next week or so until you’re ready to decorate or eat!
REALLY LABOUR AND INGREDIENT INTENSIVE… but trust me if you like fruit cake it is worth it – and if you don’t like fruitcake be prepared to be converted!

Sorry for the lengthy post but the cake truly is worth it… I’m salivating as I type!!!
Cheers Smile

1 comment:

  1. Cute sling!!! And sorry about the tap...sounds like it was a crazy morning!!


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