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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

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Nov
07
2007

Christmas Cakes 101 ~ a Tutorial

Please do not assume you don’t like Christmas Cake (or fruitcake, if you insist on calling them this!)because you don’t like the store bought variety. They are NOT one in the same. Bought Christmas cakes contain that awful candied cherry and citron mixture that not only is not tasty but hard as rocks sometimes. This recipe I am about to give you is easy as can be.

This recipe makes four 6″ cakes.

  • 12 cups of dried fruit – I used apricots, dates, blueberries, cranberries, dark and golden raisins.
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup brandy or Cognac

Chop the large fruits into 1/4 inch pieces. Put all the fruit in a non-reactive container (plastic or glass) and pour the honey and brandy over it, stirring to coat well. Cover and let sit for a day or up to two weeks, mixing occasionally.

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When ready to assemble the cakes, heat your oven to 275°F. Pour your fruit into a colander set over a bowl and let it drain while you prepare the rest of the recipe. Generously butter and flour your pans. As I said I used four 6″ rounds. But I think two 8’s would work as well. I also like to put a round of brown paper in the bottom of my pans over the butter/flour.

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Cake ingrients:

  • Prepared fruit mixture
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1TBSP coarse salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups nuts – coarsely chopped (I used walnuts and pecans)
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup light brown, 1/2 cup white and 1/4 cup dark brown)
  • 7 large eggs

ccspices.jpgAnd for the glaze you will need apricot jam, brandy and water.

Stir together the dry ingredients and then add the nuts and stir again. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer with your paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Transfer to a large bowl and using the folding method, add the flour/nut mixture and then the fruit mixture. Stir to evenly distribute the fruits.

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Divide the batter between the prepared pans. These pans will be full – note you didnt use any leavening so they are going to be dense (read: YUMMY) cakes.

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Cut parchment to fit around the pans and above the rim at least 2 1/2 inches. Tie with baker’s twine.

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Place on pans on cookie sheet and bake for 2 hours to 2 1/4 hours. Or until cake tester comes out clean. Transfer pans to wire rack to cool completely. Turn out cakes, then flip back over so top is up.

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Heat 1/4 cup apricot jam, 1/4 cup brandy and 1/4 cup water until jam is liquid. Brush on tops of cooled cakes. Wrap in parchment and store in refrigerator for up to six months.

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If you live in a cold climate, and you have a cool spot in your house, they can me kept in a tin or plastic container. they can be kept unrefrigerated. But since many times we have the air conditioning on in December as much as July, we keep ours refrigerated.

As always look over this recipe and read completely before starting. If you have any questions or something doesnt look right let me know. I read and reread my recipes but still miss somethings.

Have a great day. I have recipes I am working on so stay tuned!

Oct
22
2007

Brrrrrr….it's cold outside!& Today's Recipe

Well, cold for around here and this time of year. It is 58 and the wind is blowing. I LOVE cold weather. LOVE IT. Granted we don’t actually have cold weather here. But this cooling off makes me feel so much better.

So I opened our refrigerator door this morning and my blood pressure went up considerable. I hate our refrigerator. It is held together with duct tape. I am not kidding. And the meat drawer fell off. So when Husband called I said “So…how mad would you be if you came home to a new refrigerator?” He assured me I would not be replaced because of it. Which was really all I needed to hear. So off I went. My new side by side will be delivered in the morning!

And now for today’s recipe:

Apple Cranberry Crisp

4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices.

1 cup fresh cranberries

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup oats

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/3 cup soft butter

Preheat oven to 375. Butter a square baking dish. Place apple slices and cranberries in the dish. Mix remaining ingredients well and sprinkle over fruit. Bake 30 minutes. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or cold with whipped cream.

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