Sunday, December 21, 2014

Let them eat cake!

"Let them eat cake!" she said.

When challenged by Terry the Tradie to make a Christmas cake like his grandma used to make I thought I best rise to the challenge.  Initially I made a version with a bucketload of scotch.  A classic 8 inch fruit cake baked in a slow oven for about 2 hours 20.  I gave him a quarter and asked for an opinion.   He was very happy with the result.  We discussed options like more dates or less grog or different grog.  Different grog intrigued him and we decided the thick orange liqueur Cointreau would he his choice for christmas day.  I set out then to replicate the first, substituting Cointreau but found the it quickly stuck to the bottom of the boiler and needed more liquid so as not to burn.

The second Cointreau cake was a better consistency than the first and so it is the one he will receive tomorrow.

The cake is very easy to make.  Today I am making 4 smaller Whiskey versions and I thought I would blog as I go.

First up you need to soak a kilo of mixed dried fruits in half to a whole cup of grog of your choice.

Then you need to hack 15 or so pitted dates.

Then a about the same in glace cherries.

Into the boiler goes 125g of butter, a teaspoon of ground dutch cinnamon, three quarters of a cup of brown sugar and more liquid.  You need a cup of liquid in total.  It can be all grog, all water or a mix of both.

Throw the fruits in now. The groggy mixed fruit and the dates and cherries.  All in together. Onto the stove top she goes and the butter, sugar and liquid will begin to simmer.  Lots of stirring so that it doesn't catch on the bottom is required if you use all grog, or the thicker liquers like Cointreau.  It needs to simmer for 3 minutes then cool down.

When its cool you need to beat 2 eggs and add the beaten eggs and another cup of grog to the fruit mix.  

They need to all be mixed up well before you add a cup of self raising flour and a cup of plain flour, sifted of course!  Then whack it in the cake tin of you choosing.  Round,  square, whatever.  This mix suits an 8 inch tin.

If you are going to ice it (which I HATE HATE HATE) then the process ends there, otherwise you can pile up more mixed fruit or almonds and cherries or pecan nuts and jazzy up the top.

The tins need to be wrapped in 4 layers of newspaper and tied off with string, then onto a sheet of cardboard and into the oven at about 160 degrees for a smudge over 2 hours.  If the skewer comes out clean, then she's done.

Now most people skewer the top of the cake as it exits the oven and sprinkle over more grog.  Not me.  I use my insulin needles to draw up more grog and inject it directly into the cake.  (eerrr clean fresh unused needles of course) .   You can continue to feed the cake this way for a couple of weeks... depending on how high you want to blow when you get pulled over for a RBT on Christmas Day!

The end result is pretty good and Terry the Tradie agrees.

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