02 December 2009

Time to check your Christmas cake etc

Time to check your Christmas cake etc

It's been so wet and miserable over the last few weeks and we've had a tsunami of orders at Steenbergs so I've had no time to think about my blog, but it's 6 in the morning and I'm up and awake. 

The River Ure broke its banks by Ripon Race Course, so we had to drive through a ford where the two flooded fields overflowed into each other.  The Ure also flooded by the bridge at Boroughbridge and their sandbags were still out last night, and someone said the bridge may have moved, but I saw no-one looking at it so I guess it has been checked.

The beginning of December is the time when I take a peak at my Christmas cake and mincemeat.  You can also do the same with your Christmas pudding if you wish but I tend to leave that alone.

Carefully unwrap the Christmas cake and when open drizzle perhaps 2 or 3 tablespoons of brandy or whisky (depending on what you used when you made your cake).  Give it a few minutes to ooze into the cake and then carefully wrap the cake up again and put it back somewhere cool.

Then I have a look at the mincemeat, which you can give a stir and check the ingredients are well mixed.  If you feel it's looking a bit dry, you can add maybe a tablespoon of pure orange juice, but it should be okay. 

Our mincemeat is dryer and less sweet than most of the recipes you find as we don't add dark sugar to it, but I do not have a sweet tooth; the moistness really comes later as the suet adds the fat when you cook it, but even so it is still less fatty than most mixtures.  So apologies to anyone who prefers the classic style like Delia Smith's recipe.

We'll be marzipanning the cake this weekend, so be prepared.