Friday, 24 December 2010

Christmas Cake

Mixed dried fruit ( sultanas, raisins, currants candied peel, chopped dates ) 22 oz
cherries or chopped dried apricots 3 oz
chopped pecans 2oz
5 eggs
4 oz Muscavado sugar
8oz butter
10oz SR flour
3 tsp mixed spice
Booze, 5fl oz or half a mug. I used Beaume de Venise, have been known to use sherry, Madeira, brandy or whiskey. One at a time!
Flaked almonds

Soak the fruit and spices in the booze overnight.
Use the butter at room temperature and cut into cubes, add the sugar and eggs and beat till fluffy. Add the fruit mixture and mix using a wooden spoon then add the flour and mix. If the mix drops easily off the spoon it is ready to cook. If not add up to 5 fl oz cold tea to make the mixture looser.
Put into a well buttered 8in square cake tin and sprinkle flaked almonds over the top.
Bake in a pre heated oven at gas 2 for 2 hours. After this time check to see if the cake is ready by prodding it with a skewer or knife. If it comes out with sticky cake mix on it give the cake another half hour and check it again.
This improves with keeping if it doesn't get eaten in the meantime.
I usually make an almond paste topping covered by lemon icing instead of the flaked almonds.
We have the first slice on Christmas Eve in the afternoon.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Sausage and Red Cabbage Casserole

This winter warmer is a one pot dish. While it cooks slowly in the oven the flavours meld together and makes a sweet and tasty liquor and the house fills with inviting aromas.
Veggie sausages could be used instead.

for 4-6 servings

I red cabbage
4 onions peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic chopped
12 sausages (I used Waitrose Gourmet sausages, they are not fatty and have a good flavour, or Toulouse sausages would be great)
6 medium sized potatoes sliced, no need to peel.
1 handful raisins
I tbs Branston Pickle
Large glass of red wine
teaspoon French mustard
2 Bramley apples cored and sliced
1 tsp Seasoned Pioneers cardamom masala spice mix
a drizzle of olive oil

Fry the onions and garlic in the oil. I used a Le Creuset casserole dish.
Add the sausages and brown.
Add the wine, mustard, raisins, pickle, apple slices and spice.

Cover with a layer of red cabbage and finish with a layer of potato slices.

Put the lid on the casserole and cook at gas 3 for 2 1/2 -3 hours