Tag: raisins

Christmas cake but not as you know it.

mini-jack-daniels-christmas-cake-1

Mini Jack Daniels Christmas cakes

Oooooh don’t you just love a mini Christmas cake? I made some last year as gifts and they went down really well. This time I decided to give them a touch of Jack Daniels and I have to say they are gooooood!

I made these ones for a local food bank on behalf of the charity I bake for Free Cakes For Kids. Lots of bakers have made lots of mini cakes so lots of families would have a special cake and it always feels great to be giving and baking for others at this time of year- don’t you think? If you want to join in the fun check out the FCFK website to find your local group. I’m yet to find a group of bakers who aren’t really friendly!

I made these cakes really last minute (meaning I didn’t start in October so I could ply the cake with alcohol) so I had few cheats. I soaked the fruit in the JD for a week before baking the cakes and once they were out of the oven I gave them another really good brush/soak with the good stuff. If you add the alcohol while the cake is still warm the liquid soaks right in. I think a Christmas cake still tastes great even if it hasn’t been drowned in alcohol for weeks or months before.

Once baked I decorated half the cakes with marzipan and white sugarpaste and the other half with just the sugarpaste so there were some nut free options – also so I could eat the marzipan that was left over.

How to decorate Christmas cakes the non traditional way.

www.CakesBakesAndCookies.com

I didn’t want to go for red or green decorations this year. My original plan was to have a little forrest of sugarpaste Christmas trees standing on top of the cakes but once I had decorated one I realised that they would be really difficult to transport to the food bank and for the families to take home too so I opted for a 2d version.

The Christmas tree decorations were made up a day ahead in pale blues, pink and white so that they could be layered up without drooping. The gingerbread men were also made up ahead of time. After 24 hours the faces were drawn on with a clever food dye pen in ‘liquorice’ black. The trees and gingerbread man were then stuck in place with a little royal icing.

To give the cakes a really professional finish I placed ribbon around the cake and wrapped them in cellophane. I was really happy with the end result. I hope the families will be too when they pick them up later this week.

Mini Jack Daniels Christmas cake

Makes 6 x 4" cakes or 8 x 3" cakes

Mini Jack Daniels Christmas cake

  • 1000g mixed fruit (sultanas, raisins, candied mixed peel)
  • 200g dates cut into small pieces
  • 225ml Jack Daniels + extra for brushing
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 260g muscovado sugar
  • 5 medium eggs
  • 240g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    Prepare the fruit
  1. Place all the fruit into an airtight container and cover with the Jack Daniels.
  2. Leave the fruit to infuse for as long as possible. 48 hours is best. Give the container a shake every now and again.
    To make the cake
  1. Line your cake tin with silicon paper. I have one that has dividers but some bakers have used cleaned out tuna and sweetcorn tins to bake in.
  2. Preheat the oven to 140C (120 fan)
  3. Mix the sugar and butter together. Add the eggs slowly then the vanilla extract.
  4. In a separate bowl sieve all the dry ingredients. Add this to the butter and sugar mix until combined.
  5. Finally add the fruit and combine till covered.
  6. Spoon evenly into each cake tin and smooth down with the back of a spoon.
  7. Bake for 2-21/2 hours.
  8. Once out of the oven brush liberally with Jack Daniels and leave to cool for 20 minutes before removing the cakes from the tin and allow to cool completely ready to decorate.
http://www.cakesbakesandcookies.com/have-you-ever-made-christmas-cake-with-jack-daniels-once-you-try-it-you-wont-go-back/

Something you can do to help….

I wrote this post before I delivered the cakes to the food bank. I feel now looking back that I brushed over the food bank part. For me this was supposed to be about sharing my recipe for a Jack Daniels Christmas cake. It is in fact about a lot more than that. There are so many people in need in our country and right on our door steps. You may not even be aware that there is a food bank on your high street, in your church or by your community centre. These places are amazing. They’re run mostly by volunteers and the people who need them are often in dire situations.

When I delivered these cakes I met with a band of very jovial volunteers who are loving and caring and so, so knowledgable. There was a young mum who was there as I dropped off. She was collecting a couple of blankets from the centre. She had been housed in the hostel around the corner. The week before she had left a violent relationship with nothing but the clothes on her back and her teenage daughter. She had nothing. She was housed in a hostel so they were safe. The hostel is an amazing resource with a bedroom and some furniture and a kitchen along one wall but that’s it. It’s very, very basic. No bedding, no plates, no comforts. I’m sure she was grateful for a safe and warm roof over her head but having just spent a few hundred quid on presents for my two daughters to then see this young woman with so little but still with a grateful smile on her face was incredible humbling.

So I’m asking you to do something and not just now – for the foreseeable future. When you’re doing your food shopping pop an extra tin of something or a bottle of shampoo in your basket and leave it in the food bank bins which are always situated just behind the checkout. All the big supermarkets have collection bins and the extra pound or two probably won’t make much of a difference to you but it will make a massive difference if we all do it for others.

Thanks

EmmaMT x

www.CakesBakesAndCookies.com

Whisky cake recipe – perfect for Father’s Day

Whiskey cakeFather’s day whisky cake

This is a cake I made for AchicaLiving.com to celebrate Father’s day. My dad likes a drop of Whiskey and I thought it was a pretty manly way to make a cake – if you follow my meaning.

When I make a cake for Achica I have to make it ahead of time. It’s a planned post -usually weeks before it goes live, so I decided to soak the fruit and make the cake a few days later, but three days turned into three weeks and the fruits which were soaking in the whiskey were seriously alcoholic by that time! When I finally got around to baking the cake my in laws were popping round for a cuppa so they were my gineau pigs. They loved it. I cut a massive slice for my dad and took it round all wrapped up. I set it down on the table and said “Here’s a slice of whiskey cake for you” and his eyes literally lit up. So when we celebrated his birthday last week it was a no brainer what cake I was going to make!

Whiskey cake Rocks!Whiskey Cake

Ingredients

  • 200g dried apricots (cut into small pieces) 
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 150ml whisky
  • 175g butter at room temperature
  • 175g brown sugar (sieved)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 50ml whisky
  • 200g self raising flour 
  • ½ tsp baking powder

For the topping(chocolate topping as seen on the AchicaLiving post)

  • 50g butter
  • 100g milk chocolate
  • 1 tbsp whisky
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk 
  1. For the best tasting cake place the fruits in an airtight container with the whisky and lemon zest and juice and leave to infuse for 48-72 hours. You can leave it for longer to give the fruits a stronger flavour.
  2. To make the cake, oil (with sunflower oil) and line an 8” cake tin with greaseproof paper. Preheat your oven to 180ºC (Fan oven160ºC).
  3. Mix the butter and sugar in a bowl then add the yolks one at a time. Incorporate the whisky. 
  4. Sieve the flour and baking powder into the mix and combine well. 
  5. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites till they form stiff peaks then fold them in till completely incorporated.
  6. Finally add the boozy fruits making sure to get every drop of whiskey out of the container and all the fruit is coated in cake mix. 
  7. Pour into your cake tin and level with the back of a spoon. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown and the sides have come away from the tin. 
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

To make the frosting.

  1. Once the cake is completely cold place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over a low heat until they are completely melted. Stir continuously. Add the whisky then set aside to cool for a few minutes. 
  2. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl then add the chocolate mix. Whisk until combined then add a little milk at a time. The ganache should look glossy. 
  3. Leave to cool for a few minutes before covering your cake completely. 

EmmaMT

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