Traditional Victorian Christmas Pudding
This recipe is based on a 100-year-old recipe I found written on a scrap of paper in an old cookery book, a real Dickensian style steamed pud. I changed some of the ingredients, to suit our personal taste, and cut the quantities back considerably – the original recipe made about 8 puddings!. It’s a wonderful rich and fruity pud, and is still light enough for those who dislike the heavy “canon ball” style puddings. The lack of flour in this makes a lighter crumb, and there is no bitter after taste that you get in some commercially prepared Christmas puddings. Makes two 2 pint puddings, each serving 6 to 8 people.
Easy Christmas Cake
I make a really easy cake and I’ve tweaked the recipe as time goes on. So here we go – you’ll need:
250g of butter (softened)
250g of sugar (caster, light muscavado, dark muscavado if you like a treacley cake)
250g plain flour
heaped teaspoon mixed spice
500g dried mixed fruit (we use the luxury mixed fruit bags from Tesco)
100g glace cherries (but this house loves cherries, so I put 200g in)
You can also add some chopped dried apricots (probably about a dozen of them) or other dried fruit if that takes your fancy. I also add some grated root ginger.
Iced Buns: Technical Challenge One
Well, as promised here is my first attempt at a technical challenge from the Great British Bake Off. I followed the exact recipe from the accompanying series cookbook and was rather pleased that they actually turned out quite well…which I was not expecting…obviously I should have more faith!!
Easy-cheaty five minute mince pies
Here’s a super easy, quite cheaty recipe that makes 12-18 mince pies in about five minutes, plus cooking time. It’s also easy enough to let the little ones loose on if you’ve got a bit more time. Proper baking fans look away now…
After liberal amounts of pleading with my car to reconsider being completely undriveable, I give up and call M.
“Sooo, I’m in a tiny town off 99 that smells like manure, and my car doesn’t seem to work.”
“You need me to come get you?”
“Yeah, kind of looking in that direction.”
When I finally get towed to the only mechanic in town that works on transmissions, I find they don’t have a night key drop. I’m forced to leave to leave the car and take the keys. M ends up picking me up and driving me the hour to the house, then back again in the morning to bring back my keys.
Then, I find out that my transmission is shot and needs to be completely worked over. The car won’t be ready until Wednesday: I need to be home Sunday. M drives me the three hours home.
After all that, the very least I could do for him was bake cookies.
Vegan Gluten-free Brownies
I was skeptical. I mean I am a person who buys sugars, flour and butter at Costco so that I don’t run out so frequently. And I am fortunate enough not to have any food allergies or dietary restrictions. So why am I baking vegan gluten-free anything? Well, even though I don’t need to pay attention to it for health reasons I can’t help but notice the increase in the amount of products that are labeled “vegan” or “gluten-free”. I think it is great that people who do suffer from digestive problems or prefer not to eat animal products have so many more options to choose from these days. I have been curious about the ingredients and results of vegan and/or gluten-free baking and so when I inherited all of the special ingredients necessary for this type of baking, I was very anxious to give it a whirl.
These were possibly the most light and moist brownies I have ever made! They did not taste over-chocolatey, but were just sweet enough to satisfy me.