We baked and we baked

Fruitcakes for Christmas

Last Saturday my sister from flippenblog and I set out to bake our annual batch of fruitcakes!
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Fruitcakes are often served in celebration of weddings and Christmas.

The earliest recipe from Ancient Rome lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. In the Middle Ages, honey, spices and preserved fruit were added.

Fruit cakes soon proliferated all over Europe. Recipes varied greatly in different countries throughout the ages, depending on the available ingredients as well as (in some instances) church regulations forbidding the use of butter, regarding the observance of fast, Pope Innocent VIII (1432–1492) finally granted the use of butter, in a written permission known as the ‘Butter Letter’ or Butterrief in 1490, giving permission to Saxony to use milk and butter in the North German Stollen fruit cakes.

Starting in the 16th century, sugar from the American Colonies (and the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits) created an excess of candied fruit, thus making fruit cakes more affordable and popular.- WikipediaIMG_4969

As I said before in a previous post, Christmas in our family is not the same without a fruitcake or 2………  That being said, we managed to bake 11 of them!  ( click on the links for the recipes!)

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Between mixing and waiting for the boiled fruit to cool down, we had time to admire the glorious weather and views from her balcony!

DSC_0025Now all we have  to do is to wait for our other sister and her husband to join us  this year for Christmas!!

Gluten free Chocolate cupcakes

I found this recipe for chocolate hot cross buns on this blog and decided try it.

Chocolate Hot Cross Buns (sweet) 

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 17-20 mins
Makes: 8

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 orange juice 
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda 
1/4 cup sultanas (golden raisins)

For crosses: 2 egg whites 1+1/2 Tablespoons coconut flour
 Instructions: 

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius (340F)
  • Grease 8 muffin tins with coconut oil
  • Beat the eggs with an electric beater for 1 minute.
  • Add the coconut milk, orange juice and honey and beat again.
  • Add the coconut flour, bicarb soda and cacao powder and mix with the electric beaters for another minute.
  • Stir through sultanas.
  • Scoop batter into muffin tins.
  • Make crosses by beating the egg whites with electric beaters.  Add the coconut flour and beat again.
  • Scoop egg mixture into a plastic bag, snip off the corner and pipe onto the top of buns.
  • Bake buns for 17-20 minutes.
     (I sometimes turn the oven off at 17 minutes and leave buns in the oven for a couple of minutes to finish cooking.)

I changed the recipe a bit and decided to turn them into cupcakes!:-)

Ingredients:

4 eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda 
1/4 cup dates, chopped

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius
  • Grease 8 muffin tins
  • Beat the eggs with an electric beater for 1 minute.IMG_2316
  • Add the coconut milk and honey and beat again.
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  • Add the coconut flour, bicarb soda and cacao powder and mix with the electric beaters for another minute.IMG_2318
  • Stir through the dates.
  • Scoop batter into muffin tins.IMG_2319
  • Bake buns for 17-20 minutes.
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Cupcakes

My husband loves cake and asked me to bake a butter cake.  I decided to use my trusted recipe and make some cupcakes instead.

IMG_1903Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup(s) Sifted Cake Flour
  • 3 teaspoon(s) Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) Salt
  • 45 ml Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup(s )whole Milk

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly grease a muffin pan with butter and dust with all-purpose flour. ( I did not use paper cups) Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2.  Beat  eggs and sugar till light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla  beat on medium-high, just until blended.  Add the dry ingredients to this mixture. Mix well.
  3. Bring butter and milk to the boil and add it the the mixture. Mix well.
  4. Pour into the prepared muffin pans and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean —15 minutes. Cool cupcakes in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  5. Un-mold and cool completely. Ice with any icing you like.

Not so traditional Christmas Cake

As I said in a previous post I personally prefer a dark richer Fruitcake. I have searched to find one that I liked and here is my rendition of a not so traditional Dark fruit cake.

Dark Christmas Cake

500 g mixed dried fruits

250 g dates, cut up

125 g butter

200 ml soft brown sugar

250 ml strong coffee

200 g cherries

Put all the ingredients in a large pan set over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 3 mins. ( I boiled mine in the microwave for 8 min on high.)

IMG_0999Add 5 ml Bicarb of soda and 100 g chopped pecan nuts into the hot mixture and stir well. Leave to cool for  about 30 mins.  IMG_1005Pre-heat the oven to 130 C.                                            
Then add :
500 ml plain flour
5 ml baking powder
2 ml mixed nutmeg
2 ml ground cinnamon
2 ml ground cloves
2 ml salt
2 large beaten eggs                                                          
Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well, making sure there are no pockets of flour.  and tip it into  prepared tins, level the top with a spatula and bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes.IMG_1006Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 15 ml of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.IMG_1015To store, peel off the baking parchment, then wrap well in cling film or tin foil.chritmas 

Fruit Cake

 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fruit cake (or fruitcake) is a cake made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruitnuts, and spices, and (optionally) soaked in spirits. A cake that simply has fruit in it as an ingredient can also be colloquially called a fruit cake.  Fruit cakes are often served in celebration of weddings and Christmas. Given their rich nature, fruit cake is most often consumed on its own, as opposed to with condiments (such as butter or cream).

Each person has their own list of  must have foods for Christmas.  For me, one of them  is a Fruit Cake.

Baking a Fruit Cake for Christmas will always bring back  memories of my mom. She always baked a cake for each of our siblings.

To us Christmas is just not the same without it!

My mom’s recipe is for a light Fruit cake:

Fruit Cake

Ingredients and Method:

500 ml sugar

500 grams mixed dry fruit

50 ml citrus peel

cherries

500 ml water

250 grams butter

 

Place fruit, sugar, water and butter in a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

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Butter or spray 2 cake tins with a non-stick vegetable spray. Line the bottom of the tins with buttered baking paper, also lining the sides of the cake tins with strips of buttered baking paper that extend about 3  to 4 cm above the tins.

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Preheat oven to 130 degree C.

Beat 3 eggs until light and add it to the cooled fruit mixture.

Then fold in 4 cups (4 x 250 ml ) self raising flour.IMG_0766

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Scrape the batter into the 2 prepared tins and bake it for about 75 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.

IMG_0783 Wrap the cake thoroughly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place in a cake tin or plastic bag. Brush the cake periodically (once or twice a week) with brandy until Christmas. This cake will keep several weeks or it can be frozen.

I personally prefer a dark richer Fruit cake , but that will have to be a story for another day.

Easy Vanilla Butter cake – Baking memories

I have been making this easy Vanilla butter cake  since my childhood which my mom taught me to make.
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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup(s) Sifted Cake Flour
  • 3 teaspoon(s) Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) Salt
  • 45 ml Unsalted Butter
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 large Eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Vanilla Extract
  • 3/4 cup(s )whole Milk

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly coat an 8-inch cake pan with butter and dust with all-purpose flour. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  2.  Beat  eggs and sugar till light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla  beat on medium-high, just until blended.  Add the dry ingredients to this mixture. Mix well.Image2
  3. Bring butter and milk to the boil and add it the the mixture. Mix well.
  4. Image
  5. Pour into the prepared pans and bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean — 25 to 30 minutes. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.DSC06256
  6. Unmould and cool completely. Ice with any icing you like.