Hello there friends!
How is the build up to the Christmas period going for you? Are you getting lots of making done? I loved Jenny’s Christmas card and gift tags tutorial . I haven’t made any cards yet - I suspect it will be a last minute job for me this year and this tutorial will come in very handy!
I know lots of people have already made or are making their Christmas cakes, ready to enrich with booze over the coming weeks. Our family Christmas cake is a little bit different from the norm. None of us like marzipan and I am the only one of us who likes fruit cake, so if I made a traditional Christmas fruit cake, it would only be me who ate it …....hang on….there’s a thought! This cake is a firm family favourite. My lovely Aunty, who is a fabulous baker introduced me to this delicious cake years and years ago: “Lucy, this is The Cake, The Cake, this is Lucy!” I was so taken with the rich, chocolatey taste and wonderfully moist texture, that I wrote the recipe down straight away. Though I didn’t make a note of the book it came from, so I am afraid I cannot declare the origin!
It has been baked and enjoyed at my wedding, my cousin’s wedding, big birthdays and so many other family celebrations, I have lost count! So it made absolute sense that it should become our Christmas cake! When I smell it baking, it evokes feelings of warmth, security and love and reminds me of special family times. Have I sold it enough?...
My Family Favourite Chocolate Stout Christmas Cake.
What you need is:
8oz/225g unsalted butter softened
12oz/340g light muscovado sugar
4 eggs beaten
8oz/225g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
400ml stout (such as Guinness)
4oz/113g cocoa sifted
What you do is:
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb together and set aside.
Whisk the sifted cocoa into the stout until thoroughly combined with no lumps and set aside. I felt like stopping here and eating/drinking this delicious mixture......
If you have the will power to carry on without consuming the above, using a free standing or hand held electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs a little at time with a spoonful of the flour mixture, combining thoroughly between additions.
Now alternately add the flour mixture and the cocoa mixture, combining well each time.
Pour into a greased and lined deep 20cm/8” round cake tin.
Pop into a preheated 180°c oven for 1 - 1¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. After about 50 mins, if you think it may be catching slightly on the top, cover with greaseproof paper.
Leave in the tin for about 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
You can definitely eat this cake as it is - warm with cream or creme fraiche is delicious. I usually ice it with buttercream but this time I decided to learn how to make royal icing. I used this recipe from the baking legend that is, Mary Berry. It finished off the cake beautifully and tasted wonderful too! When I finished faffing playing with making the icing look snow like, I popped some (inedible) decorations on top!
Let me introduce you: Lovelies, this is The Cake. The Cake, meet the lovelies!.......
My kids and hubby are so happy that I decided to do this blog post a month before Christmas. They have polished it off and are looking forward to the ‘real’ one I’ll be baking over the Christmas holidays!
Jenny and I are so excited and a little bit emotional too, to tell you that we have been featured in a series of articles about Maker Mums on Tower Hamlets Mums, an online magazine for parents and families in the Tower Hamlets area in London. Our first press feature! Have a read if you fancy!
This Sunday we will be working, selling at our very first market as Two Crafty Brownies, which Jenny told you all about last week. Wish us luck!
Have a fab weekend!