We're having a LOT of visitors over the half-term holiday (hello all!). I love baking but I feel rather guilty just doing it for the three of us (well...mostly the two of us as a lot of it gets gobbled when K is in bed), so having visitors gives me a good excuse to make all my old favourites and try out some new ones too. Whilst I don't Twitter, I do Facebook a lot and have been narrating my baking progress for the last few days, which has led to a chorus of recipe requests. I figured what better way to share them than put them here so everyone can pick their favourites out - and have a few photos to drool over in the meantime?
Like most of my recipes, I have no idea where almost all of these come from, and most of them have been tweaked to our family tastes - any plagiarism is completely unintentional. Note that when I say "cup" I'm actually using a fairly narrow mug - so it's a bit bigger than a US cup measurement but not a standard UK mug. It doesn't actually matter as it's the proportions that count; if you use a bigger mug/shoe/wheelbarrow just increase everything else as well.
Boiled Fruit Cake
This one is my "OMG, Visitors!" cake (which is doubly funny to me as my gran-in-law refers to nits as "visitors"...), which is a doddle to make and comes from my mum. I also take it to meets and on holiday as it's fairly robust. It's best made the night before if you can manage it.
Line your loaf tin with greaseproof paper - you can be fairly lazy about it as you can see from the pic. Put your oven on at about 160oC - mine is fan-assisted so you may need it warmer, it's a bit trial and error, this one.
Then you need:
2 cups dried fruit (I use raisins and apricots)
1 cup hot water
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1tsp mixed spice
Add the butter, fruit and water to a pan and heat gently until melted. Turn off and allow to cool whilst you mix the dried ingredients together. Beat the eggs, and when your fruit mix is cool enough such that it won't curdle the eggs, add this and the eggs slowly to the bowl bit by bit, mixing all the while. The final mixture will be quite runny. Stick it in the loaf tin and bake for about 1hr depending on your oven, maybe 1hr30. The trick is when it comes out, turn it out of the tin almost straight away, wrap it in the greaseproof paper and then in foil. Leave overnight so that all the steam is kept in to make it lovely and moist.
Tomorrow: Carrot & Pecan Cake with Honey & Lemon Topping.