Winter in UK

A photographic record of seasonal changes in your area.
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Jo UK
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Winter in UK

Post by Jo UK » November 28th, 2009, 10:35 pm

It doesn't feel at all like winter. It is too warm and wet. But ,because of the date I have made a Christmas cake. It is a traditional English rich fruit cake with gallons of brandy in it! The recipe calls for six tablespoons - 90 mls. For the amount of dried fruit needed I used close to 175 mls. Every drop was soaked up by the fruit - see -

Image

Then combining all the ingredients, putting in the cake tin and making a paper wall to protect from scorching -

Image

It needs a total of 4 hours in the oven. It is still cooking.
Seasonal, on topic and not a tree in sight :laugh:

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Kuremari
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Post by Kuremari » November 29th, 2009, 5:35 pm

hmm....i would like to be the guest at your Christmas dinner table :D
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macdoum
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Post by macdoum » November 30th, 2009, 3:29 am

Kuremari wrote:hmm....i would like to be the guest at your Christmas dinner table :D
Me too,although only if it has an inch of icing on the top,at least.!! :rolleyes: :D
Carmel a member of SHOW .. I hope you love birds too. Its economical. It saves going to heaven.
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Post by Jo UK » November 30th, 2009, 10:07 am

Marzipan and icing will be added a week before Christmas. I will take another pic then, because that is another seasonal change.

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alice44
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Post by alice44 » November 30th, 2009, 10:44 am

Jo, could you link to a recipe or information about this cake that you think correctly reflects the tradition. I think Americans are generally confused about fruit cake. (Most of us know about pumpkin pie -- but not me.)

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Post by Liis » November 30th, 2009, 11:13 am

Jo UK wrote:It doesn't feel at all like winter. It is too warm and wet. But ,because of the date I have made a Christmas cake. It is a traditional English rich fruit cake with gallons of brandy in it! The recipe calls for six tablespoons - 90 mls. For the amount of dried fruit needed I used close to 175 mls. Every drop was soaked up by the fruit - see -
....
Seasonal, on topic and not a tree in sight :laugh:
Seems we are many who would love a slice. :innocent:
But, hmmm - about the gallons of brandy needed. 1 gallon = 3 750 ml; 3 750 - 175 ml leaves 3 1/2 litre ...
Marzipane on top? Is that new?
Seasonal and out of season: yesterday my daphne (näsiniin) had its first flowers open. Today's LK front page talks of colt's-foot; true, about the leaves, no flowers yet.

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Post by alice44 » November 30th, 2009, 12:46 pm

I will have to look at the Daphne -- I think it is more or less dormant, but the daffodils are above ground -- no buds or anything but the green bits are definitely visible.

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Post by Jo UK » November 30th, 2009, 5:35 pm

alice44 wrote:Jo, could you link to a recipe or information about this cake that you think correctly reflects the tradition. I think Americans are generally confused about fruit cake. (Most of us know about pumpkin pie -- but not me.)
Here is a page which gives good detail about the method - recipe, baking, marzipan and icing.
The ingredients I used were for a richer fruit cake and slightly larger. but the basic "how to" is here
http://www.cookuk.co.uk/cake/recipe_christmas-cake.htm

Liis, marzipan under the icing sugar is traditional, not new! Without those things it is just another fruit cake!

Gallons of brandy - Oh, all right, so I exaggerated, but it was much more than the recipe stated!

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Post by macdoum » November 30th, 2009, 7:32 pm

mmn..little brandy ?... :nod: :rotf: :rotf:
Carmel a member of SHOW .. I hope you love birds too. Its economical. It saves going to heaven.
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Post by alice44 » November 30th, 2009, 10:37 pm

Jo UK wrote: Here is a page which gives good detail about the method - recipe, baking, marzipan and icing.
The ingredients I used were for a richer fruit cake and slightly larger. but the basic "how to" is here
http://www.cookuk.co.uk/cake/recipe_christmas-cake.htm

Liis, marzipan under the icing sugar is traditional, not new! Without those things it is just another fruit cake!

Gallons of brandy - Oh, all right, so I exaggerated, but it was much more than the recipe stated!
Thanks Jo

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Post by alice44 » December 2nd, 2009, 6:25 am

Jo
I've been poking around in recipes and I think I am going to attempt to bake a fruit cake. I have not yet figured out how I will store it but I am pretty sure I can find a way.

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Post by Jo UK » December 2nd, 2009, 11:28 am

Good luck. I look forward to learning about it!

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Post by Liis » December 4th, 2009, 9:22 pm

How many Christmas Cake bakes has your inspiring photo and the link to that so nicely clear and straightforward (hmmm, on the surface ...) recipe set off, Jo?
I confess to giving it a try. Those fruits really gobbled up brandy, they would have gone on to have the whole bottle if I had let them.
And yet they aren't even really "dried" anymore.

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Post by Jo UK » December 4th, 2009, 11:39 pm

Exactly right Liis. you want nice plump, moist fruit in the cake!

I have been wondering how many members will make a Christmas cake, too!!

I have to unwrap mine and give it another drink, this weekend. I think no more than 2 tablespoons of Benedictine will be enough. Wrap again until one week before Christmas, then apply marzipan and icing. I saw some red berries in the garden. If the birds don't take them all in the next 2 weeks, they will decorate the cake. There is plenty of holly to give the green leaf look, too. I haven't seen any holly berries, this year.

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Post by Jo UK » December 5th, 2009, 7:55 pm

I gave the cake another drink of Benedictine today. Now it is wrapped tightly in cling film and the next step will be the marzipan and icing.

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Post by macdoum » December 6th, 2009, 8:35 pm

Jo, your cake looks delicious.. we used to have an M&S near so had no trouble buying. Closed now sadly like all their places in France. :cry: (miss the tea even more.!!)
Well the cake is nearly ready for the road now but don't take the wheel after a slice of it. :rolleyes:
Bon appétit. :D
Carmel a member of SHOW .. I hope you love birds too. Its economical. It saves going to heaven.
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Post by Liis » December 7th, 2009, 11:33 am

Mmmm, yes, wonderful! Mine never became so deliciously brown.
And right, Macdoum, driving might really be risky with a slice of that inside.
Thsoe red berries for decoration had better be guarded, Jo - I read that migrating blackbirds from the Baltic countries and Sweden, Finland, Norway rather like to go to UK for winter (and Ireland).
But all rowan trees in Stockholm and outside are still loaded and dripping with red berries, and no birds seem to care this year.
No holly here; garden varieties can be grown in south Sweden and the west coast, we others have to wait for some more global warming and wet Atlantic climate. Seems there has been one (1) genuinely native holly (Ilex) bush in Sweden, but it died some time in the 19th century; rumours say one more has been discovered though.

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Post by alice44 » December 12th, 2009, 7:07 am

Jo I have baked the cake -- well really three loaf pans --traditional shape here and those are the pans I had. I think I did something wrong (combining 3 recipes -- 2 British and 1 American -- because we measure with cups and spoons not weights) I think did not use enough fruit, but I nibbled on the smallest loaf and it is delicious.

I soaked my dried raisins, sultanas and strawberry/cranberries overnight and used just the tiniest bit of "candied" pineapple. I decided I liked the dried fruit much better than that other sort and of course they soaked up more of the brandy/cognac mix ;-). I also included some nuts which soaked up the sweet mixture from the fruit -- they would have been delicious to nibble on.

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Post by Jo UK » December 12th, 2009, 3:33 pm

Hooray, Alice.
I am so happy to have company for my Christmas cake addiction. It's a good thing we do this only once a year!

Once I had a chart that gave me conversions of US and UK recipe quantities. but if I find it again, I will post it.

Oh goodness, this is a maze of strangeness!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooking_we ... d_measures
A US fluid ounce is smaller than a UK ounce. There are 16 US ounces to a US pint.
There are 20 UK ounces to a UK pint.

It's not just language that puzzles us!! Alice, if you made a delicious cake in spite of those difficulties, I salute you :bow:

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Post by HelenD » December 14th, 2009, 8:40 am

Jo, when you send me my slice of Christmas Cake, I don't want any marzipan on my piece!!
Helen

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