My thoughts this week have turned to forward preparations for the festive season. In particular the traditional rich fruit Christmas cakes. It’s because they have become a well-received foodie gifts for friends.
This year my favoured piece for individual Christmas cakes is the new AGA Portmeirion Yorkshire Pudding Tray W3522, this results in a substantial little cake ideal for that extra little gift or a box of 6 can be given to those friends who are, for instance, great walkers, where a generous portion contributes to topping up energy levels! One of the great benefits of this tray is that it slides onto the runners in the AGA ovens.
The fruit has been soaking in rum (or you could use orange juice) for a fortnight so the raisins, sultanas, currants and tropical fruits soften and plump up for ultimate deliciousness.
Using a stand mixer makes sure the butter and soft brown sugar are well creamed together. I transfer the creamed mixture to, a large sturdy bowl.
Then I take a short cut, which doesn’t seem to affect the finished cake(s), I beat in all the eggs and dry ingredients by hand (clean!!) all in one go until all are amalgamated then tip in the luscious rum soaked dried fruit and mix together.
Using the Portmeirion Yorkshire Pudding Tray, just put 5g of butter into the cavities and place on the Warming Plate or on the floor of the Simmering Oven to melt the butter which can then be brushed around the cavities, again the butter should solidify before putting the mixture into the tray.
Of course if you prefer line the Yorkshire Pudding Tray with some muffin cases (make sure they are proper muffin size, not cake cases) then place in the mixture.
Once cooked the Christmas cake should cool completely before wrapping in baking parchment and foil. If you wish you can ‘feed it’ with a couple of tablespoons of rum but soaking the fruit before baking I usually find is sufficient.
Well that’s one tick off the list for Christmas planning!