Tag Archives: Christmas Cake

Weekend Coffee Share: December 10, 2018.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

Well, you’re in luck this week. We’re off on an adventure, but you’d better get your coffee to go. We have some important elf business to attend to. Indeed, we’re off to our local beach to photograph the elf doing what elves do best…getting up to mischief. However, our elf’s protesting that he was actually trying to help our local lifeguard on beach patrol, but I don’t believe him. I’m pretty sure he was trying to steal the lifeguard’s sunglasses, the beach buggy and probably the surf board as well. Once upon a time, these elves were Santa’s little helpers. However, there was a revolution somewhere along the way, and now the elves have taken the easy way out. Instead of building and creating the presents themselves, they’ve become a bunch of freeloading kleptomaniacs.

Quite aside from chasing and photographing cheeky elves, I’ve had quite a busy week. Saturday was my daughter’s dance concert. She learns ballet, tap, jazz, modern and is also part of Dance Team. This meant she had six costume changes, which necessitated a portable wardrobe, which my husband had to assemble with a screwdriver. While dance parents aren’t expected to have dancing ability, we’re frequently expected to morph into an all-conquering superheroes and the demands, as you can see from the screwdriver, go way beyond standard taxi driving duties. Indeed, I think we perform too well most of the time, and should drop our bundles more often. This way our dance charges might actually realize what it actually takes to fly to the moon on the way to a concert to pick up those theatrical pink tights, and not rely on teleportation.

Yesterday (being Sunday), I had my annual violin concert where I played Danny Boy as a duet with my teacher. The concert was held outside at a pecan farm up at Somersby, which is such a relaxing setting and you feel totally bathed in green. Compared to getting ready for the dance concert, getting ready for the violin concert was easy. Just needed my violin and music and you always have to doubt check your bow is in the case. It was too early to practice at home before I left, and so I took my chances on a quick warm up when we arrived. It went well with a couple of mistakes but you need those just to prove I’m human and the music wasn’t produced by a machine. I’d been making a few jokes during the week about my violin letting out a diabolical screech right at the emotional climax of the piece and killing the sensitive mood of the song. However, it behaved itself. As much as good playing requires talent and dedicated practice, there’s always a role for luck…good luck and bad and it’s important as a performer of any description, to keep that in mind. That it’s not the end of the world if your worst ever performance is on concert day, although I’m mighty glad mine wasn’t!!


Performing Danny Boy at the end of year concert. Note the tractor in the background.

It’s now 17 days left until Christmas and I’m sure somebody has pressed a fast forward button and the Earth is spinning round four times faster than usual. I usually do quite a lot of Christmas baking and we also decorate the tree but I’m not sure how much of that is happening this year. I’m thinking of making a tree out of driftwood which we could somehow attach to the ceiling or the wall away from the dogs and to be perfectly honest, there isn’t a square metre of space in this place for a tree. Indeed, we can’t even stick it in the bathtub.

The other issue I have is with the Christmas baking. As much as I’m big on Christmas traditions like making your Christmas cake and pudding, the kids don’t really like it and it’s so hot here that it feels rather heavy, particularly after a big meal. My personal tastes head more towards something chocolatey and cool. Pavlova is also good. We’ll be spending Christmas Day with my parents at my aunt’s place. So, I don’t need to come up with a menu for the big day. However, I would like to create a special meal for our own family to celebrate. I’ll have to get myself motivated and start going through my recipe books. Goodness knows I have enough of them. So, there must be something there!

Christmas cake 2014 zoom

Homemade Christmas Cake made to my mother’s recipe.

By the way, here’s a post I wrote a few years ago on The Meaning of Christmas Cake

Shortbread Christmas trees 2015

Do we need to break with tradition?

Do you feel that you’ve outgrown some of your family traditions but aren’t too sure quite how to proceed? Are perhaps also looking to create some Christmas traditions of your own?

Anyway, I don’t have to worry about Christmas too much this week. There’s still plenty of time to prepare without needing to panic.

How are your Christmas preparations going? Perhaps, you have different beliefs which you are celebrating or just believe in Happy Holidays…a phrase we don’t really use here in Australia. A more generic Christmas greeting here would be: “Merry Xmas”.

My grandfather opening his Christmas cards went into his 90s.

By the way, I almost forgot to mention that I took part in Solveig Warner’s Advent Calendar again this year where I wrote about Silent Night with an Australian twist: Silent Night. By the way, during my research, I found out that this Christmas Eve will mark the 200th Anniversary of Silent Night.

Anyway, how has your week been? I hope you’ve had a great one and all your preparations for Christmas and/or the holidays are going well.

Well, on that note, I’m heading off. I hope you’ve had a great week. This has been another Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Eclectic Alli.

Best wishes,





Christmas Coffee Share!

Welcome to our Christmas, I mean Boxing Day, Weekend Coffee Share.

We hope you and yours have had a wonderful Christmas, celebrating the season.

Not quite sure what to other you in the way of drinks this week. I’m leaning towards tea or coffee with a slice of Christmas Cake or toasted Stollen.

We celebrated Christmas Day with lunch at my aunt’s place with the extended family and then back to my parent’s place for “dinner”. The kids spent much of the day in the pool mucking around with my cousins. I didn’t get in yesterday, although I did manage a pre-Christmas dip in my parents’ pool.


Never too old for pool toys!

It’s now Boxing Day Monday and we’re perched in front of the TV set watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Winds are currently 10-15 knots yet to the untrained eye, they appear stronger. The yachts are keeling over at about a 45 degree angle. While I’m no veteran of the race, they seem to leaning over more than usual.

Yesterday, my aunt asked our son when he’s going into the Sydney-to-Hobart. Give him a few years. He starts racing locally in January.


Start Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2016.

By the way, Perpetual Loyal made it out of Sydney Heads first. We’re still watching, listening to all the sailing talk and giving our son a few lessons. I know watching sailing is no compensation for being out there yourself. However, this is his chance to learn from the masters…and my husband who is providing us with arm chair commentary.

Today, I’m following my father’s Boxing Day Tradition and not doing anything. Well, I am writing and jotting down all the snippets from yesterday.I know writing isn’t doing anything but it’s letting energy out, rather than taking energy in and that’s what I need. So, although I’m in my writing chair surrounded by the family and dogs glancing at the yacht race, I’m still in my own little space bubble. I need to breath. Stretch my wings again. I feel like I’ve been locked in a matchbox and I need to break free. I suspect that’s all the built-up pressure of the end of the year and I’m now  finding myself needing to reflect and debrief. Let myself flow. It’s been so stop start lately that I’ve become jammed somewhere in  between the accelerator and the brakes (if that makes any sense). That description makes a lot of sense to me.

By the way, the camera people were just catapulted off the back of the yachts as they leave Sydney Harbour, picked up by the rescue boat. It sure looked odd and more of an emergency than a planned operation, especially as there are sharks in Sydney Harbour.

Christmas Eve we went to Church and then off to a pot luck dinner. By the way, they were giving away hampers at Church and they were offering them to the person with the loudest voice. No surprises there. My son’s voice boomed out and we’re now feasting on chippies, fruit mince pies etc watching the race. Yum! I’m about to head out to the kitchen for a piece of toasted stollen . More yum. Couldn’t fit in half the goodies yesterday. So while I’m explicitly doing nothing today, I am feasting away.

We went to my aunt’s place in Sydney for the usual big, extended family Christmas and went to my parents’ place afterwards. No one was hungry although I did manage to squeeze in another piece of pudding, custard and brandy butter but only just!

Christmas cake 2014 zoom

Lego Santa Loves Christmas Cake.

I’ve been blogging about the lead up to Christmas, which I thought you might enjoy. I wrote about The Meaning of Christmas Cake. After finally making my Christmas Cake, I’d packed it up to take to my parents’ place mid-week and the dog got in and ate it…Christmas Dogastrophy. Bilbo just asked me to clarify that it wasn’t him. It was Lady, who naturally ended up at the very top of Santa’s naughty list…not that it bothered her. She kept wagging her tail and looking up at us with her huge brown irresistible Cavalier spaniel eyes showing no remorse whatsoever.She very good at that!

Bilbo & Lady

Bilbo & Lady

I also ended up making a second Christmas Cake…the Aussie Harvest Cake. This adventure and indeed, it did turn into an adventure started out with driving round and round trying to find a bottle shop which was open at 10.00PM…All For A Sozzled Christmas Cake. If you’re not into making your own Christmas Cake, you might not appreciate that they’re very heavy drinkers. This one was demanding an entire cup of brandy. I’d be sozzled.


Yet the adventures didn’t end there. I should’ve realized that3 kgs of dried fruit was hugely excessive and that this recipe would produce a monster cake to feed an army. Obviously, I didn’t and that’s how I came to develop the Christmas Cake Workout .

In addition to all the Christmas preparations, I also took part in Friday Fictioneers again. I’m really enjoying these challenges and have been thrilled with the results. If you haven’t tried writing flash fiction, I encourage you to have a go. You might also surprise yourself. American Diner Down Under.

Well, I hope you and yours have had a Merry Christmas and we also wish you a Happy and wonder-filled New Year!

This has been another Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diana at Part-Time Monster and here’s the Link-Up


Rowena, Geoff, Mr, Miss, Bilbo and Lady.

For those who have been following the growth of the sunflower seeds, which were salvaged from the MH17 crash site site in the Ukraine, two are flowering for Christmas.





New…the Christmas Cake Work Out.

Tonight, I’m announcing the Christmas Cake Workout.

Launching a weight loss campaign with only two sleeps til Christmas, has to be the definition of insanity. The ultimate in reverse psychology, going against the flow, being “unique” and dare I say (drum roll)… being a real “individual”!

Yet, that’s me. I’m always blazing my own trail, without the slightest regard for wherever the flow is going. No wonder I often end up “all by myself.”

So, this afternoon  I found myself doing the Christmas Cake Workout.

You must think I’ve got rocks in my head thinking that eating Christmas Cake is going to give me that elusive bikini body. After all, Christmas Cake with all that butter, sugar and boozy dried fruit, is  guaranteed to turn you into a pudding instead.

So, this is a good time for me to point out the fine print. It’s just a minor detail, but with the Christmas Cake Workout, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Success is all in the mixing. Indeed, it’s mixing this huge, monster cake which builds up serious muscle. I can guarantee you’ll be lifting weights at the Olympics afterwards. The mixture is so dense, that just getting the spoon through is hard going.

Given that we’ve only got a small family, you’re probably wondering why I was making a Christmas Cake big enough to feed the entire Australian cricket team and the WAGS (wives & girlfriends). We’re not huge fruitcake fans and certainly have no desire to eat Christmas Cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner, especially after Christmas. Indeed, I much prefer chocolate cake and I only have a few slices of Christmas Cake for tradition’s sake.

So, what on earth was I thinking?


Preparing the Dried Fruits.

Well, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t thinking. I should’ve known that 3 kilos of dried fruit, 8 eggs and 500g of melted butter, signified a huge cake. Indeed, the cake also called for an entire cup of brandy, which either makes it very big, or a seriously heavy drinker. I’d be sozzled if I drank all of that!

Well, the story goes that this recipe was on the back of my Christmas cards. It was quite different to my usual Christmas Cake recipe with walnuts and grated apple in the mix, and looked quite interesting. As I said, it called for 3kg of dried fruit and I thought I’d venture out of my comfort zone and added some dried figs. At this point, I was still well short so I also added some dates. This cake was starting to sound quite exotic.

Anyway, depending on your viewpoint, you could say making this cake was serendipity, divine intervention or meant to be. That’s because Lady, our scoundrel of a dog, ate almost all of the Christmas Cake I’d made using my mother’s recipe. We were just lucky that my Dad has a peculiar aversion to cinnamon and I’d made a dozen smaller cakes for him. They’re all that’s left. So, he’ll now have to share. Sorry, Dad!

Anyway, getting back to the monster cake, the dried fruit and brandy have been stewing in my largest mixing bowl in the fridge for the last 2 days. It might not be a bath tub, but it’s big…and it was full. No room for any other ingredients whatsoever.


So, I decided to mix all the other ingredients together in my large mix master bowl and then split it into three equally large bowls. I divided up the drunk fruits and started stirring. Heave-ho! Yes, those biceps were already starting to pop!


That’s why I’ve called this process: “The Christmas Cake Workout”. This stirring was seriously hard work. In  the end, the mixing spoon couldn’t cope. There was no alternative. It was a case of using the equipment God gave me. I sunk my hands deep into the dough, using my fingers to blend the mixture through the fruit. Once mixed, I managed to get all the dough into one bowl, even if it did require 3 tins to bake.


They now need to rest for three weeks, making them post-Christmas Cakes. Or, perhaps even a cake for next Christmas. Howzat! Imagine being a whole year ahead with my Christmas Cake…

I must’ve wandered into someone else’s life!

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!




Christmas Cake Dogastrophy

If you look into those irresistible, chocolate brown eyes, you would never suspect that cute as a button dog could be capable of such wickedness.

Christmas cake 2014 zoom

The Christmas Cake.

That she could sit there licking her lips seemingly asking for more when she’s all but devoured our homemade Christmas Cake. That’s right. The very same Christmas Cake I made using my mother’s recipe, which has been part of my Christmas every year for at least 45 years or thereabouts (I doubt a 5 month old baby would’ve eaten Christmas Cake, but you never know.)

The world was very different then and so many of our family traditions have disappeared. So, this Christmas Cake is special. Of course, it doesn’t replace the true meaning of Christmas but it was made with love and the dog gutsed all that love all by herself.

Well, fortunately, she didn’t get all the cake. Thanks to my Dad’s rather peculiar aversion to cinnamon, I’d made a tray of mini Christmas Cakes for him, which I’d safely sealed away in a plastic box.So, it looks like Dad will be sharing.

As for Lady, she showed absolutely no remorse and has shot up to the very top of Santa’s Naughty List.

So, there’ll be no pressies for her…except a potentially nasty tummy ache!

Do you have any Christmas disasters to report? After all, as much as we strive towards a perfect Christmas, most of us are only human and we’re left to blame our mistakes on the dog.

xx  Rowena

All for a Sozzled Christmas Cake…

Yesterday, being the second day of the school holidays, I was driven to desperate measures. Indeed, pushed straight over the brink, I was merely hanging onto my sanity by the barest of fingertips. The kids were asleep. My husband was there to mind the fort. It was almost 10.00PM and I had to get to the bottle shop. I couldn’t wait!

Of course, it wasn’t for me.

I swear it wasn’t.

It was for my Christmas Cake. I’d found an interesting recipe on the back of my Christmas cards and I had to try it out. With only a few sleeps before Christmas, there wasn’t any time to waste. Not that it would be ready in time. Like all Christmas cakes, it has to rest and this one needs more rest than most.

However, if I was a Christmas Cake and I’d drunk an entire cup of straight brandy, I’d need an extended rest too. Indeed, I’d probably need my stomach pumped. Unlike the Christmas cake, I’m not much of a drinker and a humble cup of tea usually does me.

So, there I was cruising the streets at night, desperately needing my cup of brandy. Yet, much to my horror, all the bottle shops were shut. I mean…where’s the Christmas spirit? Evidently, you needed to go to the pub for that.

Go to the pub? Was I that desperate, that unabashed, that I could front up to the bar with my pink melamine measuring cup and order a cup of brandy?

Yes! I was.

As I said, it wasn’t for me. It was for the Christmas cake. Surely, the pub would have a bit of compassion for someone making a Christmas cake a few days before Christmas?

Still, I could see all those bar flies with their huge, bug eyes are staring at me like rotting flesh.

What the?

Even I have to admit it’s weird…like a scene out of Fawlty Towers, Some Mothers Do Have ‘Em  or some more recent comedy show.

I’ve been known to cause  embarrassment before, but this would have taken the cake (forgive the pun).

We live in a beach side town and while there are plenty of people living here, it’s yet another insular peninsula. Nothing’s private. Everybody knows your business and I can tell you that some old chook turning up at the bar ordering brandy in a measuring cup, would not go unnoticed. I’d be the talk of the town and for all the wrong reasons.


Yet, hasn’t anyone else ever been caught out trying to make a Christmas cake a few days before Christmas? Surely, after thousands of years of celebrating Christmas, I am not the only one…the very first?!!

By the way, if you’ve never made your own Christmas Cake, you probably don’t know about their heavy drinking habits.

Of course, they have all sorts of excuses. I mean, if I earned a dollar for every time I’ve heard a Christmas cake blame the dried fruit, I’d be a very wealthy woman. But you try giving a thirsty Christmas Cake a few glasses of water, and you’ll soon see their true colours. They’ll be throwing that slice of lemon straight back at you and demanding the hard stuff…whiskey, brandy, rum. If you’re on a budget, you might be lucky. They might settle for a sherry, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. These Christmas cakes hold nothing back and that’s why they’re always at the very top of Santa’s Naughty List.

Indeed, if you drank a cup of straight brandy, I’m sure you’d be at the top of the Naughty List too!

With the bottle shops shut and feeling too intimidated to go to the pub, I did consider Facebooking a few friends. Who could I pop in on at 10.00PM asking for a cup of brandy rather than the usual cup of sugar? I’m sure we all know a few likely characters, but by this stage, I’d finally accepted defeat. I decided to head back to the bottle shop in the morning.

Meanwhile, before I call it a night, I have some advice for Santa.


Beware of eating too much Christmas Cake. I don’t know if they have random breath testing for sleighs,  but you don’t want to end up at the top of your own naughty list.

I’m not quite sure how many standard drinks are going to be in this Christmas cake by the time it’s done. Although much of the alcohol will be cooked out of the cake, you keep adding it as it ferments. It’s going to be sozzled.

So, my piece of wisdom for this Christmas…

Be careful before you eat and drive!

Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

Wishing you a cautious Merry Christmas and some moderated “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

xx Rowena


I must admit it feel odd walking out of the bottle shop at lunch time with a bottle in a brown paper bag. It’s not mine! I swear it’s not mine!


Baked with Love: Our Aussie Christmas Cake.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not all that sure that I really like Christmas Cake. Being more of a death-by-chocolate chocoholic, I’d much rather some wickedly indulgent, melt-in-your-mouth, oozy rich chocolate cake. Indeed, I have been known to add the boiled up Christmas fruit to a chocolate cake mix, which was a fabulous alternative to tradition. Yet, like the Canadian salmon swimming upstream to their birthplace to reproduce, I keep returning to my mother’s Christmas cake recipe year after year and reproducing that.

To quote the great but “vintage” Professor Sumner Miller: Why is that so?

Why is it So? Professor Julius Sumner Miller

Well, while the end product might be a bit iffy, the mixture tastes sensational what with all that butter and brown sugar beaten together and that silky smooth divine sweetness when you beat in the eggs. Wow! It’s just the kind of thing that’s going to lure in little fingers, big fingers and if you’re not careful, the dog might even help themselves.

Mister supervising the mixing of the scrumptious brown sugar and butter. Yum!

Mister supervising the mixing of the scrumptious brown sugar and butter. Yum!

But delving into the deepest recesses of my memory, I’m remembering Christmases past when I also needed to stand up on a chair to reach the kitchen bench. My mother used to grease the empty butter wrappers to line the bottom of what is now a prehistoric cake tin. Of course, this shell of silver, Alzheimer’s-inducing aluminum knew nothing of Teflon surfaces and almost seemed designed to grip hold of your precious cake and rip it to bits. This was also in the days before easy-to-use baking paper when life was “Pure & Simple” or smears of greasy butter.

In the nature of family recipes, Mum’s Christmas cake recipe was originally known as “Deidre’s Christmas Cake”. Mum and Deidre went to Music College together and some 50 years later are still close friends and now grandmothers. Deirdre originally found the recipe in the Sydney Morning Herald. Mum has been baking this recipe most of my life and she’s renowned for her small servings of cake about the size of a matchbox. However, over the last couple of years, making the Christmas cake has become my job and I’ve made it with my kids who, of course, love the mixture, licking the beaters and being rough n’ tumble mini Masterchefs-in-training.

Howzat! Geoff gets the bowl...an act of true love and incredible sacrifice!!

Howzat! Geoff gets the bowl…an act of true love and incredible sacrifice!!

Like all good family recipes, there’s always a story to tell: the good, the bad and the ugly.

My story relates to last Christmas when the kids and I hastily made our Christmas Cake in the 3 days I had before I started chemo. While not one for catastrophising and melodrama, I was concerned that the cure might kill me, instead of the cause. With only 3 very short days to get my affairs in order, I frenetically did what I could and what was considered “essential”. For me, that meant having a proper Christmas and that meant baking the Christmas Cake, writing Christmas cards and writing about what was happening. In what was something of a funny, comic sub-plot, my daughter’s best friend who had been living in Poland for the last five years, suddenly arrived in Sydney on holidays during this waiting game before chemo. So my list of essentials also included play dates and baking the traditional Marble Cake with the girls. Miss was so excited to have her friend back and there was no way I was going to let chemo or my health get in the way of that but it was funny the sort of things you get up to while going through chemo. A time when you strangely expect the world to stand still until you’re ready to return to the real world, which, of course, never happens!!

I will blame the upcoming chemo for the “Great Christmas Cake Mistake” where I accidentally and haphazardly used Self-Raising Flour instead of Plain Flour. I didn’t know what this would mean at the time and didn’t think it would be too much of a problem. However, the end product was quite different to the usual Christmas cake. All the boiled fruit had sunk to the bottom and instead of the usually dense cake, which could well substitute a brick through a window, it was comparatively light with a top layer of cake. Rather than being a mistake, Mum and I both wondered whether it was an improvement.

Another thing I’ve discovered along the Christmas Cake journey, is that Christmas cakes are made to be eaten…especially in a hot Australian summer. After a conservative approach to consuming the cake, the weevils beat me to it and the much prized, home-made Christmas cake became bin fodder. I hate any kind of food waste but it was particularly painful throwing out my Christmas cake!

Of course, we all know that organised someone who bakes their Christmas Cake precisely 3 months before Christmas. The 25th September is circled and reserved in their calendar in bright red pen as: “Christmas Cake Day”. However, following in my mother’s footsteps, our cake was made 11 days before Christmas. Oops. I forgot. That was only the first part. There was a considerable amount of mixture left over which didn’t fit inside the pan and is now “maturing” inside my fridge. Made note to self to deal with that tomorrow. I’m very tempted to split it with Geoff and have it for dessert. We have family who eat pudding mix…aoll of the pudding mix instead of cooking it. Somehow, that seems very naughty and indulgent but I’ve enjoyed joining in and it tastes great!

When it came to making this year’s Christmas cake, time was running out and we had a lot on.So that meant baking the cake last Saturday  while Miss was at dance rehearsals and having a mother & son experience with Mister. He’s now becoming quite adept in the kitchen after all our efforts throughout the year.

Mister cuts the butter into "slices of bread".

Mister cuts the butter into “slices of bread”.

This went very well and Mister had great fun turning the slab of butter into “slices of bread” and well as sampling the mixture to ensure it hadn’t been poisoned.

There is something truly fabulous about baking with the kids and sharing that bond together…especially now that they’re not just doing their own thing and throwing ingredients into the mix master willy nilly. Stuffing up the recipe like this used to drive me absolutely wild…such waste! We’ve had a few accidents over the years not to mention experiments and “mixtures” appearing while I’ve been otherwise engaged. The worst took place just before Christmas in 2010 (aged 6 and 4) when the kids created Food-Colouring Soup in several, lurid rainbow colours. As you can see, this was splashed around the kitchen floor like a Rorshauge painting or the proverbial bomb going off.

The Kitchen Crisis...too much creativity and not enough respect.

The Kitchen Crisis…too much creativity and not enough respect.

How would you respond to this catastrophe?

How would you respond to this catastrophe?








You can just imagine my response. I rang Santa directly and told him not to come!!

I was also thankful that I hadn’t renovated the house at the time. The mess was heartbreakingly bad…widespread destruction!

However, as much as the mess, the accidents and deaf ears can drive me over the edge, cooking is certainly bonding our family together and makes excellent glue. We are now having quite a lot of fun together and the kids are learning very valuable and practical life skills and becoming independent.

So here it is:

A tried and tested tradition: pinching the mixture!

A tried and tested tradition: pinching the mixture!

Mum’s Christmas Cake

The cake is made in two stages. In stage one, the dried fruit is boiled in a saucepan and left to “mature” overnight. Stage 2, is the cake mix.

Boiling the Fruit: Ingredients

2 packed cups Sultanas

1 packed cup Raisins

1.5 cups Currants

1/2 packed cup Prunes – very finely chopped

1/4 cup Mixed Peel (I leave this out)

Finely grated rind 1 lemon & 1 orange

1/4 cup of each of orange & lemon juice

1/4 cup Sherry

1/4 cup Marsala


Place the above ingredients in a large saucepan. Cover and cook on low heat stirring occasionally until the fruit is soft. Watch closely as the fruit mix can easily burn. Leave overnight.


210 grams of butter

1.5 cups packed brown sugar

5 eggs

1 lvl tablespoon Plum Jam

10 oz Plain Flour (1 cup + 2 tablespoons)

1/2 Teas Baking Powder

100g Glace Cherries halved

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Blanched Almonds or macadamia nuts


  1. Preheat the oven on to 150˚C .
  2. Using your mix master, cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and then add jam.
  4. Sift dry ingredients and add to mix.
  5. Fold through fruit mix and add chopped glace cherries and blanched almonds or macadamia nuts.
  6. Grease tin and line with baking paper to prevent bottom from burning.
  7. Top cake with blanched almonds or macadamia nuts unless you intend to ice the cake.
  8. Cover cake with foil and check during cooking to prevent the top of cake from burning. Remove during cooking time.
  9. Bake in a slow oven at 150˚C for 3 hours.
  10. Splash a bit of sherry over the top of the hot cake.
  11. Cool in the tin.
  12. Nigella Lawson recommends: when the cake has cooled, wrap it tightly in a double layer of greaseproof paper or baking parchment (parchment paper) followed by a double layer of foil and then store it in an airtight container or tin in a cool place away from direct sunlight. Do not wrap the cake directly in foil as the fruit in the cake can react with the foil. If you are making the cake more than 3 months in advance then you will need to “feed” it occasionally to help it to stay moist. Feeding involves brushing the surface of the cake with a couple of tablespoons of alcohol (brandy, whisky or bourbon are the most popular choices). This is usually done after the cake has been baked, but if storing for a long period we would suggest unwrapping the cake and feeding it every 4 to 6 weeks then re-wrapping it after feeding. http://www.nigella.com/kitchen-queries/view/When-to-Make-Christmas-Cakes/270
  13. Store the Christmas cake in a cake tin, NOT a plastic container as it can go moldy.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry and Blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!!

Love Rowena, Geoff, Mister, Miss, Bilbo & Lady.

Lego Santa Loves Christmas Cake.

Lego Santa Loves Christmas Cake.