Archive for October, 2007

Apricot Brandy Cake – mixing & baking

October 31, 2007

Much later than I promised (due to circumstances beyond my control), here is the info on how to complete the Apricot Brandy Cake. Just as well I gave a link to the recipe! Stage one, mixing the fruit and the booze is a few posts back.

Making an Apricot Brandy Cake - stage two (completion)

Stage one is two posts back.

1. Assemble the ingredients
assemble the ingredients
225g/8oz butter, at room temperature
225g/8oz light muscovado sugar
225g/8oz plain flour
4 large eggs
350g/12oz glace cherries, halved, rinsed and dried
2 oranges, grated zest only

Pre-heat the oven to Pre-heat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.

2. Line the tin with greaseproof paper
line the tin with greaseproof paper measuring greaseproof for the sides of the tin
You’ll need a double layer, you don’t want it to burn. Draw round the base of the tine for the bottom (and some for the top). You can roll the tin along the paper to get the right size – remember to allow for an overlap.

4. Cherries, orange rind and flour
chopped cherries, grated orange rind, weighed flour & sugar
Wash the cherries so they are not too sticky. Chop them up. Just in half if you like big pieces of cherry in your cake. I prefer smaller, more evenly distributed pieces so I chope mine smaller.
Grate the zest from the oranges.

5. Cream the butter and sugar.
cream the butter and sugar
I use a food procesor. If you want to develop your arm muscles you can beat with a spoon. Add the eggs and continue mixing/beating till combined.

6. In a very large bowl, combine the butter/sugar/egg mixture with the flour/cherry/orange zest mixture.
cake mix with the orange zest and glace cherries

7. Stir in the mixed fruit and brandy mixture
stir in the mixed fruit and brandy mixture
which has been soaking for days or weeks.

8. Put the mixture into the lined cake tin.
ready to put in the oven - apricot brandy cake

It is now ready to put in the oven.

9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 3½ hours or until the cake is a golden brown colour, feels firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Keep an eye on the cake and if it is getting too brown, cover it loosely with foil.

10. Allow the cake to cool in the tin, then turn it out.
Apricot Brandy Cake Apricot Brandy Cake
Wrap in greaseproof paper and store in an cake tin or box. It will keep for ages (at least a year) if, every so often, you poke holes in the cake with a skewer and spoon or pour more brandy over it.


Getting back on track

October 28, 2007

Things have been strange in my world for a while. My partner had a motorbike accident seven weeks ago (see my ‘Countdown to Fifty’ blog for the story).

 For the first few days I forgot to eat (I never thought I’d ever do that!) then I ate way too much chocolate for a while. Add to that a two week holiday in Italy with lots of red wine, ice cream and pasta (on the plus side, for my figure, a lot of walking while sightseeing, too). I haven’t put all the weight back on and I can still get into the smaller trousers I boasted about in an earlier post. But I need to get serious again.

I’ve joined the flickr group 365 Days. You post a self-portrait for each day of the year. For my day 5 picture I posted this

with the following “I need to lose 4 or 5 stone (56 to 70 pounds)”.

Someone commented “4 or 5 stone!!! you’ve got some ambition.”

I will prove that I can do it! 
As well as using the 365 I’m getting back on track with the Photo-diet Project (where I am now ‘photo-dieter’) and using the the photocena – come and have a look.