Goodness me, how organised am I?! As I type, I am breathing in the gorgeous smell of cooking Christmas cakes. Last year's efforts were such a diasaster - I made nine at once, put several in my neighbour's oven, had the temperature up too high and forgot about them - resulting in burned outsides. A classic example of getting too cocky.
So, this year, I am experimenting. A month ago, I put over 2kg of cake fruit in to macerate with a can of Guiness. A week later, I added another can. I was concerned that using beer would cause the fruit to go mouldy or ferment or something. It turned out to be a huge success however. The liquor I drained off it today is thick and unctious, not too alcoholly, and not too sweet, which is what I was hoping for.
The fruit made two square cakes - usually I make round ones because I have so many round tins, but now I have access to all those cake tins for hire, why not! (We hire all kinds of cake tins out).
Anyway, once the cakes are cooked, a couple of hours to go I suspect, and cooled, I will prick them with a skewer and pour the liquor back into the cake. Yum.
Next up, the 'real' Christmas cakes, which instead of being entirely done with (top quality) fruit cake mix, include figs, dates, apricots, ginger and dried cherries. It doesn't need such a long soaking, which is just as well. Time is flying towards Christmas, and with the shop side of it as well as family and friends, I am needing to be a bit more organised.
Thank Goodness for MrC, who is holding the fort at the shop so I can escape and bake, and then go and sew. Happiness Aplenty!!