Wow, what a great weekend we had with the Elemis Today’s Special Value – I’m so pleased you liked it, and what fantastic value it was too! Keeley’s so nice, and I wasn’t joking when I said that she texted me to say my ‘chest’ was looking fab and what was I using?
It was also brilliant to see the launch of ghd on QVC. I bought my pink straighteners a couple of years ago, as some of the money went to Breast Cancer charities.
And talking of new shows, don’t miss the launch of Dyson this coming Saturday. If you’re in the market for a fab new vacuum cleaner then be sure to tune in at 8pm.
Right, down to the serious stuff! Thanks for all your comments on my chocolate cake recipe, and as promised, here’s the recipe I use for my Christmas cake – hope you enjoy it. By the way, the picture is of me holding the first Christmas cake I made!
450g (1lb) mixed dried fruit
60g (2oz) glace cherries, halved
Grated rind of one lemon
2 tablespoons brandy
140g (5oz) plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
30g (1oz) ground almonds
115g (4oz) soft dark brown sugar
115g (4oz) margarine
1 tablespoon black treacle
3 medium free range eggs
1. Double line a 18cm (7″) round cake tin with greaseproof paper and tie a double thickness of brown paper around the outside of the tin, making sure both lots of paper rise 7.5cm (3″) above the rim of the tin.
2. Put the dried fruit, glace cherries, lemon rind and brandy in a large bowl and mix together well (you can even leave the mixture to stand overnight).
3. Sift the flour and mixed spice into another large bowl. Add the ground almonds, sugar, margarine, black treacle and eggs and beat together for 2 – 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and glossy. It shouldn’t be too runny, if it is you can add another 30g (1oz) of flour to thicken it up a little.
4. Using a large metal spoon, add the fruit to the flour mixture and fold until the fruit is evenly distributed.
5. Let everyone in the family have a stir and make a wish!
6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the top over with the back of the spoon. Bake in the centre of a preheated cool oven (140C/275F/gas mark 1)for two and a half hours. If the cake is evenly risen and starting to shrink from the sides of the tin, then it’s cooked. If not, pop it back into the oven for another 15 – 20 minutes.
7. When the cake is cold remove it from the tin but leave the greaseproof paper in place. Using a thin, sharp bladed knife, make about a dozen holes in the cake and spoon over 4 – 6 tablespoons of brandy. Cover the top of the cake with a disc of greaseproof paper and fold sides over it to complete the wrapping. Then wrap in tin foil and store upside down in a cool place.
I usually make my cake on the first weekend of December, then marzipan and ice it on Christmas Eve and let the children lose on the decorations! Do let me know how your versions turn out.
All the best,