Christmas Cake – preparing for festivity!

With the addition of Sailor Jerry to this fruit cake you’ll have a spicy soaked fruit sensation for this year’s festivities

This year I am making my first Christmas Cake!  Exciting times I know…although a little white lie as I made one when I was in high school as a surprise for my Mum and Grandma, that was entertaining trying to buy miniatures without them knowing!  The one problem with Christmas Cake and the reason we have not united in Baking-Matrimony in so long is down to the devil’s MARZIPAN!  My mate Nic loves the stuff and yet I can’t think of anything worse…Christmas is full of the stuff…on Christmas Cake, in Stollen and even those damned marzipan fruits.  Anyhoo, I decided not to let this little hurdle prevent me from making a delectable delight which to be honest I could simply NOT marzipan.

So here is a nifty Zobird’s-Twist recipe inspired heavily by the wonderful Jamie Oliver, who I am loving with all his indulgent delights in his Comfort Food series and equally by leafing through his Save with Jamie book – in Costco for a bargainous £4.99!  His recipe you can find here or you can take a risk by trialling my interpretation below:

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Cranberry & Mince Pies

Mmmm a true festive treat…with a little additional fruity twist…cranberry sauce!

Now anyone who knows me, is aware of the fact that I LOVE a good bargain! From my school frocks that total £3.50, thank you ASDA, to the various ‘whoops’ items in the chilled cabinet and the Christmas decorations I now buy on Boxing Day for the following year at 75% discount.  Old?! Me?! No! Just wise hehe!  Anyhoo…the way this tenuous rant links to mince pies is simple.  Sainsbury’s like to sell off mincemeat after Christmas for silly prices as they’d rather not have it sat around.  Surely it’s out of date soon you cry!  Nope, this massive tub I purchased for only 40p last December (2012) doesn’t run out of date until May 2014!!!  What’s more, being the amazing product it is, it lasts 6weeks once opened, so as a result I didn’t even open it until 2 weeks ago at the Tynemouth Christmas Shopping Night where I baked Mincemeat Macaroons for charity at Ruby & Frank and still had SHED LOADS of the mincemeat left. Continue reading »