It is now time to enjoy the fruits of the harvest like the apples and plums along with the new season raisins and sultanas and plump cherries, I know we can get them all year round in the shops but they do actually have a beginning and an end to the season.
It is great to seethe new season dried fruit coming in, plump cherries and juicy lemon and orange peel along with the fresh almonds and walnuts, yes the new season Christmas fruit is here.
This week I have given you a recipe for a hot tea brack using luxury fruit mix which we mix up from our Californian raisins and Australian sultanas along with currants from South Africa and juicy cherries and peel from Spain which all makes for a very nice cut and come again Teabrack, along with a variation on a classic Victorian Sandwich flavoured with orange or some mount watering Macaroons. So it is time to getbaking!
1lb/448g Luxury Fruit Mix, including peel & cherries
12fl oz/360ml Hot Tea, Earl Gray or Herbal can also be used
1 beaten Egg
8oz/224g Brown Sugar
8oz/224g Self Raising Flour, sieved
1tsp Mixed Spice
Place the sugar, spice and fruit in a bowl and cover with the hot tea, allow to cool then add in the beaten egg and sieved flour and give a good stir. Pour into a loaf tin about 4” x 9” (2lb tin) lined with baking parchment, place in a preheated oven 160º and bake for about 1½ hours until cooked.
When you press the top of the brack with your finger it shouldspring back up, allow to cool. Serve it sliced well buttered, this brack has no butter in it, sometimes I rub 2oz/56g of butter into the flour, it makes a slightly more crumbly cake. This brack cooks to a dark colour, if you wish after 1 hour you could cover it with brown paper.
Orange Victoria Sandwich
8oz/224g Castor Sugar
8oz/224g Self Raising Flour
4 Free Range Eggs
2 level tsp Baking Powder
Zest of 1 large Orange
Grease 2 x 8”/20cm round sandwich tins, line the base with a disc of baking parchment.
Place all the above ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and turn on high speed for a minute then turn off and scrape down the mixture with a spatula, I do this about three times then I divide the mixture between the two greased tins.
I place them in a preheated oven at 160º for about 40 to 45 minutes until cooked (press the centre of the cake with your fingers it should spring back up).
Do not open the oven door before the 40 minutes or you run the risk of sinking the cake.
When cooked remove the cake from the oven and transfer them out on to a cooling rack, allow them to get cold while you make a nice orange filling and icing for the top of the cake.
8oz/224g Icing Sugar
Zest of 1 Orange
1tbsp Fresh Orange Juice
Cream the butter and add in the sugar and orange zest along with some orange juice to make a nice creamy filling.
Icing for the top of the cake
8oz/224g Icing Sugar
Fresh Orange Juice
Place the sugar in a bowl and wet with some fresh orange juice to make a nice soft pouring icing.
When the cakes are cold cut each cake in half, spread with some filling then sandwich all together, you now have a cake with three layers of filling. Place the cake on a plate or board and pour the orange icing all over the top allowing it to run a little down the side.
Serve on a nice cake plate or stand. There is good cutting in this cake and well worth all the work (it makes for a nice birthday cake, just write the name on it in chocolate and place a candle on top).
4oz/112g Ground Almonds
3 Egg Whites
2oz/56g Castor Sugar
3tbsp Cocoa Powder
6oz/168g Icing Sugar
Place the icing sugar, cocoa and ground almonds in a bowl and give a good stir up until everything is well blended together. Place the egg white in a mixing bowl and whisk on high speed until stiff then fold in the castor sugar. Add the ground almond mixture and stir lightly, the egg white mixture will collapse slightly but should be thick enough to leave the mark of the spoon. Take a large baking tray and lay a sheet of baking parchment on it, fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe 20 macaroons on to the tray, leave a nice bit of space between them. Place in a preheated oven 160º for about 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and allow to cool then remove from the baking tray. You can serve them as they are or sandwich with chocolate