(Just a taste.)
Am quite exhausted. It appears I haven’t scheduled in any actual sleep between now and Boxing Day. I’m starting to panic a little, squeezing Christmassy activities into every spare hour (wrapping, making gifts, going to look at Christmas lights) but not really scratching many off my list. I was up at 6 again this morning to go do 4 segments on BT, and then was on traffic duty on the Homestretch again tonight until after 6. I did see W in between from 12-2, but even that was a crush of stuff.
Sorry, when did this blog become a Dear Diary, this is what I did today? I suppose it all leads up to dinner, and I need to absolve myself of guilt over ordering Inglewood pizza again. To pick up on the way home. Generally we have Chinese food at least once around the holidays, but we’re lizard-sitting my niece and nephew’s Christmas present, and the “super worms” the thing eats live dangled writhing over its face with a chopstick may have turned me off sesame noodles forever.
I’ve also been eating this mincemeat Christmas cake I made on BT this morning all day – I was calling it 5-Minute Fruitcake, but it really is nothing like a fruitcake – you use jarred all-fruit mincemeat and it comes out this dense, moist, spicy cake that is wonderful plain and I’ve never attempted to ice. Maybe anti-fruitcake? D, who is a fruitcake hater, said this was the best cake she had ever eaten. I wouldn’t go quite that far, but still – it’s pretty good for something you can mix up in under 5 minutes.
The original recipe calls for a high-sided 9 inch round pan (a springform pan would work as well), which creates a cake that is sunken in the middle. I kind of like the look of this, but since this is such a dense batter and such a large quantity baked at once, you could bake it in a Bundt pan (for about 45 minutes) which would prevent the problem of the middle not baking as quickly as the sides. I’ve done both.
Mincemeat Christmas Cake
Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Feast
½ cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
zest of a lemon and an orange (optional)
2 large eggs
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 ½ cups mincemeat (I use all-fruit)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a high-sided 9” round baking pan with parchment and spray the whole thing with nonstick spray.
Put the butter, brown sugar and lemon and orange zest into the bowl of a food processor and blitz it to blend and get rid of any lumps of brown sugar. Whiz in the eggs. Add the flour, baking powder and baking soda and pulse until almost combined; add the mincemeat and pulse just until blended.
Scrape into the pan and bake for 1 ½ hours, until the cake is springy to the touch; if it’s darkening too quickly, lay a piece of tin foil overtop. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
December 22 2008 11:32 pm | cake