This week I have been doing a lot of decorating and for once it's not cakes, it's my living room. I decided to paint one big wall in the room a deep red colour, so cue lots of red paint everywhere, including a ton in my hair and just the right amount on the walls. The end result makes the room look warmer and the colour gets me in the mood for Christmas, and cuddling up watching Christmas films on the couch with hot chocolate and cakes.
however I have also been baking and about 7 weeks ago now I started the first of my Christmas baking by soaking all the fruit for my Christmas cake and last week it was time to bake the cake. Both the boozy fruit and the cake recipe was taken from the pink whisk and as she explains if you are late starting it can still work with just soaking the fruit for a week. Any way here is my completed cake.
I also mentioned in my last blog how there had been quite a few birthdays recently and the latest ones where my boyfriend's and my friend Mandie, they fall just a day apart and we went for tepenyaki and then on to a tiki themed bar with cocktails served in treasure chests and pineapples. any way the day before we went out everyone was coming round to my house to give the birthday girl and boy their presents and I decided way to late to make 2 little cakes, one each. So they really were a rush job but hey they still tasted like cake and hey that's all that counts. Any way Mandie thankfully took a few photos on her phone as I didn't think to so here they are, not the best photos or decorating but here you go:
Any way Amanda's cake was a small cupcake shaped cake decorated with leftover Icing from my bazinga cake in the last blog. And Neil's cake was a heart shaped chocolate cake iced to look like a box of chocolates and topped with chocolates, this cake is a shoddy thrown together copy of a cake I saw on Bakerella.com a while back.
Anyway onto this weeks baking, After soaking my fruit for my Christmas cake I was left with little bits of this and little bits of that, but not enough of one thing to make anything so I decided to combine all the leftovers with a little spice to make a easy traybake that uses all my leftovers but still tastes good. I first followed a basic recipe for Blondie's and amended it to fit my flavours. The result I was a soft yummy cake that could easily be sliced into bars. It had warming flavours perfect for the winter and ensured my leftovers didn't go to waste. The Blondie's themselves turned out a little more cakey than I had expected, soft and light rather than gooey but that was fine. Also even though I used all my leftovers this recipe definitely could have fitted more fruit in if you wanted to pack your blondie's. Any way here they are:
And here's how they're made:
220g Light brown sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
(Little bit of milk if needed)
2 tsps Golden Syrup
About 10 Cherries (As I said before with the fruit use as much as you want or have left)
25g Dried Cranberries
25g Flaked almonds, broken up.
50g Dried Mixed fruit (Raisins, sultanas, mixed peel)
2 Tbs Brandy (Optional)
1 Tsp Mixed Spice
A good grating (1/4 tsp) of fresh nutmeg
First of all I soaked the dried mixed fruit in the brandy (this I think made the fruit sink lower in the cake so can be left out or added separately)
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and fold in the flour, mixed spice and nutmeg, If the mixture is a little dry/ thick add a touch of milk if needed.
Stir in the treacle, syrup and all your left over fruit and nuts, including the brandy if your using that. To stop any dry fruit from sinking to the bottom, try tossing it in a little flour first.
Pour the prepared mixture into a brownie tin and bake at 180 degC until the Blondie's are baked through. As usual I forgot to time this but it was between 15- 20 minutes.
And that's it, these definitely got me ready for the build up to Christmas.
I've entered this to the The Pink Whisk November Challenge
Bye for now
Cupcake Kris xxx
Linked up to Sweets for Saturday