Hi my lovely readers!
And hello November! Can you believe that the year is almost over? This time of year is my favourite. It is my birthday in November and Christmas is around the corner, which is my favourite holiday of all times. I love all the coziness, sparkles, decorating the tree and the list goes on.
And this year Christmas is already starting in November, at least according to German traditions. Therefore, I will be getting out my Christmas decorations already in three weeks, yippee!
I always look forward to the Christmas cookies, cakes and of course baking them myself. When the flat is filled with those gorgeous smells, that is when I have a smile on my face and that is what makes me happy and content.
And right now, we need those comfort foods more than ever as sadly lockdown is back for some of us, including the UK, or more restrictions are back in place. That means more time inside and definitely time for comfort food, cooking and baking to make us feel better. We need it again!
Autumn and winter calls for richer cakes that include lots of nuts and dried fruits that are incorporated in many desserts and nibbles now. So is this cake that I made yesterday.
It is packed with dried fruits and if you do not have dates for example, replace them with other dried fruits such as apricots, cranberries, figs, what ever dried fruit you have. The same goes for the nuts. If you do not have mixed nuts, make this cake with hazelnuts or almonds. This cake is versatile and can be adapted to what you currently have at home.
Ingredients (Serves 16 Slices):
- 100 g Mixed Peel
- 100 g Dates
- 100 g Butter
- 100 g Sugar
- 1 Pack Vanilla Sugar or 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Eggs
- 25 ml Spiced Rum
- 1 Knife Tip Cinnamon
- 150 g Chopped Mixed Nuts
- 200 g Currents
- 100 g Flour
- 40 g Corn Starch
- 1 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tbs Lemon Juice
- 75 g Icing Sugar
1. Firstly, take the butter and eggs out of the fridge and allow to soften and warm up to room temperature for about 30 min or so. Next, prepare your 900g/2lb loaf tin by lining it with baking parchment.
2. Prepare your fruits and nuts. Pit the dates, if the stones are still inside and chop into small pieces. Do the same for the nuts. I opted for around the same size as the mixed peel. Add the mixed peel and currents to the nuts and fruits. They can all go into one bowl. Safes on the washing up later.
3. Now that the butter has softened, combine it with the sugar and vanilla sugar and cream with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one to the mixture, whisking after each addition. Add the cinnamon and rum and mix one more time until everything is well combined.
4. Time to turn your attention to the oven. Turn it on and preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius fan. Warming up the oven should not take to long and will give you enough time to finish preparing the cake mixture.
5. Add the nuts, mixed peel, currents and dates to the creamed egg mixture and combine. You will notice that there will be a lot of fruits and nuts. This is a packed cake so do not be surprised.
6. Combine the flour, baking powder and corn starch and mix a little. Add to the cake mix in batches.
7. Add the cake mixture to your prepared tin and bake in the oven for around 75 min. If the cake top starts to brown too fast, cover it with some aluminium foil to stop the browning. Insert a skewer into a few places of the cake when the time is up to check if it is fully backed. If the skewer comes out clean and the cake is baked through, take it out of the oven and allow to cool for 10 min before removing it from the tin.
8. Move the cake to a wire rack and allow to cool for another 30 min or so. To prepare the glaze, combine the lemon juice and icing sugar. If it is too runny, add some more icing sugar. Garnish the cake in whatever pattern you like. It can be lines, crosses or you can cover the cake completely. There is no right or wrong, just what you like.