As promised, this week is Mary Berry‘s Christmas Cake and I make a few christmas cakes as gifts and usually look for a different recipe each year so this fitted in well. I don’t usually leave making my cakes until the middle of December but I just don’t know where the time has gone!
Anyhow, I wrote a shopping list of all the ingredients that Mary’s recipe calls for and I had a good work out carrying all the bags needed for the sizes of cakes I needed to make. I used the chart on the other page of Mary’s Bible to see what size tin I was using and the quantity needed. I had purchased an amazing tin from Lakeland last year ( yes, I just love Lakeland!) which is a massive tin on its own but has dividers so it can make varying size cakes. I used my tin divided into four to make four smaller cakes.
My next workout was weighing out all the ingredients and then mixing them by hand- I found muscles I didn’t know I had! I also had the fun of lining each of the tin sections individually. ( I had left the fruit to soak in the brandy as Mary recommended by the time I did this.)
Finally, after a huge amount of mixing , the cake mix was divided and the cakes went into the oven………for FOUR hours! They have come out a very rich dark brown, and now need to be wrapped in foil and “fed” for the next few days before decorating. As they will be gifts, and some of the people they are intended for read this, I will take photos and post after they are in receipt of their present!
Week nine already, and because of work commitments, I only had Sunday to clean shop and cook so decided to go for the muffins recipes as I thought “Oh, they’re easy”…….. but I was wrong………..
I decided to do both the blueberry and the chocolate chip muffins as the mix was pretty much the same at the beginning and thought as I was tired and time was short, to halve the recipe and do half the batch as blueberry and half the batch as chocolate chip. I also found at 5pm that I only had enough muffin cases for half of them and decided (oh silly me) to just use normal cake cases for the others but a few more……
Well, we all have baking disasters and Sunday was mine. The muffins didn’t really rise, they were heavy and all stuck like glue to the cases. I decided that I would make them again, but on Monday after a good night’s sleep and a quick dash around Morrison’s to get more cases…blueberries…chocolate chips…etc, think you might be getting the picture….
SO Monday came and I got home from work, took the hairy hoolies for a quick dash in the rain , dried them and got out Mary Berry’s Bible. I read the recipe instructions more carefully and off I set. I had googled the muffins sticking and came upon this blogger who also had the same issues with Mary Berry’s recipe, so I was pleased I wasn’t the only one.http://risingtotheberry.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/chocolate-chip-american-muffins.html
Ok, batch one – the blueberry muffins seemed to go well and so did the second……set the timer and into the oven they went. The result?…………………….
Well they look much better than the first batch, but the test will be- do they stick to the case? Well, they need to cool totally so watch this space….