If Santa asked, which I know he won’t, I’d like to be a super hero. Just for one day.
Can you wrap that under the tree? Probably not.
What would my magical powers be?
It might be cool to be invisible. Truly though, I think I’m past caring what people are doing/saying when I’m not there.
Is looking like Stacy Keibler considered a super power? Think it might be, if it means spending the night with George Clooney.
No no no. I guess I’d have to forego that kind of fun and be a bit more practical for my special day. Thoughtful even.
That would be pretty decent of me.
Let’s face it though, if Santa was real and super powers were presents he delivered, I am pretty sure world peace would be a given.
Or at least I’d like to think.
So I could be a little selfish. Make it about me.
But like wishes, if I tell you, it might not come true.
So here’s a clue. It’s in the title. The opposite of. And it’s nothing to do with cake. Begins with an “O” and depending on whether you’re English or American could possibly have an “S” or a “Z” in it.
Just for one day.
Last Minute Christmas Cake with Brandy Butter Icing
Yes I know there is only a few days left until Christmas. Three more sleeps as my kids would say. So this really is last minute. Apart from the soaking of the fruit, which does take a good ten hours if not over-night, everything can be done the same day. It’s moist, it’s fruity, it’s boozy. Everything a good christmas cake demands. It keeps for three weeks too so perfect for all the post-Christmas gatherings should you not get it out quite in time. (If like me you are also doing your Christmas food shopping tomorrow, then add the ingredients to your list. Everyone will be amazed at how organised you’ve been!)
For the cake:
175g pitted dates halved
175g currants and/or sultanas
45g mixed peel
85g dried pineapple chunks
85g dried chopped apricots
25g chopped candied ginger
250ml ginger beer
200g golden caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon almond essence
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
For the icing:
2 tablespoons brandy
115g unsalted butter
60ml semi skimmed milk
1tsp Vanilla Extract
500g icing sugar
Combine the raisins, dates, currants, sultanas, mixed peel, pineapple chunks, apricots, candied ginger with the brandy and ginger beer in a large bowl. Cover and leave for at least ten hours but best over-night.
When you are ready to make, preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm cake tin (9cm depth) and line the base with baking paper.
Cream the butter and the sugar in a bowl using an electric mixer until it is pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each.
Mix the flour and baking powder together into another bowl and stir into creamed mixture using a spoon.
Drain the dried fruit and discard the excess liquid. Add this to the mixture along with the orange zest, almond extract and spices. Mix until it is combined.
Spoon mixture in to the prepared cake tin and even out the top with a spatula.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour and 25 minutes. A skewer should come out clean when it is ready. Keep an eye on the top of the cake and if it begins to brown place a bit of baking paper over it.
To make the icing: beat the butter, milk and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sieved icing sugar until you have a smooth, light and creamy mixture. Then add the brandy, adding more to taste if desired.
The cake must be cool before icing!
NB I used the same mixture to make a layer cake using 8″ and 6″ pans. I then doubled the amount of icing I made. You can frost the cake with a layer of marzipan and another of fondant icing if you want. Re the dried fruit. You can pick and choose on that as long as you stick to the overall amount. So feel free to use more of one thing and less of another or something new all together. Cranberries and blueberries are possible additions.
Happy holidays everyone! And a prosperous and peaceful new year.