I made Christmas cakes on Sunday. Yes, cakes. I'm not really a domestic goddess, I made baked bean tin Christmas cakes from this post by Jules. Actually, it was a bit of a long process. First, I bought the fruit and started soaking it a couple of weeks ago, in brandy.
We also had to eat our way through 12 little baked bean tins. The children enjoyed this challenge, discovering new flavours of pasta and beans with sausages, but not Dora the Explorer pasta. I'm not daft, it would cost me a fortune as small tins of beans and pasta seem to cost approximately twice as much as large tins.
Once washed out and all the ingredients purchased, I set aside Sunday afternoon to do this. Jules warns in her post that lining the tins is fiddly and boy, she is not wrong. I started at about half past two and even with Missy Woo "helping" me, I didn't finish lining the tins until 4.45 - at which point, I thought I had better make tea for everyone then get on with the actual mixing and baking. (Do as Jules says if you do this - buy paperclips to hold the paper in place, it really helps.
The recipe is quite generous in amounts. That or I've got small tins! I tried not to overload the tins but went back round to fill them nicely. And finally, just before the Strictly dance-off, the tins finally reached the oven. Interestingly, the cake mixture rises quite a bit - which surprised me as the flour is plain and there is no baking powder added either, so it must be the eggs or something. I placed whole almonds on the top of a few cakes before I put the cakes in the oven, so that they can be left plain as not everyone likes marzipan and icing.
Once cooked, I left them to cool and they were still warm at midnight. I was therefore removing them from tins at 1am, before putting them into storage boxes. These are being saved for Christmas presents, some for teachers, some for family and I'll get the kids to help me decorate them.
Also, on the theme of Christmas preparations, I have damson vodka hiding in the airing cupboard, and some recipes ready to hand to make in the run up to Christmas. And yes, I've bought some presents with some to buy but that's boring. I like making Christmas presents for people to eat.
How about you?