Saturday, December 17, 2011

Possibly The Best Fruitcake Ever


Today was my day for getting into the festive mood. I wrapped the gifts, put up the decorations that Chloe wouldn't be able to reach and planned my Christmas lunch menu! Why oh why do they use tins of a size and shape that are so hard to find. I must have over twenty cake tins but do you think I have the correct size? So, I'll just have to improvise. I did however make a spectacular Christmas cake the other day which is called, (wait for it) "Possibly The Best Fruitcake Ever"from the Sunbeam Foods website. We've already eaten a quarter of it so I thought I'd share the recipe. It's seriously good!

POSSIBLY THE BEST FRUITCAKE EVER

Ingredients

500g Sunbeam Raisins
250g Sunbeam Pitted Prunes, chopped
250g Sunbeam Pitted Dates, chopped
125g Sunbeam Sultanas
125g Sunbeam Currants 
200g glace cherries
1 cup rum or brandy (If you don't use alcohol in your cooking an alternative is apple juice or cold tea)
250g butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
4 x 60g eggs
200g dark chocolate
1/2 cup apricot jam
1/2 cup apricot nectar
2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup SR flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Icing sugar for dusting

Method

Mix the dried fruit in a large bowl and add the rum (or brandy) and leave for a day or two.

Line a large tin (mine was a 25cm square tin which is 8cm deep. The recipe calls for a 23cm round cake tin) with a double layer of baking paper on sides and base. Wrap outside of tin with a double thickness of brown paper and tie with string. (I didn't wrap the outside)

Heat oven to 160°C.

Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy, then beat in the eggs well, one by one. Add to fruit and mix well.

Melt the chocolate in a small pan over simmering water, or in the microwave for two minutes, then stir in the jam and nectar and pour over the fruit. Stir well.

Fold in the flour and cinnamon, and tip the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Smooth the top and tap the pan against the worktop to settle the contents and remove air holes.

The length of time for baking will depend on your oven. I have a fan forced oven and in the large square tin it took 2 1/4 hours but the recipe says 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove from the oven, leave in the tin, wrap in kitchen towels and leave overnight.

Dust with icing sugar before serving. As I said, it's seriously good and it's not too late to make it for Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Stitch In Time Video Tutorial

Here's my second video for December! Creating your own stitching is so much fun and it doesn't take that long! With my directional brushes and special layer style textures you can stitch on a path, create messy stitching, do zigzag, create loose threads and so on. It's a smorgasbord! So click on the blinkie at the top of this blog,  join Premier at Digital Scrapper and you'll be able to download four videos, the beautiful Christmas Lights kit from Julie Billingsley and a 20-page template album - ALL at a HUGE discount to the normal store price. They are exclusive to Premier Members until the end of December after which you'll find them in our Digital Scrapper store.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cool Clusters Video Tutorial


Julie Billingsley is our guest designer for December. She has created a gorgeous Christmas kit which I couldn't wait to get started on. I recorded two videos this month and this one called, Cool Clusters will help you figure out how to use all those cute accents for a floral art inspired page. So click on the blinkie at the top of this blog to join Premier our monthly subscription service. You'll be able to download the kit, a 20-page template album and four how-to videos. If you would like to see the album just click HERE to see it as a page-turner on Shutterfly.