First of all I want say a big Merry Christmas to all my readers. I hope everyone has a brilliant day tomorrow, eats lots of amazing food and gets all sorts of lovely presents. Secondly, I'm sorry for not posting yesterday, I pretty much post every Sunday as a rule but Christmas kind of throws rules out of the window. We were at a wedding on Saturday, and yesterday we braved the supermarket to get the food shop and finally spent out nectar points. I think we must have been saving for about 18 months and finally decided to just spend them on Christmas. We made a last minute decision to have ham instead of chicken for our meal and I'm really excited to cook it with a honey and mustard glaze.
I was also cleaning like a mad woman yesterday. I have this idea in my head that everything has to be immaculate for Christmas including new bed sheets. I don't want any mess until I've finished cooking. There were so many things I wanted to blog about in the run up to the holidays but I had to restrain myself. Some things can wait until after the big day but this is last officially Christmas recipe I want to give you before tomorrow. I was sent the recipe by Sunvil Supper Club and I agreed to take part immediately because I really wanted to make a panettone. I love that this blog gives me a great reason to try out different bakes that I wouldn't normally think of. I'm putting together a fraisier cake this afternoon to drop off to my Mum for her friend this Christmas. It's a mad day so far.
Obviously this is different to the traditional panettone. I made it in a 23cm cake tin but it still tastes amazing. I love it because it's not as heavy as a traditional Christmas cake but it still has so much flavour. When we were in London earlier this month I really wanted to take armfuls of Carluccio's panettone home, but that might be more because I love the packaging so much. If you get chance later today or even next week whilst you're off, I'd really recommend you give this a try. Alternatively, Homemaker magazine posted my personal alternative Christmas cake recipe on their blog last week. They were amazing enough to mention me in their magazine this month and asked me for a Christmas recipe. I sent them one I'd come up with that's more in the line of a carrot cake and is less dry than some Christmas cakes. I'm really pleased with it and it's great because you don't have to make it 3 weeks in advance!
(recipe from Sunvil Supper Club)
2 1/2 teaspoons/1x 7g scahet dry yeast
240ml luekwarm milk
350g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
115g unsalted butter, softened
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons candied citrus peel
70g mixed raisins
1 pinch nutmeg
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the glaze:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of water
icing sugar, for dusting
- In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast into the milk and let stand for 5 minutes, stir to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and add the yeast mixture. Stir a little to make a soft paste but leave some flour round the sides of the bowl. Cover with a towel and let it sit for 20 minutes until the yeast mix is frothy and risen. Mix in the rest of the flour after 20 minutes to make a stiff dough.
- Knead in a stand mixer, or by hand on a floured surface, for 10 minutes. Then leave to rise for an hour in a covered bowl until it has doubled. Afterwards, punch down the dough and rest for 10 minutes.
- Grease a round, deep cake tin with softened butter. 20 or 23cm will be fine. Line the base and sides with greaseproof paper so that it extends 5 inches above the top. This will stop it from catching too much heat on the top.
- Knead in the butter, egg yolks, sugar, citrus peel, raisins, nutmeg, lemon and orange zests and vanilla extract into the dough until thoroughly combined. The mix will be wet, like a cake mix but don't worry. Tip it into the prepared tin and smooth over the top. Cover with a teatowel and let rise for 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C. Brush the top with the egg glaze and bake for about 45 minutes (check after 35 with a cocktail stick if using a fan oven). Remove from the mould and let it sit in the greaseproof paper to cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar to decorate.
*Disclaimer: I was sent gift cards for the ingredients to the cake.