Sunday, 1 December 2013

a Baking Day

Apart from the usual Sunday lunch cook I also made the first of four Christmas cakes which I make every year - three as presents and one for ourselves.   It has just come out of the Aga - baking slow-cook fruit cakes is a complicated process in a two-oven Aga and is best done in an Aga cake baker.   This is like a large handleless saucepan where the cake sits on a rack, a lid is put on and the cake really steam-bakes.   Results are usually good and this one looks good so far.   One down, three to go.   I have just annointed it with Highland Park whisky (the farmer's favourite tipple) so that the house is full of lovely smells.

In addition I tried Cro Magnon's Soda Bread recipe (if you want to try it go to Magnon's Meanderings on my side bar for the recipe).  My husband reminded me that we ate soda bread fresh every morning years ago in a farm B and B in Ireland.   The bread is delicious.   If I make it again I shall omit the herbs as this made it only suitable for eating with savoury things (we both had it for Sunday tea with a chunk of cheddar),   Made without the herbs it would be good for breakfast toasted and spread with honey or marmalade.   But I do urge you to try it - as Cro says, it is fairly foolproof and is a good standby.

Photographs of both baking efforts here!


19 comments:

angryparsnip said...

Both cake and bread look wonderful.
I will look up the recipe.
I know many in America dislike fruit cake but I love it, especially with coffee as an afternoon snack. I can't have any alcohol so my cakes must be plain.
I can just imagine how good your home must smell.

I am late but finishing up my cards to print out Monday. I am busy too but my home does not smell as lovely as yours !

cheers, parsnip

Elizabeth Wix said...

Well done!

John Gray said...

The top photo looks interesting

Heather said...

Home baked bread and cake - what could be better? I can almost smell those lovely smells from here!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Oh they look so good. I've not begun to bake for the holidays yet - as soon as I am rid of this cold - watch out - I'll be a baking whirlwind.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

I'm going to make Cro's soda bread too, without the herbs as we have so much jam and honey in stores. Am going into town tomorrow and will be able to get some yoghurt then.
Your baking looks good and wholesome
Gill

Cloudia said...

Kitchen Wizard, you!


ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
=^..^=

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I can smell both of those. Sounds like a lovely day.

Cro Magnon said...

Lady Magnon attacks our Christmas cake this afternoon. She makes the classic Guinness cake, plus a few additions.

Pondside said...

It will be a bought Christmas Cake for me this year, as I haven't yet mastered my mum's cake, and working away means I'll run out of time....but there are some lovely cakes on offer from Rotary and other organisations and I won't be without!

MorningAJ said...

I never make my own cake or we'd still be eating it in June! Just a couple of slices in a coffee shop somewhere. Soda bread, on the other hand, is a regular in our household, though yesterday I made some actual rolls and a mini loaf. Proper, yeast risen ones. The only really hard part was seven minutes kneading - and I called it exercise!

Pam said...

Wonderful to walk into a home with the smell of baking. So homey, warm and welcoming.
Intrigued by the idea of Guinness cake mentioned in the comments, but too much sugar and for this almost sugar-free household (diabetic husband on a diet). It would be too cruel as he loves Guinness.
You baking looks lovely Pat.

thelma said...

They look delicious, I have a fancy for a poppy seed plaited loaf as well.....

The Solitary Walker said...

Wow, they look good!

Gin2Weave said...

How about sharing your fruit cake recipe? I'm in America and love fruit cake. I make mine with Brandy but would especially love it with the whiskey--maybe a Kentucky brand? Not sure if I can find Highland Park here.

Gin2Weave said...

How about sharing your fruit cake recipe? I'm in America and love fruit cake. I make mine with Brandy but would especially love it with the whiskey--maybe a Kentucky brand? Not sure if I can find Highland Park here.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for your replies. Regarding the recipe. I am not keen on fruit cake but like one to offer round to visitors at Christmas (complete with icing and decoration), The farmer likes it but not the usual heavy fruit cake, so I use a Dundee cake recipe which has 5 ounces each of butter and brown sugar, 8 ounces of plain flour and a teaspoon of baking powder and three eggs. Dried fruit is then added to taste - I use a mixture of currants, sultanas, raisins, cherries, peel and a few chopped almonds. Some whisky goes into the mixing and then more is poured on when it comes out of the oven. I then feed it with whisky once a week until Christmas Day.

The Weaver of Grass said...

The second christmas cake is in the oven as I write this - 2 down, 2 to go.
Thanks for replying.

The Solitary Walker said...

'I then feed it with whisky once a week until Christmas Day.'

Mmm… Can I be your cake, Pat?