Are you prepared for Christmas – three important questions?
Have you booked your end of year function?
Some enterprising companies and organisations have combined a year end conference with an end of year celebration while others have chosen to bus their group to Budmarsh to enjoy a special dinner. Yet others have opted for an eight or nine course tasting menu. The year has flown by so make sure that you have organised your end of year celebration soon.
Do you know what you are doing for Christmas?
If you would like to avoid the Christmas rush of shopping for ingredients and cooking then consider taking the hassle out of Christmas and getting our award-winning Chef to create a fabulous Christmas menu for you and your loved ones to share. Pop in for Christmas lunch or extend the celebrations over a few days by booking a room at Budmarsh and indulging in the Christmas feasting festivities.
If you prefer to be quietly thoughtful at Christmas you can organise for your meals to be served in the quiet of your room’s veranda where you will hear the song of all the summer birds that bless Budmarsh with their presence.
Have you started your Christmas cake?
If you still like to get into the Christmas spirit and bake your own Christmas cake, I have wheedled a luxurious recipe out of the executive chef. I will see if next month I can persuade him to show me how to make fruit mince for Christmas mince pies.
The Christmas Cake recipe looks delicious and I had better get cracking as now is the perfect time to get baking and contemplate the joys of Christmas time that will soon be upon us.
The recipe follows – happy planning!
Christmas Cake Recipe
- 225g plain flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 200g butter
- 200g dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 1 tbsp marmalade
- ¼ tsp vanilla essence
- 4 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 800g mixed dried fruits
- 100g chopped mixed peel
- 150g glacé cherries, halved
- 100g blanched almonds, chopped
- Heat the oven to 150C/300F. Grease a 20cm/8inch round or an 18cm/7inch square cake tin and line the bottom and sides with baking parchment.
- Sieve the flour, salt, mixed spice and cinnamon into a bowl.
- Cream the butter and the sugar in a large mixing bowl and then mix in the sugar, treacle, marmalade and vanilla essence until light and fluffy.
- Agg the eggs a little at a time into the mixture adding a tablespoon of flour mixture with the last amount.
- Fold in the remaining flour mixture until well mixed and then mix in the dried fruit, mixed peel, glace cherries and the almonds.
- Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and make a slight hollow in the centre.
- Bake in the oven for 3 hours and then test with a wooden skewer. If not ready bake for up to another hour testing every 20 minutes until the wooden skewer comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes.
- Turn out on to a wire rack and leave to cool.
- Once cool, make a few holes in the cake with a wooden skewer and pour over 3-4 tbs of brandy. Let the brandy soak into the cake.
- Store the cake wrapped in foil and in an airtight tin or plastic container, holes side up.
For a rich and moist cake, spoon over a few tablespoons of brandy every week until you are ready to enjoy your cake