09 December 2015

Easy Christmas Cake

Christmas cake. Fruit cake.
Not my favourite flavour. 
Actually if I had to choose from a plate of cakes I'd choose anything but fruit cake. It's kinda like a last resort option if that's all that's left and I need to feed my sweet tooth. Fruit cake and fruit mince pies can go and jump in the same lonely category really.

But this cake I can make an exception for. Mostly because it has no candied orange peel or glace cherries (yuck!). It DOES have dark chocolate and Cointreau and candied ginger though. And THAT'S okay! And its so simple to make there's no reason not to make i!

1kg of fruit (I used sultanas, currants, apricots, candied ginger and dates)
2 cups cold espresso coffee
100g good dark chocolate chopped roughly
2 cups self raising flour

Soak your fruit in the coffee overnight so it soaks up all the lovely caffeine. This is where I added a healthy dose of Cointreau too (Cointreau is a delicious orange liqueur, otherwise known as triple sec) and just a nice small amount of VERY finely grated orange peel to mix through (no chunks!).

The next day I preheated my oven to 180 deg C and added the chocolate and flour to my soaked mix (warning: its real easy to sample a lot of the fruit before adding anything!). And for good measure I added another healthy dose of Cointreau. The mix required a little more liquid anyway.
Bake for 1hr and cool before cutting.

This cake is really sweet so if you want to cut down on the sweet I'd take out the dates - although these do give a lovely stickiness and flavour to the cake. But cut your slices small and its perfect with a bit of a Christmas nip or an afternoon espresso.

07 December 2015


So. If there is anyone out there still reading my little old, truly deeply neglected blog then you'll probably be surprised to see I've posted for the first time in...gosh nearly 2 years!!

I know I said I was giving this up...but I think my mojo is back. Maybe. 

Life has taken over. I got a job managing a cafe two years ago and two weeks in I was buying packet chips and BISCUITS for the kids. I'd not bought biscuits since I had Katie...they were always homemade. Now I laugh at allll the tiiiime I had on my hands. Being a working mum for the first time in forever has come with its ups and downs and being so busy left little time to blog, take photographs or bake. If I had quiet times they were spent catching up on washing, sleep, paying bills, having a coffee with a friend. Blogging was bottom of my to do list.

I'm still working and that's not even slowing down. I'm managing a team of awesome people though and with a move to a new place closer to work (literally AT work) it's allowing me some more freedoms of my time.

It also helps that I have a new kitchen to inspire me!

We purchased our first home recently and had a brand new build which has been the most exciting and scary thing we've ever done!

It means too I could have the kitchen I really dreamed of!

Life isn't perfect but this year has been amazing. We've had challenges beyond belief. I've spent most of it without a husband as Owen got a contract to supervise growing in a new golf course in Auckland, so he has been coming down on weekends only. I've had amazing help from the best friend in the whole entire world who gave up her plans to come and wrangle the kids for me, be my cheerleader and sounding board and keep me sane. I'll be forever grateful to this wonderful wonderful woman...who has now moved on to her next adventure and to be with her family down country.

I've had the last of all my surgeries and treatments in the last year...my 5 year post cancer diagnosis mark came and went with no major dramas (just a very annoying gall bladder needing removal) and I feel so gooood, so grateful for life!

So I kinda thought now's a good time to make a quiet comeback to Delissimon. But let's not make any long term commitments yeah?