Baked Christmas Goodies

As promised this is another Christmas cooking post.  Today it was Donna Hay’s Little Figgy Christmas Cakes which will make their way into some food hampers (along with the marmalade and a few other bits and pieces) that I will give to some friends and family members.  I’ve made these for a few years and they have always gone down well.  They’re a bit different to traditional Christmas cake, very easy and the recipe is quite adaptable so you can use various dried fruit mixes depending on what you have in the cupboard.  This year I had forgotten the dates so used more figs and I also added a little bit of citrus rind just because I love the taste of it.  I also love the short cut tip to marinated the fruit as I ALWAYS forget to soak the fruit the night before.

Little Figgy Christmas Cakes

1 cup sultanas
1/2 cup currants
1/2 chopped pitted dates
1/2 chopped dried figs
1 teaspoon mixed spice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup whisky or brandy
125g butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/4 cup hazelnut meal

Place sultanas, currants, dates, figs, mixed spice, vanilla and whisky in a bowl, mix well, cover and soak for 6-8 hours or overnight (or see tip below).  Preheat oven to 150 degrees C.  Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8-10 minutes  or until light and creamy.  Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition.  Sift the flour, bicarb soda and hazelnut meal over the fruit mixture and mix well, ensuring all the fruit is coated in flour.  Add the butter mixture and stir to combine well.  Spoon into 6×1 cup-capacity (or regular sized for smaller cakes) lightly greased muffin tins.  Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.  Allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes, turn out and cool on a wire rake.

TIP: If you don’t have time to soak the fruit for 6-8 hours of overnight then simply add the fruit, spice and vanilla to a saucepan with the whisky or brandy.  Place the pan over low heat and cook until the fruit has absorbed the alcohol and is plump.  Allow to cool and then proceed with the recipe.

 

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2 Responses to Baked Christmas Goodies

  1. Andrea says:

    These little cakes sound very tasty, what a great idea to give as gifts. Well you certainly sound busy with all your Xmas activities , gardening and blogging, hope you have found time for a quiet cuppa and a read! Any good books lately?

    • Barbara Good says:

      Thanks Andrea, I hope the recipients agree with you. We have been very busy lately and I think it will only get busier over the next week and a bit until Christmas. Thankfully I always find time to read (actually I’m onto a children’s classic at the moment but more on that in a future post). Sadly quiet cuppas are less than frequent, noisy chaotic, slurp them down quick before Miss Two knocks it over or Baby Good wants a cuddle are more my style for now. I keep telling myself there will be plenty of days when I can enjoy one in peace, just not at the moment.

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