Blokes’ birthdays

Some people have a gift for giving – coming up with original ideas which thrill the recipient.

Alas, I’m not one of those and while I don’t find it easy to come up with the perfect present for the females in my life, it’s even more difficult to find the right thing for the males.

However, a few years ago I was making cakes for a raffle shortly before my older brother’s birthday which reminded me he loves fruit cakes so I made an extra couple for him. They were greeted enthusiastically and that’s what I’ve fallen back on ever since.

I use Alison Holst’s recipe for Cathedral Window Cake, which is mostly dried fruit and nuts held together with a little batter.

The recipe specifies the fruit and nuts but it doesn’t really matter what you use – I usually replace the cherries with cranberries, some of the other nuts with hazlenuts and sometimes add ginger.

The recipe says use one 20cm ring tin but I find the mixture fits in to two tins that size.

When I put them in the oven I put a sheet of lunch paper on top and then newspaper for the first hour or so to allow the inside to cook without the fruit and nuts on top getting overbrowned.

6 Responses to Blokes’ birthdays

  1. bustedblonde says:

    I have become a convert to the australian womens weekly Grand marnier xmas cake . its a bloody mission soaking the friut in a suger toffee syrup for weeks then cooking it up – but its the best bestest – most amazing xmas cake I have ever made – boys who love fruit cake inhale it. but its doesnt look quite a purdy as the cathedral one –

    and mine puts a serious dent in the budget.

  2. Farmer Baby Boomer says:

    Mmmmmm……….. tantalising.

  3. stef says:

    I have a love/hate affair with fruit cake. I love it so I starting eating it and eventually eat too much and end up being heinously sick so then I don’t love the fruit cake so much for about a year and then christmas rolls around again and….

  4. Cactus Kate says:

    HP, you give cake to people you wish to fatten up.

    1. Female friends
    2. Men you wish to make fatter and therefore more unattractive to other women.

  5. homepaddock says:

    CK

    3. brothers who got the lucky genes and don’t get fat.

  6. Staurt says:

    No none of this fancy Cathedral Window cake.
    All you need is the Alison Holst Xmas cake recipe with some changes. Of the 7 I have made so far this year 2 have had Apple juice soaked fruit ,3 have had red wine soaked fruit 1 white wine soaked fruit and 1 the last of some Bellamy’s Brandy was used to plump up the fruit.
    Then there is the sugars to chose White, Soft Brown, Dark Cane or Demarea finaly there is the liquid sugar, Syrup. Treacle or Molasses.
    As you can see by mixing and matching the different ingredients everybody gets a different cake it is lots more fun when you need to make up to a dozen of them.

    I use them as Xmas gifts for all sorts of people. The first Xmas in my present job I sent one to our Admin staff and got a pleasant phone call asking me to thank my wife for the lovely cake. I really enjoyed telling the caller that I had made it because we all know blokes can do any thing

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