Sunday, 10 November 2013

Cakes and Puddings

Just before my work started, I prepared some dried fruit in alcolhol (lots of alcohol) and put it in the fridge to soak.   I was making two Creole Cakes (a la Delia), one for us and one for a friend.  Delia says to soak the fruit for a week, but I find three weeks with an extra dosing of alcohol at the end of the second week works well.

I managed to get the cakes made one day when I needed a break from work, and I was very pleased to be working to schedule.    I don't dress them until December and so they are stored, wrapped in greasproof and foil, in an airtight container in a cool dark place.

I also had three iced cakes to make and some puddings.  On Wednesday last week, I soaked fruit in brandy for the cakes,   and made up christmas puddings mixture.   I made the cakes on Thursday, they are wrapped and stored, and will be fed with brandy over the next 3 weeks. 
 
While the cakes were in the oven, I put the pudding mix into basins and covered and tied them all.  This was the first year where I had managed to get all the right sized basins beforehand.

Modern basins are slighly larger than 1pt/2pt. At least, they are if you fill them to the top and, as the puddings shrink anyway, it seems rude not to. I usually find I don't have quite enough mixture,  so I made a little extra this time.  I made a bit more "extr"a than I thought, so not only were all pudding basins filled, but I needed to go up from a 3/4 pint to a 1 pint basin for us. 

On Friday lunchtime, I set the puddings to steam for 8 hours.   It was relatively painless. When they were done, I set them on cooling racks overnight. First thing Saturday, I took the foil and papers off the now-cold basins,  cleaned them up, and re-dressed them.  I even wrapped them in cellophane, which I don't normally do until December.   Still on schedule.

As I was admiring my cellophaned handiwork,  I realised a friend had asked me to make an individual sized pudding, and I had forgotten.   I looked at our own pudding, which was probably an individual-sized pudding larger than it needed to be and rolled my eyes at myself.

I'll need to get some more ingredients, and I'll make the additional pud (or puds, I don't think I can sensibly reduce the recipe quite that far) next week.    

On a positive not, the tinies only take 3 or so hours to steam.


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