The New and Less Talented Mary Berry

I received ‘The Great British Bake Off Celebrations’ cookbook for my Christmas from one of my very good friends, Rosie. Although,  I must admit I have never actually watched the programme….. sorry I feel really un-British saying that, haters don’t hate please! Anyway I decided to give some of the recipes a go and given that in my store cupboard I had Whisky, dried fruit, whisky, nuts, whisky and eggs I settled on the  Whisky, Fruit and Nut Cake.

I’m a messy baker so to prevent any more of my cookbooks getting covered with flour, sugar and egg gunk I use this lovely vintage style recipe holder. It also serves to pretty up the kitchen.

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Here are the ingredients, minus the butter as that is currently sat softening on the window ledge (I always forget to take this out the fridge in advance!). The recipe called for caster sugar, however I only had granulated sugar. The nuts I used were pecans and walnuts and I used raisins, sultanas and craisins ( cranberries and raisins mix.) I used cinnamon in this however the recipe called for Mace but ISAM_5551.JPG had none available.

I raided our alcohol cupboard (also the laundry room) and decided to use Balvenie Caribbean Cask Whisky …. But Shhhh DO NOT TELL my husband, as last time I used this whisky in my BBQ sauce he went “ off his nut” ( as he would say) and rambled about how it’s his good whisky, not for cooking with and it tastes better from a glass than in food. Hence, why I also used Yamazaki Japanese whisky.

Preheat your oven to 180°C/ 350°F.

I put the 225g of butter ( once it was kinda of softened, I should probably have waited longer but I was impatient) into my wee blue mixer and mixed until creamy. Then I added 225g sugar until the mixture of light and fluffy. Then I beat 4 eggs along with 1 tablespoon of Balvenie Whisky and 2 tablespoons of Yamazaki Whisky in a separate bowl/jug   I then added this slowly to the butter mixture, beating well.  Mary Berry advises to keep 2 tablespoons of flour (out of the total amount of 225g self-raising) and add these two tablespoons with the last two tablespoons of egg to prevent curdling.

Well Mary……. This doesn’t look like it didn’t curdle… does it?

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Anyhow forging on, in a separate bowl I combined the dried fruit (total of about 95g of raisins, craisins and sultanas depending on how heavy handed you are whilst measuring) with the chopped walnuts and pecans (about total of 100g) and I covered with a tablespoon of flour ( again from the total flour measured out).

I sifted the remaining flour with a ¼ teaspoon of Nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon of Cinnamon, then folded this into the butter/egg mixture. I then added the fruit and nuts, combined and then poured into a silicone loaf tin (2lb) and popped into the oven.

Now the recipe stated to cook for between 40 to 45 minutes, however when I looked at it at the 40 min mark, it wasn’t ready. I left it for another 5 minutes, however it still wasn’t ready so I put this in for another 5 minutes then my husband came in for this lunch and then I gave it another 5 mins. In my oven it took 55 minutes (although I am not convinced my oven is working properly)

I didn’t manage to cool this cake down before serving as about 5 minutes after it came out the Oven my husband wanted a bit with his cuppa tea. Hence the photo with the chunk out of the end!

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