Sunday, 21 December 2014

Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free Christmas Fruit Cake


Originally a recipe from a friend, 'Kathy's Real Easy Fruit Cake' is a simple to make cake that is a great Christmas cake option. Being intolerant to gluten I made the cake this weekend as a GF version.

I love using this recipe as it is so easy and with only one bowl to wash up at the end. My gluten free version turned out much the same as with ordinary self raising flour, rich, fruity and definitely festive. It is a great last minute cake which I couldn't resist sharing with you.



Ingredients:


  • 1kg of mixed dried fruit (this can be bought as a ready mix 1kg package for baking from the supermarket) My mix had sultanas, raisins, red and green glace cherries and mixed peel. 
  • 2 cups of fresh or store bought (natural) orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons brandy (optional)
  • 2 cups of self raising flour (I used gluten free self raising flour mix, Orgran brand)
  • 2 teaspoons of mixed spice 
  • 1 tsp of vanilla, rum or brandy essence


Method:


  • Soak the fruit overnight in the orange juice
  • The next day...
  • Pre heat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Grease a 22cm (8.5") cake tin and line with baking paper. I cut a circle for the bottom and then a piece to line the sides of the tin
  • Mix the 2 teaspoons of mixed spice into the flour
  • Add the 2 cups of self raising gluten free (or ordinary self raising flour if you are not making it gluten free) to the fruit mix and stir well until combined
  • Add the essence and brandy (optional) and stir well
  • Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, coaxing it gently up to the sides of the tin. It is a very thick mixture so needs to be pushed into place with a wooden spoon
  • Place in the centre of your re-heated oven at 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake for one and a half hours. I like my cake dark, I cover the top with foil for the last 15 mins so the fruit doesn't burn on top. Check the cake at one hour and again each 15 mins after that as ovens do vary. 
Hints & Tips:

  • If you want to ice your cake, once cooled simply turn the cake upside down for a smooth surface 
  • Pour some brandy over and let it soak in for a few days to enhance the taste
  • To make the top look decorative without icing, you could place whole maraschino cherries and almonds over and some glaze
  • Make mini ones to give to friends. The baking time will only be one hour with smaller versions, still check the cakes after 45 mins and then again at an hour until cooked






Sharing this post with some of the following blogs:

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Mix Of Holiday Inspiration - DIY Decor, Free Printables and More


Above: From the Craftberry Bush

As a Blogger one's mind is torn in all directions at the inspirational DIY ideas on the web. Today I want to share some holiday diy inspiration and some free printables. I have placed links to the tutorials or downloads beneath the images.

Monday, 15 December 2014

A Charming Ohio Cottage Photographed By Julie Ranee


Julie Ranee is a talented photographer especially when it comes to taking that perfect interior shot. Julie photographed the interior of this Ohio cottage, wonderfully capturing its old world charm and I couldn't resist sharing it with you.


Friday, 12 December 2014

DIY Holiday Candle Holders - Surprise Your Guests With These Little Cuties


I made these little candle holders to go on my Christmas table, I wanted one for each guest so they could take them home. They were very simple to make and took only a few minutes.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A Kensington Home in Shades of Blue and Grey



I love blue but have never been brave enough to use it on my walls or kitchen cabinetry, I guess in the back of my mind I am thinking about re-sale and neutrals are so safe. However in this large, modernised, Kensington home, smoky blue works perfectly with the traditional/contemporary interior and shades of grey in other areas of the home.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

DIY Snow Globes - 7 Simple Ideas


As a child I have fond memories of pretty snow globes my mother used to buy me at Christmas, today's snow globes seem to be made from cheap plastic and don't have quite the same charm, however, I spotted some lovely DIY snow globes around the blogasphere created with mason jars and ornaments. These ideas are simple to create and so much prettier than store bought globes. I decided to share some of the prettiest ones I discovered and also have a go myself.