Christmas Baking across the miles

This past Saturday my mam and I tried something a little different. We had a Skype baking session!!
Yes you heard me right.....
 With myself and J heading back to Ireland in 22 whole days {not that I'm counting} I will be doing very little on the baking front but I still wanted to make a Christmas Cake. So my Mam and I set about making a plan. Basically she got the ingredients, did all the hard work and I got to give directions from the sofa 3000 miles away.
Short straw there Mam :-) I will be icing it when we get home though.
The recipe is a combination of the Stork Christmas Cake's we have alternated between over the years but we set about making it Gluten Free. I made this glutenful version a few years ago before my entry into blogland so I apologise for the picture. I will try get better ones this time around

1.5 cups/12 oz/350g Stork Margarine (at room temperature)
 1.5 cups/12 oz/350g Dark Brown Sugar
 1 3/4 cups/15 oz/425g Doves Farm Gluten Free Plain Flour
3/4 tbsp Guar Gum
1 ½ tbsp mixed spice
½ tbsp ground nutmeg
6 tbsp/3 oz/75g ground almonds
 7 eggs

2/1lb./450g Currants
1.5cups/12 oz/350g Sultanas
 1.5cups/12 oz/350g Raisins
5 oz./150g Cherries washed, dried and halved
3/4 cup/5 oz/170g Mixed Peel
 3/4 cup/5 oz/170g Almonds, blanched and chopped
Grated rind of 2 Lemons
Grated rind of 1 Orange
The recipe calls for an all in one method where everything gets thrown into a bowl, mixed well, put in prepared tin, then baked. Feel free to go at it this way if you wish we however rightly or wrongly did ours a bit differently.

Firstly a few months back my mam mixed the fruits, mixed peel, chopped almonds and rinds together and added a couple shots of whiskey. This gets stored in an air tight container and placed in a dark cupboard. Every few weeks add another couple tablespoons of whiskey, shake it up and return to the dark place until your ready to bake the cake.

So on bake day pre-heat your oven to 275 F/140 C. Grease and line a 10 inch round tin with double greaseproof paper. As well as the grease proof paper we like to place our prepared cake tin in one of the silicone cake tin's as an extra protection from burning as the cake will be baked for long time.
Sieve the flour, guar gum, mixed spice, nutmeg and ground almonds together. Cream butter and sugar together in a separate bowl. Alternating each time between flour and eggs mix them into the butter/sugar mixture until all incorporated. Add your fruit and mix well with a large metal spoon. Spoon into prepared tin and bake for about 5 to 6 hours. Check regularly to ensure the top is not burning. Cover with foil  for the last hour or two to prevent the cake becoming two dark.

Test the cake. it should feel firm to touch. Insert a skewer into the centre of the cake if it comes out clean the cake is ready. Leave the cake to cool in the tin over night. Turn out and remove papers. Wrap in double greaseproof paper and foil then store in a cool place.
So that was the cake we {mam} made on Saturday. I left her to clean the mess and went about the rest of my day writing Christmas cards and putting out a few decorations. I fancied a treat in the afternoon so decided to make some rice krispie snow balls.

 I used the basic rice krispie recipe but  used Gluten Free Rice Krispies. I used an ice cream scoop to get even amounts and with my hands lightly greased I formed them into balls. A little tip I'd like to share, you may already know it but I had a light bulb moment and wanted to pass it on..... I melted the marshmallow in a bowl over a pot of hot water, like you would chocolate so when I went about mixing the rice krispies with the marshmallow I did it with the bowl still over the pot of hot water. It keeps the marshmallow soft and you have more time to work with the mixture and form it into shapes. 
So we are so close now, my mam just informed me we only have two more Fridays to go!!!

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Hope your all having a great week. Blogger is having some issues with text formatting at the moment so please ignore the different sizes :-)

Michelle xxx
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