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Nan’s famous cake revisited

If you think this looks familiar, you’re right. Nan’s Christmas cake recipe is back by popular demand . . . and being such a prolific cook, she kindly offered to share a few other festive favourites with the Weekender.

Nan's Christmas Cake

INGREDIENTS:

340gm butter

4 eggs

450g flour (3 cups)

1 tsp mixed spice

½ tsp salt

2 x 400g mixed fruit

1 400gm tin crushed pineapple

1 cup sugar

½ tsp baking soda

115g golden syrup

¼ cup whiskey (optional)

METHOD:

Cover mixed fruit with pineapple and gently bring to boil.

Then add butter, sugar and syrup and stir till dissolved, then cool.

Sift dry ingredients.

Beat eggs well and add to fruit.

Stir well.

Put in greased dish.

Heat oven to 180C (350F).

Lower oven to 150C (300F) when cake goes in.

Cook for 1 hour.

Lower temp to 130C (250F) and cook for another 2-3 hours until skewer comes out clean.

Cover top if it gets too brown.

TIP: As an alternative to one big cake, Nan made seven mini-sized cakes and shortened the final cooking time.

Pavlova

INGREDIENTS:

6 eggs

340g (12oz) sugar

1½ tbsp cold water

Pinch of salt

METHOD:

Beat egg whites with salt until stiff.

Add water then gradually add sugar.

Beat until sugar is dissolved.

Put on greaseproof paper.

Bake for 1 hour at 150C.

Turn off and leave in oven another ½ hour.

TIPS:

Can be made a week in advance.

Beat cream and decorate with your topping.

Crunchy on the outside and marshmallow inside.

Steamed Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

226g (½ lb) butter

2 cups sugar

4 cups flour

2 tbsp golden syrup

6 eggs

2 heaped tsp baking soda

½ cup sugar (burn and add 1 cup hot water)

METHOD:

Cream butter and sugar.

Add eggs one at a time.

Add flour and burnt sugar mix.

Mix altogether and steam 2½ to 2¾ hours in an A4 can (which has been greased well).

TIPS: This recipe has been used in our family for as long as I can remember and is always on the table for Christmas.

It can also be made ahead of time and frozen.

White Christmas

INGREDIENTS:

1½ cups mixed fruit

2 cups rice bubbles

1 cup milk powder

1 cup coconut

¾ cup icing sugar

250g (8oz) Kremelta or 250g (8oz) melted white chocolate)

METHOD:

Mix dry ingredients.

Melt Kremelta or melted chocolate.

Mix together and press into shallow tin.

Refrigerate.

Tip: Change fruit to your liking.

Easy-as overnight Plum Pudding

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup sultanas

1 cup raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp melted butter in 1 cup hot milk

2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1 cup cold water

¼ cup whisky (optional)

METHOD:

Mix flour, sugar and cinnamon together.

Mix in water mixture then milk mixture slowly until smooth and runny.

Add raisins and sultanas.

Pour into a greased steamed bowl.

Cover and seal with tin foil.

Leave overnight or stand for 8 hrs or more.

Steam for 4 hours.

Serves 6-8

TIPS:

I usually make this weeks ahead of Christmas Day and freeze. Thaw out a day before and resteam it for about ¾ hour.

Serve with custard and cream.

No leftovers here!

As an alternative to one big cake, Nan makes mini-sized cakes too.
Nan's easy plum pudding . . .
Nan's steamed pudding (left) and pavlova.
. . . and white Christmas.