Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
Let your heart be light,
From now on our troubles
Will be out of sight........
I must apologise for my lack of blogging of late, and I so much wanted to share with you lots of Christmas bakes! I’ve been busy looking after the sick and wounded here, what with Mr R (hubby) who is recovering from flu and now unfortunately Miss R (daughter) has come down with this nasty flu!! However, I have managed to squeeze in a few bakes one being a Panettone that I would really like to share with you today. I have seen so many of these gorgeous sweet breads around for sale in the shops at this time of year and I thought wouldn’t it be fun to bake my own this Christmas. My Panettone was made in my Kitchen Aid mixer but by all means, it can easily be made by hand to bring a little festive Italian baking into your home.........
I am also truly flattered and humbled to be the luckiest girl in the world today!! I opened my email to find waiting in my inbox an email from Aparna @ My Diverse Kitchen to let me know I had been chosen by her judges to win her blog 1st birthday event, Sweet Celebrations – with my winning bake of Hummingbird Cake!! Thank you SO MUCH Aparna for holding such a lovely event and it was such a pleasure to bake a cake for your Blogs 1st Birthday. Also my thanks go to the judges for deeming my cake worthy of winning!! The winning prize I am very excited to reveal that is being sent to me is a lovely book by, Asha Khatau’s, Vegetarian Cuisines of The World. Christmas seems to have already arrived for me with this wonderful gift I am to receive; as I type this post, I have the largest smile on my face you could imagine ~ thank you once again Aparna for making me luckiest girl in the world today!! I also have to thank the lovely H.C. *Happy Cook* @ My Kitchen Treasures for such a lovely recipe to bake from ~ thank you my dear friend!
Makes 1 loaf
75ml (3 fl oz) brandy
175g (6oz) raisins
550 - 620g (1lb 4oz -1lb 6oz) strong plain flour
175g (6oz) butter
5ml (1tsp) salt
65g (21/2 oz) caster sugar
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
2.5ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla essence
10.5g easy blend dried yeast
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Finely grated rind of 1 orange
2 egg yolks
175ml (6 fl oz) milk
175g (6 oz) mixed candied orange and citron peel, chopped
Icing sugar, to decorate if desired.
Lightly oil a 17cm (7in) round spring release cake tin. Line the base and sides with a sheet of parchment paper which sits 12cm (5in) above the rim. Place the brandy and raisins in a bowl and leave to soak for 2 - 4 hours.
Sift the flour into the bowl and add the butter and salt, fit dough hook and blend on speed min for 2 minutes, until combined. Add the sugar, nutmeg, vanilla essence, yeast, rinds, eggs and milk and blend on speed min for 2 minutes, until a soft dough forms. Continue kneading on speed 2 for 2 minutes.
Remove the bowl. Cover with lightly oiled clear - film and leave for about 2 - 4 hours, until well risen and doubled in size. Drain raisins.
Fit the bowl and dough hook and knead on speed 2 for 1 minute. Add the fruits and knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes, until well combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a ball to fit in the cake tin. Cut a deep cross in the surface of the dough and leave until risen 2.5cm (1in) above the top of the tin.