I am planning to have three Open House sessions in the run up to Christmas when you can buy any of my preserves, cakes, biscuits and other Christmas gifts. These will be in my home, in Southborough, between 2pm and 8pm.
I will advertise the dates as soon as they are confirmed so please keep watching this blog, Facebook and Instagram. If you live in Southborough, there will also be a poster in the window.
If you would like to place an order for specific items, please contact me by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, by Facebook messenger on the Too busy to make page, or by Instagram at @toobusytomake.
I can now take card payments or you can still pay by cash or bank transfer.
The price list on the blog has been updated (price rises for some ingredients do mean there are a few increases). I always use good quality ingredients including organic free range eggs, organic flour and unsalted British butter.
I am holding two ‘Open House’ sessions before Christmas so if you would like to try before you buy, then please come along to 72 Prospect Road, Southborough on
Friday 9 December between 4pm and 8pm or on
Wednesday 14 December between 11am and 1pm or between 4pm and 8pm.
I will have a number of chutneys, jellies, jams and marmalades open for tasting as well as some biscuits and cakes. Most will be available to take away but I can make more Panforte or biscuits to order.
I look forward to seeing you soon!
Some of my chutneys and jellies are also available to buy at Southborough Butchers on London Road, Southborough.
Stir up Sunday is the last Sunday before Advent and is the traditional day to make Christmas cakes or puddings so they have time to mature and the fruit can absorb the brandy (or rum, if you prefer).
Over the years, I have varied the fruits I include in my cake but the basic recipe is still the old one my mother gave me many years ago. I chop the dried apricots, prunes, dates, figs, candied peel, cherries and stem ginger and leave them to soak in brandy with the raisins, currants and sultanas for at least 24 hours before adding to the cake mix. I also add freshly chopped nuts, grated nutmeg and ground spices to the flour.
After baking, the cake is wrapped and stored in a tin until just before Christmas. I usually feed it a couple of times with a little more brandy which also helps to keep it moist.
As well as the cake for our family, I can make additional cakes to order if you do not have the time. These can be round or square, in a variety of sizes from 4″ square to 12″ square, from 6″ round to 12″ round. Please contact me if you would like to order one. Prices start from £10 plus delivery.
I am still taking orders for Christmas cakes and Panforte. All cakes and Panforte are baked to order so if you would like one, please contact me as soon as possible.
The Christmas cakes are made with butter, dark muscovado sugar, organic eggs and flour and a variety of dried fruits that have been soaked in brandy for at least 24 hours, as well as nuts and treacle. The spices used are cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg and mixed spices. The cakes will last well into the New Year and in fact I used this recipe for our wedding cake and we used a layer at the christening of our daughter 5 years after the cake was baked – it was however, re-iced!
The Panforte are made with honey, soft brown sugar, dried figs and apricots, candied peel, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, ground almonds, flour, cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg.
Both can be made in a variety of sizes but these are the main ones offered :
£8.00 Panforte 800g
£10.00 Panforte 1200g
£15.00 Christmas cake 6″ round or 5″ square
£20.00 Christmas cake 9″ round or 8″ square
£30.00 Christmas cake 11″ round or 10″ square
Cakes can be covered with marzipan and icing for an additional cost – please contact me to discuss details on 01892 523912 or 07787 963896
Before I make my Christmas cake, I like to soak the fruit in brandy for a few days. This helps to plump up the raisins, currants, sultanas, prunes, dates, apricots, figs, cherries, candied peel, cranberries and stem ginger. I normally make a 9″ or 23cm cake for our family which will last us until next Easter – over 2lb of fruit goes into this cake.
Stir up Sunday is 22 November this year, so this bowl of dried fruit will be perfectly ready to add to the rest of the ingredients and baked. I will then feed it with brandy over the next month before covering it with marzipan and icing it just before Christmas.