I have been baking biscotti this afternoon, getting ready for the Penshurst Farmers’ Market this Saturday, 7 October. These are pistachio and flaked almond flavour with mixed spice – try them with a cappuccino or a cup of tea, or with a creamy fruit fool.
They keep well in an airtight tin if you can keep them out of reach. I usually find they evaporate – how else would I explain the tin emptying so quickly!
As well as these biscotti, I will have wheat free oat and walnut biscuits (try with some blue cheese), gluten free seeded biscuits (great with cheddar) and gluten free very cheesy biscuits (great with a dry sherry or g&t before dinner). Also good as a pre-dinner nibble are the roasted almonds with smoked paprika.
The Farmers’ Market is open from 9:30 until 12:00 this Saturday in the car park by Penshurst Place – I hope to see you there.
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
This Italian cake is make from dried apricots, figs, candied peel, nuts and spices with honey and sugar. It has a dense consistency with the crunch of whole hazelnuts and almonds. Serve it with coffee or an afternoon treat – a little will go a long way. It also makes a good alternative Christmas cake and a perfect gift!