At the weekend I had a baking marathon and made several different things. I knew I had to make a chocolate fruit cake as my husband had eaten the first one. However, when I was checking ingredients onto the bench I found there were several missing. So I improvised. Instead of using prunes in the recipe I used dried cherries and berries which I had bought at Asda, along with mixed dried fruit. I also tipped in the rest of a tub of glacé cherries. I couldn’t find the mixed spice so I used ginger and cinnamon. All the other ingredients I had and I must say the end cake came out well. It smelled lovely whilst baking in the oven. I am going to finish the cake off with a layer of marzipan and hide it away till the week before Christmas when I will allow the husband to start eating it again.

I made my signature brownies and flapjacks for the childrens’ packed lunches. I used less sugar in the bakes for the childrens’ snacks and they haven’t even noticed a difference in taste. Whilst working in the kitchen, I knew I had cooking apples and sweet mincemeat to use up too. I didn’t use a recipe as such for the bake I made with the apples and mincemeat but I knew they would go well together. I cooked the apples in a pan to soften them with a bit of lemon juice, sugar and water. I made some sweet pastry using flour, icing sugar and butter. I lined a small baking tray with the pastry, covered it with the contents of the sweet mincemeat jar and a layer of the cooked apples. I squished the apples down onto the mincemeat as I had the idea of grating some marzipan onto the top. Also I wanted to make a crumble with some of the apples and some frozen berries. Needless to say all the bakes came out perfectly but photograph wise I only managed to snap a photo of the chocolate fruit cake. The crumble was eaten after dinner and the remains were eaten for breakfast the next day by my children. The mincemeat and apple slice was all gone by Sunday teatime, mainly by my husband and myself. I will definitely be making this slice again as it was so different. I have yet to make the chocolate and mincemeat pies but I will try to make some during the week if time doesn’t run away with me. There is just too much to do this time of year.