The icing on the cake

If you were listening to last Sunday‘s show, you’ll have heard Lyndsay Sadler sharing her recipe for a traditional English fruitcake with June and Rosalyn.

Did what she said inspire you to get into the kitchen and make your own Christmas cake this year? If it did, there’s still time – and here’s the full recipe to help you do so.

It’s a great family activity so remember to get the kids involved too and don’t forget that all-important step as you’re stirring the mixture before putting it in the tin…

Close your eyes and make a wish!

Coco's Kitchen's Traditional English Fruitcake

  • Servings: Makes a 20cm cake
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Ingredients

  • 570g mixed dried fruit
  • 75g glacé cherries, halved
  • 100ml brandy or sherry*
  • 200g butter or margarine
  • 200g soft dark brown sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 200g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp grated nutmeg
  • Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 50g ground almonds*

*Replace the brandy or sherry with cold tea or orange juice for an alcohol-free version – for a nut-free version, replace the ground almonds with a further 50g of flour

Method

  1. The day before you want to make your cake, put all the dried fruit in a bowl, add the brandy or sherry, cover and leave overnight.
  2. Line the inside of a 20cm tin with baking paper and use brown paper or newspaper to wrap around the outside, securing this with string, to protect the edges from the heat of the oven during the two-hour cooking time.
  3. Preheat the oven to 130 degrees.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar together until they look creamy and the butter is slightly lighter in colour. Add the eggs one at a time.
  5. Sift the flour and spices into a separate bowl then tip and slowly fold it into the butter mixture using a metal spoon.
  6. Add the orange and lemon zest and the almonds to the soaked fruits then tip it all into the cake mixture and slowly stir in. Remember to make that wish as you stir!
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and gently smooth the surface. Put some baking paper on the top of the mixture so that it doesn’t brown too much in the oven. Place the cake in the centre of the preheated oven and bake. Remove the paper from the top about 15 minutes before it’s due to be done.
  8. Lightly prod the top of the cake – if it feels very soft and you can still hear a lot of bubbling, it’s not quite cooked. If it looks done and feels firm to the touch and is silent, insert a skewer or sharp knife. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If it doesn’t, give it another 15 minutes in the oven and then test it again.
  9. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before turning out and then you can start feeding it! Prick the surface with a skewer and add a bit more brandy or sherry to it – do this a couple of times a week until you’re ready to add the finishing touches, topping it with marzipan, icing and your choice of Christmas-y decorations.

Stay tuned – we’ll be back soon!

If you were listening in last Sunday, you’ll already know about this but just in case you missed it…

There’s good news and bad news – the bad news is that the Girls Around Town are hanging up their headphones for a little while but there’s good news too – your favourite Sunday morning show will be back before you know it!!

Good luck to Tina, who’s leaving the show to concentrate on BELOVED@THEBARN, her new business in Southwell. And a big ‘thank you’ to Phil who’ll be keeping those headphones warm for us while we’re away with his Sunday Breakfast Show from 8am till 12 noon – we promise to reward him with cake when we return…

In the meantime, we’re already making plans for GAT#2, lining up lots of great guests and working on at least one regular new feature. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates and watch out too for news of what we’ve got in mind for the relaunch – the details are still under wraps for now but we promise there’ll be something a little bit special about the first show.

And as you’d expect, there’ll probably be cake involved as well!

Until then, if you’re missing your Sunday mornings with Radio Newark’s answer to Loose Women and Woman’s Hour, don’t forget that you can always listen again to the podcasts featuring some of the awesome guests who’ve joined us in the studio over the past year…

We’ll still be sharing stories about what’s going on in and around Newark over the next few months so let us know if you have events and activities you’d like us to feature here.

And if you have an interesting story to tell or you’re an expert in a field you think would be of interest to GAT listeners, why not get in touch to add your name to the guest list for next year? Just email studio@radionewark.co.uk or silversistersmedia@gmail.com – we’d love to hear from you!

Have a happy Christmas and a great New Year – keep warm this winter and we’ll see you next spring!!

Counting down to cake week

bake off

Just a few hours to go until it’s time to get ready, set, bake!

Twelve new contestants will be donning their aprons, rolling up their sleeves and doing their best to impress the judges as The Great British Bake Off 2016 gets underway.

And with the focus on cakes tonight, it’s no surprise that June, Tina and Sue will be joining millions of viewers across the country glued to the TV to find out what this year’s amateur bakers will be facing.

Whose buns will come out on top? Will there be any soggy bottoms? And above all, will there be chocolate?!

Rumour has it that things don’t go too well for some of the contestants, with four of them forced to ditch their cakes and start their recipes from scratch in the showstopper challenge. It sounds as though there may be a few tears and tantrums in the Bake Off tent tonight…

On their own show this Sunday, the Girls Around Town will be turning the spotlight on the phenomenon that is GBBO. They’ll be making some early predictions about favourites for this year’s title and looking at some of the reasons why a massive 15 million viewers tuned in to see Nadiya Hussain take the 2015 title last October. What’s the betting Mr Hollywood features on their list?!

Join them on air or listen online between 10am and 12 noon – and why not take part in the debate by adding your own thoughts and comments to the GAT Facebook page?