Tag Archives: Dried fruit

Christmas cake

Lottie’s Christmas Cake

Lottie’s Christmas Cake

My blog has seen two Christmases now and here are some of the Christmas bakes I have posted so far: Lebkuchen – wonderful soft, spiced German biscuits. Christmas Cupcakes – decorated with snowflakes, holly, bows and glitter. Mince Pies – a Christmas favourite with cranberries. Chocolate Yule Log – a must have at Christmas. Orange Kugelhopf Cake – a German orange cake perfect for Christmas. Gingerbread house – this has to be done every year! Stollen – fruity bread with marzipan inside, a favourite this time of year.

This year I will be posting a few of my own Christmas recipes including Christmas Cake, Almond and Orange mince pies and German stollen. The first thing that has to be made though is the Christmas Cake, if you haven’t made yours yet then make sure you do very soon as you need plenty of time to feed it with alcohol before decorating it. My Christmas Cake is packed with  my favourite dried fruits including raisins, apricots and figs, as well as plenty of my favourite glacé cherries. It is lightly spiced and subtly flavoured with almond extract and chopped almonds. This recipe will make one large 8 inch cake, although I split mine to make a 6 inch cake and a couple of miniature cakes to give as gifts. I will be posting soon on ways to decorate your Christmas Cake with fruit and nuts and with marzipan and icing. Now time to get baking!

Christmas cake

For this Christmas cake you will need (makes 1 8 inch cake):

500g currants
180g sulatanas
180g raisings
75g glace cherries halved
50g chopped dried apricots
50g chopped dried figs
50g mixed peel
7 tbsp brandy
50g chopped almonds
pinch salt
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
225g unsalted butter
100g light soft brown sugar
125g dark soft brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tbsp black treacle
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
1/4 tsp almond extract

Start 12 hours before you want to bake the cake. Put all of the dried fruit including cherries and mixed peel into a large bowl and add the brandy. Mix well, cover and leave for 12 hours.

Once the fruit has been soaked you can make the cake. Preheat the oven to 140C. Grease and line a cake tin. In a large bowl whisk the butter and sugars together. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well. Gently fold the flour, salt and spices in. Now add all of the fruit, along with the nuts, treacle, zest and almond extract and fold together.

Dried fruit

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and bake at 140C. If you have made an 8 inch cake this will take approx 4 hours. A 6 inch cake will take approx 3 hours. Keep an eye on the cake and if it starts to brown to quickly put a double circle of greaseproof paper on top of it. The cake will be done when a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for half an hour before removing it and leaving on a wire rack to cool.


Once the cake has cooled use a skewer to make small holes over the top of the cake, drizzle a couple of spoons of brandy over the top of the cake. Wrap it up and store in an airtight container. Keep feeding it with brandy like this every few days until you come to ice it.

Feed cake with brandy

Happy Christmas Baking!

Lottie xx


Afternoon tea

We finally got out on a bike ride today, it was rather wet, muddy and cold but good fun. With the London to Brighton only 6 weeks away now we really needed to get a bit of practise in and had had enough of the rain keeping us indoors. We stopped off along the way at one of my favourite places to have tea and cake, Fanny’s Farm Shop. It is an absolutely lovely quirky place, and they have very good cake too! I opted for a fruity slice of cake and my Dad went for a lovely light lemon cake. My brother on the other hand just went straight for a hot chocolate with marshmallows. This is Fanny’s Farm all decked out Jubilee style and my Dad and brother after conquering mega hill challenge.

I was reading the menu that they do for afternoon tea and it reminded me that I never posted the afternoon tea that I made for my Mum on Mother’s Day this year! So here are a selection of pictures of our afternoon tea! I made a lemon sponge with a heart centre, mini vanilla cupcakes, mini chocolate cupcakes, fruit scones with strawberry jam and butter, a selection of sandwiches and tea!


Lottie xx


Easter Bread Baking: Osterzopf and Hot Cross Buns

Just one more post for my Easter related baking! I went back to my parent’s house over Easter and completely took over the kitchen with my bread and Easter egg making! I’m sure my Mum is glad to have her kitchen back now and I am back to my minature one. My Dad is a bit of a fan of the bread maker but I decided to do it properly. I made a giant Osterzopf loaf and plenty of Hot Cross Buns. Osterzopf is a German Easter bread, a bit like brioche with a subtle hint of lemon, lovely toasted and buttered! The recipe is below. For the Hot Cross Buns I used Mary Berry’s recipe from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.

For the Osterzopf you will need:

500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
50g sugar
250 ml milk
7g dried yeast
75g butter
1 egg (beaten)
1 lemon, zest only
1 tbsp milk
1 egg
sugar to finish
Flaked almonds.
Honey to drizzle.
You can also add raisins if you fancy.

Start by mixing the flour, dried yeast, salt and sugar together. Heat the milk gently in a saucepan until warm, not hot. Add the butter to the milk and stir until melted. Pour this into the flour mixture and mix well. Add the beaten egg and lemon zest and mix to form a dough. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place (I use the airing cupboard) for 30 minutes to an hour.

Turn out onto a floured surface again and knead. Divide the dough into 3 equal size pieces and roll each out into a sausage shape. Plait the sausages of dough together and use a bit of water to stick the ends together. Put the plait onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover again and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Beat the egg with the 1tbsp of milk and brush over the loaf. Sprinkle the loaf with sugar and flaked almonds.

Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour until golden. When you take the loaf out of the oven drizzle with honey and serve. Enjoy!



And my Hot Cross Buns:


After my flurry of bread baking over Easter I am pretty keen to make some Sourdough, I saw them making it on River Cottage the other day, so watch this space and see how I get on. In other news, I spent this morning making a rose swirl birthday cake with some piping using my trusty Wilton 1M nozzle, blog post to follow soon!

I have been prompting for a musical version of Titanic this week that my boyfriend is in. It is an excellent show and I am very excited about watching it from the front instead of the side tonight! There are really only very few seats left but if you are near Epsom and are wondering what to do tonight then I recommend going to see ELOC perform Titanic at Epsom Playhouse! You will not be disappointed.

If you have enjoyed reading my blog then please leave a comment, I appreciate every comment left. And if you are on Twitter and haven’t done so already then add me on twitter @lotts_louise to keep up to date with my blog!

Love, Lottie xx

I have entered this bread into Alpha Bakes hosted by The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline Makes. This month’s letter is B.



Bread isn’t something that I make very often, it takes so long and you have to wait for ages before you can actually put it in the oven. But with time off from University for Christmas, what better time to make some bread. So this week a whole day was devoted to bread making! Yay!  The result – 3 stollen loaves and a rather huge loaf of white french bread. Stollen is the perfect combination of bread and cake and tastes so much of Christmas! This is another German bake, Germany seem to do Christmas so well! Apparently there is actually a Stollen festival every year in Dresden! Having never made stollen before I therefore didn’t have a trusty recipe to use, so did a bit of internet research and decided to go with this German Stollen recipe from Waitrose. It worked pretty well, I was pleased. The only thing that didn’t happen is that it didn’t quite ‘double in size’ as it says it should, I think with all the fruit it is just too heavy. It didn’t matter though because once it is baked, it has a lovely stollen consistency.

2 stollen

You need:

  • 1/2tsp mixed spice
  • 225g Strong White Flour
  • ½tsp salt
  • 50g butter
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 150g Mixed Fruit ( I used a mix of raisins, sultanas and candied peel)
  • 25g  Glacé Cherries
  • 25g flaked almonds
  • 2tsp Fast Action Dried Yeast
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • 100ml warm milk
  • 100g Waitrose White Marzipan
  • 25g butter
  • 50g icing sugar

In a bowl rub the butter into the flour, salt and mixed spice, then stir in the sugar, cherries, mixed fruit, almonds and yeast.

Stollen mix


Make a well in the centre of the dry mix and add the warm milk and beaten egg. Mix to make a soft dough and then knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes.

Kneaded dough


Russell kneading

My boyfriend gets involved in the kneading.

Cover the dough with oiled cling film and leave to rise for 20 minutes. Roll out the dough to an oval shape and roll out the marzipan into a strip. Put the marzipan in the centre of the dough and fold the stollen dough around the marzipan, sealing the edges. Put on a greased baking tray, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 1 hour. This recipe makes one large stollen loaf. To make 3 reasonable sized loaves I doubled the ingredients and split the dough into 3.

3 stollen rising

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 40 minutes. It should sound hollow when you tap it on the base if it is done.

Baked stollen

While the stollen is still warm, brush with melted better and dust with a icing sugar. Then leave to cool and enjoy!

Finished stollen

Sliced stollen

Merry Christmas!

Lottie xx