‘Tis the season to get cozy with a good ol’ cuppa, and, of course, get baking. The holiday season is probably the only time of year when I actually force room into my busy schedule to take time to bake. As much as I have to bake at this time of year for friends and family (personally I think homemade baked goods are one of the best host gifts to give!), I do actually look forward to it all year long. While I don’t often have time to bake during other seasons, I do find it to be a very relaxing activity, and love to see how much delight it brings to my loved ones.
As many of you already know, I’m an avid collector of cookbooks and definitely could not pass up on picking up the newest cookbook by Nigella Lawson called Simply Nigella. I love that this book features beautiful pictures alongside Nigella’s fabulous words, and her wonderful recipes too of course.
One of my favourite ways to unwind is to pick up a stack of my cookbooks and relax on my couch while flipping through pages upon pages of amazing recipes to get inspired for days, weeks and months to come. While sitting down with my copy of Simply Nigella and a cup of English Breakfast from teapigs, I came across her Date and Marmalade Christmas Cake recipe that, unlike most Christmas cakes, seemed like something people would actually want to eat.
Since the recipe sounded so delicious, seemed to be easy enough to make, and even called for a cup of black tea, I decided to get in the kitchen with my cup of teapigs tea and get baking in time to bring the cake to a friend’s Christmas party later that day. See below for how to make Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Cake recipe with Teapigs and find out more about the giveaway bundle that’s up for grabs!
Nigella Lawson Christmas Cake Recipe with teapigs.
What You Need:
1 cup strong black tea (I used teapigs English Breakfast)
18 ounces medjool dates
3/4 cup natural colour candied cherries
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
scant 1 cup good-quality marmalade, plus more to brush on the cake
2 cups almond meal
3/4 cup chopped almonds
3 extra large eggs, beaten
1 x 8-inch springform cake pan
What To Do:
– Preheat the oven to 300F. Using your springform cake pan as a template, cut out a parchment paper circle for the bottom, and then make a lining for the sides of the pan that is about 2 1/4 inches higher than the height of the pan itself. Do this by making a very long rectangular strip of parchment paper, then fold the long bottom edge in by about 3/4 inch, as if turning up a hem, then take a pair of scissors and snip into this hem at intervals as if to make a rough frill. Curl this around the inside of the pan, with the frilly edge flat on the bottom, and then sit your parchment cirlce on top of the frilled bit to hold it in place.
– Make your tea: pour 1 cup of boiling water over a tea bag, let it steep, and make sure to take out the bag before adding the tea to the pan. Remove the pits from the dates, and snip each date into 4 pieces, using scissors. Halve the candied cherries, also using scissors. Of course, you can use a knife if you prefer.
– Get out a saucepan that will take all the ingredients, including the tea, and put everything in it except for the almond meal, almonds, and eggs. Place on the heat, stirring to mix, and stir every now and again until it comes to a boil. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The stirring not only helps the dates break up and “dissolve,” but it also keeps the heat even and stops the mixture burning on the bottom of the pan. After 10 minutes, take the pan off the heat and let the batter stand for 30 minutes to an hour.
– Stir in the almond meal and chipped almonds, followed by the beaten eggs, and when it’s all combined, pour it into the prepared an and even out the top with a spatula, then bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. The sides will be coming away from the pan, and the cake, while squidgy, should leave only a slight stickiness (rather than any actual batter) on a cake tester.
– Remove to a wire rack, brush with about 3 tablespoons of marmalade, and let the cake cool in its pan (if your marmalade is firm, you may need to warm it a bit first to make it brushable – 20 to 30 seconds in the microwave, or warmed through in a small saucepan should do). Leave for a day before eating. Feel free to add more marmalade to the cake before slicing and serving.
I’ll admit, I was very pleased to find that the finished result of this cake looked almost identical to the one pictured within the Simply Nigella cookbook. Not to mention the fact that all of my friends raved about it at the party – success!
Now, onto that teapigs giveaway worth over $165 that I’m sure you’re all wondering about. See below for what’s up for grabs!
Luxe Cozy Throw – Taupe ($80),
Thyme Gingerbread Votive Candle, Indigo, $16.00
Small Red Teapot, Indigo, $25.00
Honey, Walmart, $5.97
Walkers Shortbread Fingers, Walmart, $3.97
Yog Nog, Lush, $6.95
3 packs of teapigs tea! (9.99 MRSP/each)
Total Value = 167.86$ CAD!
TWEET: I want to #WIN the @teapigsCA #giveaway from @GracieCarroll worth over $165! #Contest details here: http://graciecarroll.com/?p=13597 #graciexteapigs
COMMENT below once complete leaving a relevant email (in private) so we can contact you if you win!
Contest closes on December 31st 2015 at 11:59 EST. Winner will be announced by January 2nd and contact by email.