‘Tis the Season …

A very dear friend of ours visited this week bearing precious gifts. A home made, beautifully moist, dark Christmas Cake with almonds on top. In his former life our friend was a baker with a formidable reputation. In his traditional-style bakery only the best quality ingredients were used and only the best produce was allowed to cross his shop counter.

I don’t remember precisely which year was the first but at some point, at least ten years ago, we decided that we would exchange holiday reading for festive food – books for Christmas Cake and special date slice made the their secret recipe. Consequently, throughout the year, I set aside three or four of the most recent books I have read – enough for him and his family to amuse themselves over the holiday season. I know their different tastes in literature and work on my selection, sometimes swapping one title when something better comes along and sometimes dropping in a

A bag of books to swap for Christmas Cake

wild card, just to keep things interesting. And they begin months in advance, soaking fruit, adding spices, peeling and roasting almonds for the top – no over-sweet icing or dominant almond paste, just wonderfully combined natural ingredients and complimentary flavours. Absolutely delicious!

And now that I’ve made your mouth water, I wish you a stingy pudding and a Happy New Year!

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