Christmas Carrot Cake

I heard a top tip a few weeks back. If you, like me, missed stir up Sunday but feel a sense of duty to provide Christmas cake for the upcoming festivities, there is a solution. Take one solid carrot cake recipe and stir in a whole load of fruit, more than you think, and bake. I'm told the quantities should be 1:1 cake to fruit (and when I say fruit it could be currants, raisins, apricots, dates, zest, prunes, figs, cherries, apricots, cranberries....). Cook until just firm, cover with lovely marzipan and the pretty white icing from packets. Decorate. It can be done in an afternoon, with a one year old helping, I can vouch for that. This was the recipe I used -

Christmas Carrot Cake 

225g unsalted softened butter 
225g light brown sugar 
4 eggs 
200g self raising flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp allspice 
a pinch of salt 
225g grated carrot 
450g dried fruit, chopped 

1/ Preheat oven to 170 C 
2/ Butter a 20cm deep springform cake tin that is 7cm deep and line with baking paper. 
3/ In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
4/ Sift the baking powder, cinnamon and flour and salt into a bowl and add half of it to the cake mixture, mix to just combined then add the 2nd half. 
5/ In another bowl, combine the grated carrot & fruit and stir this into the cake mixture. 
6/ Spoon the cake mixture into the tin. Bake for about 50-60 minutes, until the cake is springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack until completely cold before you ice it. Then go crazy  with the decoration.


Rockett St George

Just a quick post to tell you about Rockett St George, a company I was introduced to a few years ago and who are solely responsible for making the ordinary seem cool. Even a dishwashing rack. And lightbulbs. 

I allow myself strictly one new Christmas decoration per year and 2013 was the year of the tree. Three glass trees to stand on my table amongst the clementines and empty cups of coffee. Love. I just logged onto the website and, to my total frustration, discovered they are now half price. Christmas has arrived early if you fancy buying some too! 

Now, off to make my cake... 


Good Old Bread & Soup

There are a few things I can't refuse; Wrigley's chewing gum by the checkout, baby M&S brownie pieces sold in enormous buckets and magazines with free nail polish. And then there's the bread by the stall at the station.

It doesn't matter that we have a loaf in the freezer or that I thought I might go gluten free or that 'adverse weather conditions' mean I'm running late for nursery. 

"That's a large sourdough Madam, choose your favourite." 

So this afternoon I made pumpkin, paprika and shallot soup to serve with my sourdough. We will try gluten free tomorrow. 


2tbsp olive oil
½tspn coarse ground coriander seeds
2 tsp turmeric
6 shallots, roughly chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely diced
2kg fresh pumpkin, peeled and cut into approximately 3-4cm square pieces
1.4ml vegetable stock
Salt to season
Bread to serve

1/ Heat the olive oil in a large solid based pan. Add the chopped shallots, onion garlic and turmeric and fry together for 5-6 minutes until the onion has softened.
2/ Reduce the heat. Add the stock and pumpkin and stir well, bringing to a gentle simmer. Cover and simmer for about 30-40 minutes until the pumpkin is totally soft. Blend, add a little more stock if you want the soup to be thinner and serve, with hunks of bread. 


Hello Georgina Fuggle.com

It's taken me three years of thinking, gentle persuasion and remembering to ask photographers for images. I was convinced a website cost the same price as a sofa (you can tell I'm growing up; I now compare utility bills, woollen coats and website building to the cost of a sofa). 

In fact, this particular website was free (or very nearly - I had to pay for a domain?) and took me 12 hours to build. I sat in front of my computer, scanning like a seasoned secretary and ignoring my screaming eyes. I built, converted, designed and adjusted pixels until the early hours. 

Here is the result! Now hire me please.