Thursday, 18 December 2008

Visions Of Sugar Plums

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

-Extract from The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

- Very lazy blog post by a weary Ms. Blue

Night-Before-Christmas Slice
Makes 12
Recipe from Super Food Ideas: December 2007 via

150g (1 c.) mixed dried fruit (I used raisins, currants, sultanas (I know those three are basically the same thing, but whatever), then finely chopped dried apricots & dates)
200g (half a jar) mincemeat
75g butter, chopped
40g (1/4 cup) brown sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp orange juice
60ml (1/4 cup) brandy
1 egg, lightly beaten
70g (1/2 cup) plain flour, sifted
35g (1/8 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
60g pecans
1 tsbp apricot jam

1. Combine dried fruit, mincemeat, butter, sugar, orange rind, juice and 40ml (a couple of tbsp) brandy in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove to a large bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature.

2. Preheat oven to 150°C. Grease a 8" tin and line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at both long ends. Add eggs and flours to dried fruit mixture. Stir to combine.

3. Spread mixture over prepared pan. Top with nuts. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Combine jam and remaining brandy in a heatproof, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium-high (70%) for 30 seconds or until jam melts. Brush cake top with jam, cover, and allow to cool in pan. Cut into pieces to serve.

I know it's not the night before Christmas yet, but I thought I'd give you a bit of time ^__^.


Anonymous said...

I know the slices look really good, and all ready to bring on Christmas, but you've caught my attention on something else; the cute placemat/tablecloth beneath the cooling rack! Beautiful! :P

Annie said...

This slice looks yummy! I love anything that involves fruit mincemeat!

test it comm said...

Those slices look good!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great pics, it looks tasty!!

Nic said...

Fabulous! Far more upmarket than a mince pie.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I'll have it anyday, not only before Christmas! Happy holidays!

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm. It looks yummy...

Happy holidays!!!

Anonymous said...

Is mincemeat actually meat?? :O

Anonymous said...

Oh, I just googled it up and Wikipedia says it doesen't necesarily contains meat. In that case, it looks delicious. I love everything with dried fruits and nuts (except it also has meat), specially in this season.
Happy Holidays, Indigo!

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

wow, the slices looks great to me.
I would also like to wish you Merry Christmas and wonderful ushering into new year 2009.

Anonymous said...

have you heard Louis Armstrong's version of that poem?! It's a classic!

Cakelaw said...

This looks delicious and so pretty! I think it would be great any time, not just before Christmas.

Anonymous said...

YUM awesome stuff! I think I must have read this story to my son 300 times this Christmas.

Lovely photos too.

Maria♥ said...

Wow, this is an amazing recipe and perfect when you have left over dried fruits and mincemeat from Christmas. I'm going to make this very soon! Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

really very yummy!

all in one printer said...

i so love sugar plum..

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