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Nigella’s Incredibly Easy Chocolate Fruit Cake

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My sister used to hate Christmas. Because the only family tradition we had was a game invented by my mother called ‘what can I possibly do this time to screw that period even more’. She was marvelous at it. Top notch. Never failed.

I briefly remember spending Christmas Eve with her family when I was 5. If my sister hadn’t had cooked, no one would have been bothered about dinner.  There was no family gathering, everyone was minding their own business – someone was watching TV, the other was listening to the radio, someone else disappeared, etc. After few hours (there was also a minor row involved when we were accused of being intellectuals) we left, and that involved walking home through the forest for 5 km in the middle of winter. Polish winter. So when I think about that day I can sort of understand why my mother never cherished Christmas, but I still can’t understand why she always had to screw it for us.

I used to love Christmas (especially after leaving home at 20). Not anymore. I am disillusioned. Bah humbug!

So for the last time I decorated the house and made food. I also made Nigella’s Incredibly Easy Chocolate Fruit cake. It was a really nice fruit cake with the hint of chocolate. Of course when I was making it I had to listened to many Boyfriend’s jokes and references to flour not being flour, and ‘are you sure the white powder is the baking powder?’ comments. But I am on Nigella’s team and I am not taking  jokes like that from anyone. And again, as I said here before, if you are successful, beautiful woman, you have to deal with a lot of bad press, probably caused by jealousy. What I don’t understand is why women take part in this. And also, no one has actually seen Nigella taking cocaine but everyone seems to judge her and wish her the end of her career. And when Kate Moss was actually photographed while taking cocaine, people seemed to forget about it straight away, and she’s back to be a British treasure. Is it because she is not as pretty, eloquent, sexy and wealthy as Nigella? I don’t get it.

Anyway, back to the cake. Make it and enjoy it. It is as gorgeous as its inventor…

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My sister used to hate Christmas. Because the only family tradition we had was a game invented by my mother called ‘what can I possibly do this time to screw that period even more’. She was marvelous at it. Top notch. Never failed.

I briefly remember spending Christmas Eve with her family when I was 5. If my sister hadn’t had cooked, no one would have been bothered about dinner.  There was no family gathering, everyone was minding their own business – someone was watching TV, the other was listening to the radio, someone else disappeared, etc. After few hours (there was also a minor row involved when we were accused of being intellectuals) we left, and that involved walking home through the forest for 5 km in the middle of winter. Polish winter. So when I think about that day I can sort of understand why my mother never cherished Christmas, but I still can’t understand why she always had to screw it for us.

I used to love Christmas (especially after leaving home at 20). Not anymore. I am disillusioned. Bah humbug!

So for the last time I decorated the house and made food. I also made Nigella’s Incredibly Easy Chocolate Fruit cake. It was a really nice fruit cake with the hint of chocolate. Of course when I was making it I had to listened to many Boyfriend’s jokes and references to flour not being flour, and ‘are you sure the white powder is the baking powder?’ comments. But I am on Nigella’s team and I am not taking  jokes like that from anyone. And again, as I said here before, if you are successful, beautiful woman, you have to deal with a lot of bad press, probably caused by jealousy. What I don’t understand is why women take part in this. And also, no one has actually seen Nigella taking cocaine but everyone seems to judge her and wish her the end of her career. And when Kate Moss was actually photographed while taking cocaine, people seemed to forget about it straight away, and she’s back to be a British treasure. Is it because she is not as pretty, eloquent, sexy and wealthy as Nigella? I don’t get it.

Anyway, back to the cake. Make it and enjoy it. It is as gorgeous as its inventor.

Nigella’s Incredibly Easy Chocolate Fruit Cake

350 g chopped prunes

250g raisins

175g currants

175g butter

175g dark muscovado sugar

225g honey

125ml Tia Maria, juice and finely grated zest of 2 oranges

1 tbsp mixed spice

2 tbsp cocoa powder

3 eggs beaten

150g flour

75g ground almonds

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp soda

1. Preheat the oven to 150C. grease round, loose -bottomed cake tin, line it with baking parchment.

2. Put the fruits, butter, sugar, honey, Tia Maria, orange juice and zest, spice and cocoa powder into large saucepan and gently bring to a boil, stirring as the butter melts.

3.Simmer for 10 min, take off the heat, cool.

4. When it cooled, add eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and soda, stir to combine.

5. Pour the fruit cake mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 – 2 hrs.

6. Decorate with all the glitter and bling you can handle.

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About potatofaces

People who cook always go on about precious memories of childhood food one of their family members cooked, how daddy or nanny taught them the importance of cooking and eating together, and they still remember the comfort food they produced, amazing dishes whipped up by brilliant but humble cooks in their family. Well, let me tell you, it was totally different in my family. My mother’s family – totally useless as cooks, who could survive on bread and butter, cooked once a week a terrible, terrible meal, usually some kind of meat piece with lots of brown sauce. Also, they were never bothered about eating together. That’s maybe why most of them were depressed and suicidal. My mother followed that path and couldn’t really cook, and because I never wanted to eat meat, was warning me that ‘one day I will regret it’. Probably because my mother wasn’t into cooking my sister at the age of 12 took over and started producing amazing dinners and cakes. Well, luckily for me and her we weren’t that genetically doomed because apparently my father’s family were gifted in that compartment. I can only presume it was genes, as my father divorced my mother when my sis and me were little and he strongly believed that he also divorced us. So, we were growing up never having any contact with him and as a result, couldn’t learn how to cook from him. That’s why I believe the love of cooking ( and the ability) was just passed to us genetically. My father, short time before he died, unexpectedly felt an urge to contact us. First he gave my sister a mandolin (that’s another thing I know about him- he played a few instruments). My sister refused to talk to him, he then decided to contact me and wanted to spend some time with me. I didn’t want to, as he was a stranger to me (I was 11 or 12 at the time) but as I was promised I could leave whenever I wanted to, I went to the village he lived in. There I tried his mother’s cooking everyone was raving about. It was simple and amazing, I wish they were as family dedicated as they were at baking, cooking, making pastries, wine, tinctures, you name it. But I ate, drunk, and got bored of strangers who were my family and demanded to be let to go home. One of the last things my father said to me was that I should start learning English because I might need it one day, which I ignored for another 16 years… Because my sister was such a domestic goddess I wasn’t really bothered about cooking. I got hooked properly after my son was born and I wanted him to eat healthy and get everything he needed, especially that it wasn’t his choice to be a vegetarian (yet). And that is how the story begins…

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