With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of some baking inspiration, particularly if you are planning on making a Christmas pudding or fruit cake. I love the idea of giving a handmade gift at Christmas, and have been experimenting with Christmas Cakes this year to give to my loved ones.
I recently discovered Farmhouse, an online gateway to Australia’s best artisan producers. It’s sometimes hard to get all the produce you want in one spot, and Farmhouse makes the process easy by cutting out the middleman. There is a large community of farmers and producers online and it’s a great way to be able to buy from them directly. You can also feel good knowing you are supporting local, and helping to build a viable business for smaller producers . All of the produce is either grown or made and is specifically packed and shipped by the producer so you can have a really authentic farmhouse experience.
From food produce to household and beauty goods, there is plenty of inspiration for cooking online, just sort by region or producer. It’s also a great place to shop for Christmas gifts , with plenty of gift packs and hampers on offer.
Once ordering online, the produce was delivered to my door within a week. It was exciting to receive a little brown package at the door, filled with gourmet produce. Also, when you buy online, 90% of the money from each purchase goes to the producer (in traditional retail stores the producer only earns an average of 10 – 30%).
For this Christmas Cake, I ordered most of the ingredients online. I was so impressed by the delicious range of ingredients at Farmhouse and how much I could buy online. I used sultanas and currants for dried fruit, but you can also use figs, cherries etc if you would prefer. The Barenuts Macadamias are a secret to success in this recipe, providing a beautiful crunch and texture to complement the dried fruit. I also loved using Footeside Farm’s Wattleseed which is roasted and ground to release a delicious, nutty full flavour.
What I love the most about Farmhouse, is discovering small artisan producers and hearing the stories behind their business. Murray View Organics Organic Black Gem Currants are sweet and full of flavour and are produced by a boutique second generation Certified Organic family farm. Murray View Organics are all about handpicked, high quality produce, free of artificial or chemical preservatives. The flour I used is from Whispering Pines Organics, a fourth generation Australian farmer family, founded in 2011 when they purchased an Austrian Stone Mill. They decided to go organic due to a family member’s health and haven’t looked back since. It certainly made me think about buying organic flour more often.
- 500g Organic Black Gem Currants (Murray View Organics)
- 500g Dried sultanas (Sultana Girl)
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp honey (Pure Peninsula Honey)
- 150ml brandy
- 250g Farm butter (The Dairyman Barossa) softened
- 150g brown sugar
- 175g plain flour (Whispering Pines Organic)
- 125g Self raising flour (Whispering Pines Organic)
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp wattle seed (Footeside Farm)
- 100g macadamias chopped (Barenuts)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp rhubab jam (Di’s Rhubarb Jam)
- 500g ready to roll icing or royal icing
- In a large saucepan, place the dried fruit, orange, lemon, brandy, honey, butter and sugar. On medium heat, bring to the boil then lower the heart and simmer for five or ten minutes until aromatic. Take off heat and leave to cool for 1 hour.
- Pre heat oven to 150C. Line a deep 20cm cake tin with a double layer of baking parchment and line on the outside to ensure cake doesn’t burn.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the fruit mixture and stir well until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared tin, ensuring it is flat on the top.Bake in the oven for 2 hrs or until an inserted skewer comes out clean and cake is deep golden brown.
- Poke several holes in the top of the cake and pour over a tablespoon or two of brandy. Leave in the tin to cool completely.
- For best results, remove from the cake tin and wrap well in cling film, adding 1 tablespoon every week until served.
- When ready to serve, spread the rhubarb jam over the cake and top with ready made icing (optional).
This is a sponsored post in partnership with Farmhouse. All views are honest and my own.