I'll say one thing for Christmas. It does provide excellent opportunities for approach avoidance of the million things I still have to do this year.
One entire morning spent on a batch of Sienna Cakes and a couple of brandy sodden, six-egg fruit cakes. Then of course a trip to town to get all the paraphernalia for gift wrapping and icing - mmmmm icing.
Back to work woman!
Here's the recipe just in case you already don't have enough to do:
Panforte di Sienna
2 tsp. powdered Cinamon
6 oz whie plain flour
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ground corianda
1 pinch nutmeg
Half pound candied melon rind
1 oz. candied orange rind
4 oz walnuts
Half pound almonds
8 oz. sugar
juice of half a lemon or 2 tbsp water
3 oz honey
Mix t tsp. cinamon with 1 oz. flour and set aside. This is called polverino and is sifted on top of the cake to protect it from the heat.
Mix all the dry ingredients together with the fruit and set aside.
Cook the sugar, honey and lemon juice in a double boiler till it is all dissolved and part caramelised, then pour into the dry mix and knead to a smoot consistency.
Grease and dust with flour a shallow tin (I use a flan tin with the removable bottom), and place in the bottom either a peice of flat wafer or a round of rice paper, and press the mix into it to a depth of about three quarters of an inch.
Sift the polverino on top and bake atabout 160 degrees centigrade for 30 - 40 min. Let it cool in the mould. The cake can be kept for 2 - 3 weeks.