Stout times

The other day I remembered with fear and trepidation that Christmas is, like, just now! And I haven’t been feeding a pudding with brandy for months yet. I hadn’t even baked it. But I’ve been keen on trying a cake this year instead of pudding since I really like to eat the stuff sliced, with a bit of mature cheese. So I found a recipe for a Dark, Sticky Guinness Christmas Cake, and off I went to the bottle store for some milk stout and the supermarket for a bunch of dried fruits.

xmas cake

Is there a nicer thing to deal with on a Saturday morning than milk stout and molasses, melted butter and sugar, dried fruit and a heady aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger? I think not.

Now for the wait. The recipe doesn’t say anything about feeding it – just that it will ‘keep for up to a month’. I’ve already taken the liberty of making sure it will keep for a lot longer than that, thanks to my good friend the Three Ships Whisky. Given that puddings are generally steamed again before serving (which basically eliminates the alcohol), and that fruit cakes are NOT, I truly look forward to eating this baby.

In other news, Royal Greenland (responsible for all the little bland “prawns” Danes put on their bread) and The Shellfish Association of Great Britain have recently conspired to build the world’s biggest prawn cocktail (think 50kg of prawns, and 10 litres of “Marie Rose”, aka. 1000 Island dressing). Quite a far cry from our starter last night:


(Admittedly we did order just one to share, and the restaurant helpfully divided it between two plates. But it was … not… all… that… great).