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Mincemeat Cake

We have become used in recent years for the run-up to Christmas to begin earlier and earlier. From September onwards Christmas cards etc start to appear in our shops as traders hope to separate us from our siller. The brightening of our shopping areas with Christmas illuminations also seems to be starting earlier as indeed is similar decoration in our homes. Houses, all over Scotland, have appeared be-decked , within and outside, with Christmas decorations before we have even reached St Andrew’s Day. A far cry from the days when Christmas was just another normal working day in Scotland and the main celebration was concentrated on Hogmanay and the New Year.

Hence the reason in 1841 that a Leith printer, Charles Drummond, began the practise of producing a greetings card for this time of year with no mention of Christmas. He printed a card portraying a cheery, well-fed-looking chiel with a message proclaiming “A gude New Year and mony o’ them”. The idea caught on so we have to thank a printer in a wee shop in Leith’s Kirkgate for beginning a practise which is now world-wide. Now-a-days you have to search very diligently for a card bearing a New Year greeting.

Now you know whom to blame when you suffer from writer’s cramp after doing this years cards!

Mincemeat and Christmas go together and this week’s recipe Mincemeat Cake can be baked now in readiness for The Daft Days (24 December to 6 January).

Mincemeat Cake

Ingredients: 6oz (175g) self raising flour; 3oz (75g) margarine; 8oz (225g) mincemeat; 1 egg; 3oz (75g) caster sugar; 1 dessertspoonful melted syrup

Method:  Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add syrup and beat mixture a little more. Beat the egg well, and add to creamed mixture. Fold in all the flour, and lastly, add the mincemeat. Pour into a 6 inch cake tin. Bake at 325°F, 160°C, Gas mark 3, for 90 minutes.

Please note this cake is very moist and is inclined to sink slightly in the middle. When removed from the oven, turn upside down on to a cooling tray, this will give the cake a neat surface. 

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