Stir Up Sunday
The time has come to pick up your wooden spoons… are you ready for Stir Up Sunday?
We know our customers love to get organised, so whilst it might seem early for some of us, for many in November that means starting to prepare for Christmas. One traditional way to stay ahead of the game this festive season is to indulge in Stir-up Sunday.
If you’re not familiar with this event, Stir-up Sunday falls on the last Sunday before Advent begins, and for more years than even we’ve been around, it’s been the day that families traditionally gather together to whip up their glorious plum puddings. This year it falls on Sunday 26th November, giving you a whole month to allow that lovely brandy to infuse, and all those yummy spices to soak in, before you tuck in on Christmas Day.
Anyone can help out, and it’s customary for the whole family to get involved, since it can be hard work for just one person to mix up all the ingredients for a large Christmas pudding. Some people like to add silver for good fortune, but if you prefer to find luck without chomping down on a coin, we hear a stir of the bowl and a wish made by each member of the family will go down a treat – just like your pud!
Or why not try an alternative Christmas Pudding?
For the cake
- 225g sultanas
- 225g currants
- 225g raisins
- 115g chopped peel
- 30ml brandy
- 225g plain flour
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 50g ground almonds
- 225g butter
- 225g soft brown sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 15ml black treacle
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 115g glacé cherries
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 50g chopped almonds
For the jug
- Renshaw ready-to-roll white icing
- Ivory food colouring
- Renshaw ready-to-roll red icing
- Renshaw ready-to-roll green icing
- Soak the sultanas, currants, raisins and chopped peel in the brandy overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas 2. Grease a Large Hemisphere Pan with Cake Release or a little butter and line with baking parchment.
- Sieve the flour, mixed spice and ground almonds into a bowl. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and pale.
- Lightly mix together the eggs, treacle and vanilla extract and beat into the creamed butter a little at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour mixture after each addition.
- Rinse and roughly chop the cherries, then add to the fruit mixture with the lemon zest and juice, chopped almonds and a small amount of the flour mixture. Fold the remaining flour mixture into the creamed mixture, then fold in the dried fruit mixture. Add extra brandy or milk if necessary.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the hemisphere pan, level with the back of the spoon and slightly hollow out the centre. Tie a double layer of parchment around the outside of the tin to protect the cake during cooking and place a bowl of water in the oven to help keep the cake moist.
- Bake at 150°C/Gas 2 for 1¾ hours, then reduce to 120°C/Gas ½ for 3½ hours. When baked, the cake will be firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre will come out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the tin. If you want to add extra brandy while the cake is cooling, prick the surface all over with the skewer and spoon over the brandy.
- In the meantime, make the jug. Take a plastic cup and make a hole in the base that will fit over the top rod of the anti-gravity frame.
- Roll out enough white icing to wrap a 1cm thick layer around the sides of the cup, with a little extending beyond the bottom of the cup to form the top of the jug. Trim and smooth the edges together then fashion a pouring lip. Cut a circle of white icing and attach it over the open end of the cup to make the base of the jug.
- Add a few drops of ivory food colouring to white icing to make it look like cream. Attach a circle of cream-coloured icing to the base of the plastic cup inside the jug, leaving a corresponding hole in the centre, and shape to look like cream.
- Make a handle out of the white icing, brush water onto the outside of the jug to help it stick, then attach and leave to set firm.
- To build the cake, secure one of the supporting rods on the base plate of the Anti-Gravity Pouring Cake Kit, then gently lower your fully cooled cake over the rod. Attach the other rod and then the corner piece.
- Roll out the cream-coloured icing and cut out a large splash shape. Cut a hole in the centre and lower over the cake frame rods onto the top of your cake.
- Wrap cream-coloured icing around the visible parts of the frame.
- Place the jug on top of the cake frame, making sure the rod fits securely through the hole in the base of the cup.
- Make individual splashes of cream out of icing and secure each one in place with a cocktail stick.
- Decorate with holly leaves and berries made from the green and red icing.
TIPS: TO LINE YOUR HEMISPHERE PAN, USE LONG, THIN STRIPS OF BAKING PARCHMENT. PLACING YOUR HEMISPHERE PAN IN A DEEP ROUND TIN WHILE BAKING WILL MAKE IT EASIER TO COVER THE OUTSIDE WITH PARCHMENT. YOU CAN ADD GUM TRAGACANTH TO YOUR WHITE ICING TO HELP IT SET MORE FIRMLY – USE 1 TSP OF GUM TRAGACANTH TO 250G ICING.