Tag Archives: Christmas

The Spong Mincer part 2

Well it has been some time since my last post. The reason being that I really wanted to continue with my Spong mincer theme but that has been tricky.

It has been difficult finding a recipe where the mincer really is the best tool for the job. Food processors do have the edge in so many ways and as I don’t eat meat the usefulness of the vintage piece of equipment seemed destined to be merely decorative.

Then, of course, Christmas came around again and mincemeat needed to be made. I seem to make mine in a slightly different way each year. I vary the spice blend or tinker with the amount of apple I put in. For the past few years I have dispensed with the idea of adding vegetable suet altogether and I have just added a little melted butter instead.

This year my attention turned to texture and I decided I wanted something a little smoother  than last year. Cue the mincer because I knew that the food processor would be too powerful and smash the mixture to a  pulp. I put about a third of the mincemeat through the mincer. It made light work of the dried fruits and roughly chopped apples. When mixed with the rest of the “unminced” mixture the overall texture was perfect for my liking.

So it seems I have a new Christmas tradition in my kitchen. My Spong mincer will be clamped to the worktop for a mincemeat making session once a year, at least. Which is exactly what my mother and grandmother used it for in the past. Sometimes it is hard to improve on a tried and tested method.






Adding the chopped apples

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Posted by on December 27, 2015 in Food


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Boozy Damson Chocolate Cake

Boozy Damson Chocolate Cake

I’ve been making Damson Vodka for the past few years.  Friends with Damson trees have been generous with the fruit in the Autumn and by Christmas the lovely warming, jewel coloured drink is ready to be bottled, given as a gift or drunk by me.

The first time I made Damson vodka I couldn’t think what to do with the fruit.  It had been pickled in the sugar and vodka mixture for two months and smelled delicious in the bottom of the jar. It was far too interesting to throw away,certainly.

Then I had the idea of combining it in a chocolate cake.

The fiddly job is to remove the stones from the damsons and then put the soft fruit in the base of a lined cake tin.

Spread the damsons out to completely cover the base.

Cover with your usual chocolate sponge mixture.

Once baked and cooled tip out the cake so the fruit is now on top.

I like to eat this with a splash of double cream or plain yogurt.

This cake is quickly becoming  a welcome Christmas tradition in my family alongside the vodka itself, of course!


Posted by on January 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


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