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      Otter Vale Products

      It’s mince pie/mincemeat cake time!

      Christmas is nearly here, and as we get ready for our last day in the kitchen until the new year, we’re beginning to relax (a bit!) and think about how to enjoy what we make! Particularly topical this week has been our Mincemeat, as we tuck into the mince pies to keep our energy levels up. Made with butter, not suet, it’s vegetarian-friendly and like all our products, is gluten-free. Oh, and it’s made with a splash of brandy to give it that little extra luxury!

      (Photo: Gabriella Dyson for Otter Vale)

      We usually have a mince pie competition between our team, but we’ve been so flat out this year that we haven’t had time. So we were delighted to receive some of Liz from Otter Nurseries‘ delicious mince pies, made with Otter Vale Mincemeat.

      We don’t know how she finds the time or the energy, but the wonderful Sue Stoneman has managed to fit in cooking a batch of mince pie alternatives, with her mincemeat cakes. This recipe, which is vegetarian-friendly and can be adapted to be gluten-free (like our Mincemeat), has been published on the Dining Devon blog and Sue has kindly given us permission to share it here too.

      Regular readers of our blogs will already know Sue, but if you don’t, she is the siren of the scarves and a local legend. Sue was South West Chef of the Year‘s Home Cook winner 2016 and 2017, knows all there is to know about cooking AND baking outdoors, works at Big Fire at The Shops @ Dartington and is a food writer and blogger. Should you need any further reassurance, she knows her puds, having been both West Country Baking Champion and Sticky Toffee Pudding Champion.  Read on to work through the recipe in Sue’s own words. We hope you enjoy them!

      Mincemeat Cakes

      If Mincemeat Pies or Tarts aren’t your ‘thing’, you don’t fancy making your own pastry or you don’t have a packet of frozen puff or short pastry in the freezer, then you might wish to try these Mincemeat Cakes.  In a nutshell, or even a pastry case, they are little sponge cakes flavoured with dried mixed spice, cinnamon and with a spoonful of tasty Mincemeat in the middle.  Otter Vale’s Mincemeat is really quite luxurious, partly due to some brandy in it!  I tried these cakes out on my friends and family and the tins came home empty with the comment “you can make those again!”. Here’s the recipe if you wish to give them a go. They are fairly quick to make and would be great to make with your children too. There are not many dishes to wash up afterwards which is always a good thing.


      (Photo: Sue Stoneman)

      Put your oven on at 180C.  12 pastry cases & bun tin

      175g self raising flour

      175g softened unsalted butter

      100g soft light brown sugar

      1 tsp mixed spice

      1 tsp cinnamon

      3 eggs

      Grated zest of an orange

      150g mincemeat

      Icing sugar for dusting

      WHAT TO DO:

      Put all the ingredients into a bowl, except the mincemeat, and whisk with an electric mixer for about 2-3 minutes until well blended.

      Put the pastry cases into the cake tin and carefully put a tablespoon of mixture in the base of each case.

      With a teaspoon (I found it easier to use two teaspoons and to save your fingers getting sticky), place a teaspoon of mincemeat in the centre of this.

      (Photo: Sue Stoneman)

      Repeat this for every pastry case.

      Top these with another tablespoon of cake mixture so that you can’t see any mincemeat.

      (Photo: Sue Stoneman)

      Bake in the middle of your oven for about 15-20 minutes, checking at 15 minutes to see they are OK.

      Once cooked, take out and carefully put onto a cooling rack.

      Once cool, if you can wait that long, dust with icing sugar for that snowy, festive look and enjoy with a cup of tea or glass of sherry.

      (Photo: Sue Stoneman)

      I reckon these cakes would be lovely served warm with cream or custard too – an alternative to a light Christmas Cake.

      The mixture may make a few more than 12 cakes.  I seemed to have a bit left in my bowl.

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