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Blog Tour Stop with Recipe - Christmas at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn

Welcome to my stop on the Blog Tour for Christmas at Conwenna Cove by Darcie Boleyn!

I'm sorry I can't post the tour banner or gorgeous book cover, but I have been having technical issues all day!

This book sounds brill!

Here's the blurb:

When Grace Phillips travels to Conwenna Cove to help her parents move there 30 years after their honeymoon in the village, she sees why they fell in love with the place. The festive decorations, carols in the air and constant supply of delicious mince pies certainly make it hard to leave. Grace soon meets local vet Oli Davenport and initially finds him rude, but learning about his passion for animals and how much he cares for his two kids helps Grace to see a softer side to Oli.

It’s been two years since Oli lost his wife to cancer. Though he loves eleven-year-old Amy and five-year-old Tom more than anything it’s hard to be mum and dad. He has no interest in romance until he crosses paths with beautiful and kind-hearted Grace. The sparks fly but both Oli and Grace are holding onto fear about letting someone into their heart.
As the snow falls and Christmas wishes come true can Conwenna Cove work its magic and help Grace and Oli find the happiness they both deserve?

And now, Darcie has let me in to the secret of her perfect Christmas Cake!

Darcie Boleyn’s Christmas Cake

Ingredients:
1kg of mixed dried fruits – raisins, sultanas, glace cherries, cranberries, currants
50g stem ginger - chopped
zest and juice one lemon, zest and juice one orange
150ml of a spirit of your choice – brandy, whisky, rum or sherry – plus extra for feeding
250g butter
200g soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon black treacle
175g plain flour
100g almonds
100g flaked almonds
150g chopped pecans
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons mixed spice
½  teaspoon ground cloves
4 large free range eggs
1teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:
(1) Place all of the dried fruits and stem ginger into a large mixing bowl or pan then mix in
your choice of spirit along with the lemon and orange zest and juice. Cover with a clean cloth
or tea towel and leave to stand for at least 24 hours. Stir regularly to ensure that the fruit
plumps up nicely.
(2) Mix together the almonds, pecans, flour, baking powder and spices in a bowl.
(3) In a different bowl, cream the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and treacle together. Beat
in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour with each. Finally, gently fold in the dry
ingredients.
(4)Tip the creamed mixture into the fruit. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
(5)Prepare a 23-25cm and 8 cm deep cake tin: grease then double-line the inside of the tin
with greased baking parchment. Allow the parchment to come about 1cm above the top of the
tin. Cut a double circle of parchment with a diameter approximately 5cm bigger than the tin.
Fold and cut a hole in the centre about 4cm across.
(6)Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas mark 2. Pour the mixture into the lined tin. Even out the
surface and make a slight indentation in the centre with the back of a spoon. Put into the
middle of the oven and carefully balance the circular disk of parchment on top of the tin. (This 
stops the top of the cake over-browning and drying out, but it won’t work in a fan oven as it
tends to blow the parchment off.)
(7)Bake for 3 hours and 45 minutes.
(8)Place on a rack and allow to go cold in the tin – preferably overnight.
(9)Remove from tin and take off the side parchment, leaving the bottom in place. Pierce all
over with a skewer and carefully spoon over 5 tablespoons of your chosen spirit. Wrap
carefully in a double layer of parchment then in two layers of foil so that the cake is
completely covered.
(10) Leave to mature in an airtight tin in a cool, dark place for at least 3 months. 'Feed'
every 3 to 4 weeks with four additional tablespoons of your chosen spirit. Rewrap carefully
each time.
(11)Two weeks before serving, cover with marzipan and allow to dry for 5 days.
(12) Before serving, ice with fondant or royal icing, and decorate as desired.

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