Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Pascale Weeks’ Mincemeat Cake

I've made this simple cake quite regularly at this time of year either to use up leftover mincemeat or when the supermarkets start to sell it off at knockdown prices. The recipe was published back in 2009 here on the English language version of the blog “C'est moi qui l'ai fait !”. Recently I was burbling on about defunct food blogs and I suppose that technically this is one of them. But calling it a defunct blog is a bit misleading: the French version of  “C'est moi qui l'ai fait !” is still very much a going concern and well worth reading if you're OK with French. What's more if you've ever picked up a copy of “750g” magazine or come across one of her books, then you'll know that its author Pascale Weeks is still very much around and doing just fine. It was simply the English language version of her blog that she stopped producing.
Mincemeat Cake
Mme Weeks gave this recipe the alternative title of “lazy girl cake” because it's so simple and quick to put together. I'm only half-qualified to comment on the name but I'm definitely lazy and it's easy enough for me. It produces a delicious, gently-spiced (depending on your choice of mincemeat) and slightly crumbly fruit cake. I've also made this cake with homemade, fat-free mincemeat and it still works, although the texture is a little different and you may need to adjust the baking time.

This cake reminds me of sitting in a cafĂ© in Devon many years ago while the staff and customers tried valiantly to explain the important difference between ‘mincemeat’ and ‘minced meat’ to a man from Paris with a limited grasp of English. He just wanted a typical British afternoon snack but left shaking his head sadly.

If you fancy a different sort of mincemeat cake, then the Apple and Mincemeat Cake that Suelle posted on Mainly Baking recently would make an excellent alternative.

I haven't shared many posts lately and because it's a new year I thought I really should make more of an effort.
Love Cake Logo


Since this cake is perfect for using up leftover mincemeat, it should fit in well with the 'Waste Not' theme of this month's Love Cake at Jibber Jabber.



21 comments:

  1. The cake sounds delicious. Shame about the blog but thanks for pointing me in the direction of the French version, my French is just about good enough to cope.
    Your mincemeat story is very amusing and reminds me of my most recent embarrassing moment in the maison de la presse in the village. We decided to make our Christmas cake in France and bring it back to the UK with us but I needed brown paper to wrap around the tin. Goodness knows why but I tried to explain to Nellie the Newsagent what I wanted it for and she gave me that look which the French reserve especially for moments like that - when they think we're completely mad and don't mind it showing in their faces.

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    1. I know that look so well, believe me. It is a shame about the English version of the blog, but, when I think about the amount of work it must create writing blogs in different languages, then I really do understand why not many people can find the time.

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  2. Thanks for the mention, Phil! This looks a good cake too, although my leftovers are usually parts of jars, so I'll have to look out for seasonal reductions - it looks nice enough to buy the mincemeat especially for it. Less fiddle than making mincepies, too!

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    1. I think it's a lot less fiddle than the pies and, to be honest, I prefer cake to pies. I did see some jars of mincemeat in Waitrose for 50p this week.

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  3. Happy New Year, Phil, this is such a good idea and looks gorgeous too - I have some minced meat left over in the fridge and I look forward to this. My best wishes, Ozlem

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    1. And I wish you the very best for the coming year. Don't fall into the minced meat/mincemeat trap, though, whatever you do.

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  4. Oooh, I might make this at the weekend! I still have a large kilner jar of homemade mincemeat to use up. And I don't do complicated cakes, so this looks simple enough for me to bake! Thank you for posting.

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    1. This really is simple (especially if you let a machine do most of the work) and I promise it's very reliable too.

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  5. This has come at just the right time Phil, as I want to make a cake to take to friends tomorrow, and have a jar of Waitrose mincemeat [not 50p sadly] to use.It looks a good cake. It's sad that the English version of the blog has gone, but I do follow her French one.

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    1. It may not be a highly decorated, special occasion cake but the fact that I've made it regularly proves that it appeals to a simple soul like me. I'm glad we both follow Mme Weeks' French blog - it's always worth reading. I was particularly interested in her recent post on steamed "poached" eggs and I always remember a post she made some years ago when she recalled her visit to a British pantomime. Explaining pantomime or cricket to the French is close to impossible I'd say.

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  6. I made the cake to take to my friends and they really enjoyed it, as did I. Lovely and moist and full of flavour. The rum in the mincemeat helped! I made it in a 900g loaf tin, as it was easier to carry.

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    1. Glad you liked it and the addition of rum can only be a good thing. I love the flavour of rum in cakes.

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  7. What a lovely blog! Your philosophy and, er, posting frequency seem very similar to mine :) I didn't even know Pascale had an English version of her blog. I like her French take on British dishes.

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    1. You're very kind Veronica. I've never been known for my frequency or promptness. (Or much else, come to that.)

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  8. What a delicious cake Phil, I love mincemeat, especially homemade. Thanks for the link to the French version of Pascale Weeks' blog :)

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    1. Yes, homemade is definitely the best and I really regret not making some of my own for last Christmas. I've really got to try harder next winter.

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  9. My friend and I have found us in the situation of having jars and jars of mincemeat after they were reduced to 5p! We're planning on some Easter bake sales for her charity so we've been on the lookout for some suitable recipes to use up our stash.

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    1. Well I think that 5p is definitely the new record low cost. I'm starting to think of it as a very useful ingredient and not just a new year bargain.

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  10. I've actually never had mincemeat (but perhaps, as an American, that's not so surprising), but this cake looks wonderful! I've been meaning to brush up on my French (I can't speak a word of it, but I do periodically have to read academic scholarship in French), so the recipe you linked to might be a fun workout for my brain.

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    1. I sometimes forget just how British mincemeat is. I suppose it's one of the classic British flavours that doesn't really travel. Personally I do speak some French but it's largely unintelligible to anyone and I wouldn't fancy reading anything academic either, but when it comes to French recipes, menus and wine labels, then I'm usually fairly fluent. Just shows where my interests lie in life.

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  11. I think mincemeat cakes are almost the best use for mincemeat. You can make a very tasty light fruit cake in a jiffy and it's something even CT will eat and he's not a fan of fruit cakes.

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