Boca dot Cakes
Christmas Cakes - all grown up
- All is Bright -
Do you remember how you felt about Christmas when you were really tiny? How magical, how wonderful it was? And the vague sense of loss during your teenage years when you discovered the truth. For me it was like those "out in the wilderness" years until, finally, I got it, and could leave my solipsistic self behind to embrace the joy of giving to my family and friends and mostly, the sharing of food.
Becoming a mum brought the wonder and excitement back to Christmas completely - there is utter joy in Christmas, pure magic glistens in the eyes of children. Whether or not you agree with spinning them stories, there is something totally pure and innocent in bringing joy to children. Why shouldn't kids believe, at least for a few years?
I cooked for the Shooting Set in Scotland for many years and it was here that I fell in love with fruit cakes. Scotland reignited memories of my Nana's cakes and her baking days when we were little. I didn't appreciate a heavy fruit cake in the hot Australian sun as a child, but I certainly learnt to in Scotland.
It's an old family tradition to make a wish for each family member as we stir the eggs into the cake each year and I do this with every cake I bake; a tiny wish for goodwill, for things to be calm, and bright. This is why I call them Christmas Wish Cakes, it's reflected in the stars I make for the top and in every stir I give the batter, just a tiny wish for peace on earth, or, at least in your household.
My ethos across all my cooking and baking has always been to make it as locally as possible and as organically, or ethically produced as possible.
Many of the ingredients in my cakes come from organic retailers/wholesalers who provide certified organic products. My cake flour is all biodynamic and unbleached, cranberries and dried cherries are certified organic, sulphur free, and come from Cananda, yes this is a little farther away than I would like, but they're amazing! My organic figs hail from Turkey and the rest of my fruits are organic and Australian, my apples are hand dried by a dear family friend in Bunbury, W.A. I only use organic rapadura sugar and organic, pure butter. I use aluminum and gluten-free baking powder and local oranges and lemons.
Many of the other ingredients come from Food Connect, a Brisbane company dedicated to bringing local, ethically produced goodies from farmers to consumers. I buy my weekly veggies from these guys, including beautiful biodynamic, free range eggs and their wonderful oranges and lemons for the cakes.
And lastly, the name... Boca is Spanish for "mouth". I spent many years cooking in Spain and the country and its people still have a hold on my heart, so I guess it was just a little nod to a great place.