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Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.

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Your e-Mails

Lindsey Sykes
Nicey replies: I'm not sure under which circumstances I would find myself getting aquatinted with such items. It would have to be properly introduced I think as otherwise it seem that I had arrived there out of desperation, which obviously would be a bit undignified (no aspersions cast over your enjoyment of said items ).

Hiromi Miura
CakeFruitRocket ScienceJapanese Black Thunder
Nicey replies: Dear Hiromi,

I think that biscuits can be ingredients in cakes, as the digestive biscuit and ginger nut often form the base for Cheesecakes. So biscuits are quite prepared for this treatment. I don't think it can go the other way though. Perhaps the closest is the sponge fingers that get used in desserts which are very dry and brittle which have almost entered a state where by they could be used as biscuits. Even so that is no the same thing as smashing them up or treating them with a solution that would turn them into biscuits.

Perhaps some of the people outside of Japan should think about that, although you might have to do the translation again.

P.S. I like the strawberry on top, very tempting.

Kristen Rupp
CakeFruitJammie DodgerJaffa cakes
Nicey replies: You seem to making very good progress towards a completely well balanced tea and biscuits outlook. The fruit cake will come in time. Ours is a very tasty and relatively light recipe not like those dark tarry masses that appear to have given it such a bad reputation in the US. I would have tough the Pacific North West is probably ideal fruit cake territory, providing it doesn't attract bears.

Simon Sinclair
Nicey replies: Hello Simon,

I'm very pleased to hear that you have built your own NCOTAASD fruit cake with some extra custom build to order features. Its also terrific news that you took it camping too. Wifey and I are filled with warm fuzzy cake, tea and sitting on the floor thoughts.

I think I once detected in an American sit-com a sideways jibe at the British and fruitcake, and just put it down to ignorance of the good things in life. I think that fruitcakes really became firmly established in the Victorian era. This was also around the time that baking powder and self raising flour came on the scene. Most recipes prior to that time are for fruited breads raised with yeast. So it would seem that the first British colonists had pre-dated this wave of Victorian baking. The emigrating Scots and the Irish were probably America's best hope of getting some decent fruitcake know how after that.

Certainly sounds like a subject worthy of further investigation.

Keith O'Kane
CakeFruitCheese please
Nicey replies: Keith,

Thanks for taking up the challenge on this one. Sorry to hear your cake was a bit dry, it will change its texture with keeping which is why we always leave ours a week in the tin before we tuck in. So it will probably improve a good bit by the weekend. Also as you say ovens can be very tricky. Our gas oven changes it behaviour depending on what its in it and how the heat circulates. If I have two things on two shelves then we are into the realms of needing super-computing models like those used to forecast the weather to predict what will happen. I think in our first few dabblings with fruit cake we would sometimes over do it a bit so it does come down to a bit of trail and error to get them just right.

I'm now struggling with the fact that I now seem to aspire to owning an oven thermometer. This seems a bit Heston Blumenthal-esk, and therefore counter to the free spirited and artisanal nature of baking. I can see both sides of the argument so really need to work this one through a bit more.