You might be forgiven for thinking I've gone rather overboard on the Christmas cakes this year... but no. Although I've got the fruit soaking for our cake I've not done much else as I've been distracted by making these... which are little individual Christmas cakes.
Ridiculous as it might sound thay have made me very excited (what is it about small things?) and they weren't nearly as much of a faff as I thought they might be... well, a bit of a faff but my excitment has definitely compensated for any fiddly business.
Do you want to know how to make them? You'll need one of those mini Sandwich pans from Lakeland, although I'm guessing a muffin pan would work just as well.
Individual Christmas Cakes
- 75g currants
- 75g sultanas
- 75g raisins
- 50g glacé cherries, quartered
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 25g chopped almonds
- 1 tablespoon brandy plus extra 4 tablespoons
- 150g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 100g dark muscovado sugar
- 2 tbsp treacle
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 150g self-raising flour
- 1½ tsp mixed spice
- 1-2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed and sieved
- 500g marzipan
- 750g ready to roll icing
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/335°F. Grease and line a mini sandwich pan (from Lakeland) or a 12 hole muffin tin. Place the currants, sultanas, raisins and cherries into a small pan. Add the zest and juice of the orange and heat gently for one minute until the juice is hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat and cool to allow the fruit to plump up. Stir in 1 tablespoon of brandy
- Place all the other ingredients for the cakes, except the nuts, into a large bowl and using an electric mixer, mix all the ingredients until they are well combined. Add the fruit and nuts and stir in with a spoon, combining well.
- Divide the cake batter between the Sandwich Pan or the muffin pan and bake on a low shelf for about 25 minutes or until well risen, golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middles comes out clean. Remove from the oven and pierce the top of each cake with a skewer and dowse each cake with 1 teaspoon of brandy. Leave to cool in the tins
- Brush each cake with apricot jam. Lightly dust a surface with icing sugar and roll out the marzipan out thinly. Cut a disc of marzipan for the top of each cake and a strip to wrap around the sides of each cake, covering it completely. Leave to dry overnight
- Dust the work surface again with icing sugar then roll out the icing thinly. (I find this easiest to do in two lots, covering half the cakes at a time) Cut out 12 circles big enough to completely cover each cake. Brush each cake with a little boiled water and place an icing disc over the centre of each cake, smoothing it down the sides with your hands. Use the remaining icing to decorate the cakes.
Wrap in cellophane with some pretty ribbon and you've got some cute little gifts for giving!