Friday, 5 December 2014

Day Five :: Little Cakes

If you read my advent posts last year... and happen to have a good memory, you will remember I made some individual Christmas cakes for a Fair in the local Church
 
 
This year, several people asked would I be making them again so in between rushing here and there and everywhere this week I've been baking and decorating little cakes... 24 of them! I've tweaked the recipe ever so slightly so if you should fancy making some yourself... here goes. They really do making lovely gifts!

 
You'll need one of those mini Sandwich pans from Lakeland, although I'm guessing a muffin pan would work just as well and I have read you can use small baked bean tins (empty the baked beans out first!) although these will make slightly bigger cakes.

 
Individual Christmas Cakes

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

To decorate
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam, warmed and sieved
  • 500g marzipan
  • 750g ready to roll icing

Method:
  1. 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, stir in 1 tablespoon brandy and cool to allow the fruit to plump up and soak up the liquid.
  2. Cream together the butter, sugar and treacle until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs a spoonful at a time, adding a little flour with each addition which will stop the mixture curdling. Sift in the flour and spice, gently stirring to combine. Finally add the fruit, nuts and milk, mixing well.
  3. Divide the cake batter between the Sandwich Pan or the muffin pan and bake on a low shelf for about 30 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
  4. 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
  5. 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.

 
I won't deny they are a bit of a fiddle but good fun to make. The first batch are now wrapped and labelled ready to go...

 
But if you'll excuse me, I've got another twelve to ice and decorate before dinner!

12 comments:

  1. They look so sweet and are perfect for a person living on their own. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  2. How fantastic!! I hope they sell really well, because they deserve too!! So lovely and just right for someone who doesn't have others to share a big cake with. Love the idea of the bean tins too - and your instruction to remove the beans first!! xx

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  3. They look so beautiful it would be a sin to cut one.

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  4. I am just amazed, how do you find the time and patience? I would buy the lot. I am also going to take a note of your recipe for next year. Our big Christmas Fayre is tomorrow, too late to make anything but with a bit of forward planning.... :-) x

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  5. Your little cakes look so pretty. Beautiful! I've just bought one of the mini sandwich tins about a week ago when they were on special offer (half price)

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  6. So gorgeous! And perhaps a good excuse for a new cake tin ;) xx

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  7. Gina, you really are a wonder! These beautiful little cakes will be very generous gifts to the lucky recipients. The way in which you've wrapped them up and added the silver ribbon is a perfect touch.

    It was when I was reading the recipe and got to the part about inserting a bit of brandy that I was totally won over!

    Please do treat yourself to an Advent afternoon nap. xo

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