Mini Christmas Cakes

These were another creation for my Christmas gift hampers. I also took some into work as the batch made 24 of the little beauties. I used a mini Victoria sandwich tin, which has loose bottoms (don’t we all?!) and straight sides, but otherwise looks very much like a muffin tin. If you don’t mind your mini cakes having angled sides then I’d just use a muffin tin. I’d had my eye on the mini sandwich tin for ages though and when it was reduced to less than half price, I just had to have it. I have a cake tin addiction, you might have guessed.

Mini Christmas cakesIdeally, you should soak the fruit for a few days to a week, until it stops absorbing brandy. If you end up making these on the spur of the moment then you can gently boil the fruit in the brandy to get a similar effect, the fruit doesn’t quite have the same boozy impact though but still tastes pretty good.

Mini Christmas cales2

Ingredients: (Makes 24, you could easily halve the recipe though)

  • 12 oz of currants
  • 10 oz of sultanas
  • 4 oz of seedless raisins
  • 2 oz of chopped glacé cherries
  • 2 oz of mixed peel
  • Brandy (lots of, how much is up to you but I’d say at least half a bottle)
  • 2 oz of ground almonds
  • 10 oz of gluten free plain flour (or normal plain flour)
  • 6 oz of castor sugar
  • 0.25 tsp of mixed spice (I doubled all the spice quantities shown here because I love festive spices, feel free to use cloves and ginger (with the spices below) and forgo the mixed spice)
  • 0.25 tsp of cinnamon
  • 0.25 tsp of grated nutmeg
  • 0.25 tsp of sea salt
  • 8 oz of butter
  • 4 eggs
  • Apricot jam (several tablespoons)
  • ~300g of marzipan
  • ~300g of fondant icing
  • Icing sugar
  • Coloured fondant to decorate (optional)

Method:

  1. Soak your fruit in a good glug of brandy for several days, until it stops absorbing. Top up with brandy and stir, daily.
  2. Grease your mini sandwich/muffin tin with butter. I had one tin but had two batches of cake mix, so I just re-greased the tin for the second lot of cakes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I used a handheld electric whisk to do this.
  5. In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients (almonds, flour, spices and salt), mix well.
  6. Beat the eggs well and then add then bit by bit, in combination with the dry ingredients, to the butter and sugar mixture. Again, using an electric whisk.
  7. Pour any excess brandy from the fruit into the mixture and whisk this into it. You want a fairly stiff/thick mixture, so don’t add too much if you have a lot of liquid left. Hopefully you haven’t got a lot of un-absorbed brandy, as wasted brandy is a crime. Conversely, add more brandy if your mixture is too thick, but it should be fairly thick to support the weight of the fruit. Never add milk to the mixture.
  8. Fold the fruit into the cake mixture using a spatula, try to do this fairly gently, too keep some air in the mixture.
  9. Scoop the cake mixture into the greased cake tin(s) and spread the mixture evenly.
  10. Bake the cakes for 25 minutes at 150°C and then for a further 10 minutes at 135°C if they aren’t golden brown. They should spring back when lightly prodded and a skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
  11. Once your cakes are cooked, leave them to cool slightly in the tin and then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. Use a skewer to poke some small holes into the cake.
  13. Fill a small dish with a few tablespoons of brandy and then coat the top and sides of the cakes with it, using a pastry brush. Keep brushing them until they start to become a little saturated.This is ‘feeding’ the cake and should be repeated every day until you’re ready to ice the cakes. I fed mine 3-4 times. Store them in an airtight container in between feeds and do not refrigerate.
  14. To  ice the cakes, find a round cookie cutter the same size/very slightly larger than the cakes and cut out marzipan and fondant circles (one of each per cake), that are about 5mm thick.
  15. Warm the apricot jam in the microwave and then brush the top of each cake with it. Place a layer of marzipan upon each cake.
  16. Coat the marzipan with apricot jam and then place a layer of fondant upon it.
  17. Decorate or serve as they are. These make lovely gifts as a lot of love (and brandy) goes in to making them.
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6 thoughts on “Mini Christmas Cakes

  1. Pingback: Christmas Gift Hampers | Noisette

  2. Pingback: Hello, December | Noisette

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