This recipe makes 8 individual cakes.
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Serves: 8 people
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65 g Almonds
blanched and flaked
1 tbsp Black Treacle
4 tbsp Brandy 350ml
to soak the cake after it is baked (optional)
50 g Candied Mixed Peel
1 tsp Cinnamon
300 g Currants
3 - Fresh Egg
100 g Glace Cherries
0 tsp Mixed Spice
200 g Muscovado Sugar
235 g Plain Flour
130 g Raisins
130 g Sultanas
1 - SuperValu Granny Smith Apples
peeled and grated
35 g SuperValu Ground Almonds
0 - SuperValu Lemon
grated rind and juice
0 - SuperValu Orange
grated rind and juice
200 g SuperValu Unsalted Irish Creamery Butter 227g
0 tsp Almond Essence
1 tbsp Captain Morgan Rum
150 g Caster Sugar
3 large Fresh Egg
1 tbsp SuperValu Apricot Jam
300 g SuperValu Ground Almonds
150 g SuperValu Icing Sugar
2 tsp SuperValu Lemon Juice
- Using double thickness greaseproof paper, line the base and sides of eight or nine individual round cake tins of three inch diameter.
- Tie a double band of brown paper around the outside of the tin. The paper helps absorb some of the oven heat and protects the cake from overcooking.
- Mix the dried fruit, cherries, candied peel, almonds and ground almonds together.
- Stir in the lemon and orange rind, juices and grated apple. Leave on one side while you make the cake mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Gradually beat in the eggs.
- Sieve the flour and spices, and fold half the flour into the cake mixture.
- Stir in half the dried fruit mixture followed by the remaining flour and dried fruit.
- Stir in enough treacle to darken the cake.
- The mixture should have a soft-dropping consistency.
- If it looks a tad dry, add a dash of brandy.
- Spoon into the prepared tins and make an indentation in the centre of the cakes. This helps ensure an even rise.
- Bake the cakes for 45mins - 1 hour, until firm to the touch.
- When a cake is pierced with a skewer, it should come out clean.
- If it looks as if it's getting too brown in the oven, cover the surface of the cake with several layers of greaseproof paper. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.
- Pierce the cooled cakes with a skewer and drizzle over a spoon of brandy over each.
- Do this a couple of times while it is maturing - once a week should be enough depending on how moist you like your cake.
- It's a good idea to give the cake around three weeks to mature before covering it with almond paste.
For the almond paste
- Place both the sugars in a mixing bowl with the ground almonds.
- Lightly beat the egg yolks, almond essence, lemon juice and rum.
- Add enough of the egg yolk mixture to the almonds and sugar and knead to make a soft but not sticky dough.
- Turn onto a surface, which has been dusted with icing sugar, and knead until smooth.
- If you're not using the paste straight away, keep covered with plastic wrap as it has a tendency to dry out.
To apply marzipan to the mini cakes
- Measure around the circumference of the cake using a piece of string.
- Brush the top with boiled apricot jam.
- Dust a surface with icing sugar and roll out one-third of the marzipan for the top of the cake.
- Turn the cake onto the almond paste and trim away the excess almond paste with a sharp knife so it fits the exact size of the cake.
- Turn the cake the right way again and set it on a cake board.
- Brush the sides of the cake with apricot jam and roll out the remaining almond paste to an oblong, the length of the piece of string. The width should be about the same height as the cake.
- Carefully roll up the almond paste oblong and smooth it onto the sides of the cake.
- Trim with a sharp knife so that the paste fits the shape of the cake.
- Leave the cakes for about five days so that the almond paste has a chance to dry before covering with royal icing.
- Lightly whisk the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until they are just beginning to get frothy.
- Stir in a couple of spoons of icing sugar and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Gradually add the rest of the sugar, beating well between each addition.
- Stir in the glycerine - this helps stop the icing from setting rock solid.
- Spread this over the cake in a decorative fashion.
- Be as imaginative as you like.
- For flat icing: Keep the icing fairly soft - a wooden spoon should stand upright in the icing and slowly fall to one side.
- Add more icing sugar to make a stiffer icing which will hold its shape.