Mini Christmas cakes to make with grandchildren! from eGJ
25g ready-to-eat dried apricots
40g glace cherries (quartered)
15g mixed candied peel (chopped)
10 ml (2 tsp) brandy, rum or sherry (or orange juice)
15g blanched almonds (chopped)
Grated rind of ¼ lemon
75g plain flour
½ tsp mixed spice
15g ground almonds
50g dark muscovado sugar
50g soft margarine
2 tsp black treacle
1 tbsp flaked almonds
Brandy, rum or sherry for feeding
FOR THE ICING
3 tbsp apricot jam
225g almond paste
225g fondant icing
Handy HintIndividual Christmas cakes are particularly welcome for those who live on their own or have small appetites. Baked bean tins (225g) are an ideal size, but you can also use muffin rings with a paper collar or small foil pudding containers. If you use non dairy margarine this recipe can be dairy free.
Method1. Measure all the dried fruits into a large bowl, add the brandy, rum or sherry, cover the bowl tightly and leave overnight.
2. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3. Remove the labels, wash and thoroughly dry 3 x 8oz (225 g) baked bean tins. Grease and line the base and sides of the tins with greased greaseproof paper.
3. Measure the almonds, lemon rind, flour, mixed spice, ground almonds, sugar, margarine, treacle and egg into another large bowl and mix together. Beat thoroughly for about 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth.
4. Add the soaked fruit and any liquid to the bowl and stir to mix in thoroughly. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins, spreading it evenly. Level the surfaces and then sprinkle with flaked almonds.
5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1-1¼ hours or until a fine skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins.
6. Pierce the top of the cakes in several places with a skewer and spoon in a little brandy, rum or sherry. Remove the cakes from the tins but do not remove the lining paper as this helps to keep the cakes moist. Wrap in more greaseproof paper and then foil and store in a cool place for a week.
7. Sieve the apricot jam and warm it slightly then brush it over the surface of the cake. Cover with almond paste and icing in the usual way. Decorate as liked.