Mini Caribbean Christmas cakes
- December 2008
- Makes 4 X 10cm square cakes, each cake cuts into 9 slices
- Takes 30 minutes to make, 1½-1¾ hours to bake, 1 hour to decorate, plus drying time
This recipe makes four rich, mini Christmas cakes, you can give three away as edible gifts and keep one for yourself!
- 14g (3.9g saturated)
- 69.6g (61.6g sugar)
For one slice
- 175g currants
- 175g sultanas
- 175g raisins
- 75g candied orange peel, chopped
- to the size of the raisins
- 75g stem ginger in syrup, drained and chopped to the size of the raisins
- 75g natural glacé cherries, halved
- 150g tropical dried fruit mix (mango, pineapple and papaya), chopped to the same size as the raisins
- Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
- 300ml dark rum
- 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 175g dark muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp black treacle
- 4 medium free-range eggs, beaten
- 200g plain flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp each ground cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg
- 100g shelled Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
For the decoration
- 100g marmalade
- 1kg white marzipan
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- 1kg fondant icing
- White or silver ribbons (optional)
- Fake or dried berries, baubles, flowers or holly, to decorate (optional)
- Put the currants, sultanas, raisins, candied orange peel, stem ginger, glacé cherries, tropical dried fruits and orange zest into a large mixing bowl with the rum. Stir together well, cover and set aside somewhere cool for at least 48 hours and up to 1 week, stirring now and then, until all of the rum has been absorbed.
- If you’re using a multi-size tin, arrange the dividers to give you 10cm square compartments. Grease 4 compartments or 4 x 10cm individual cake tins, and line with baking paper.
- Preheat the oven to 150°C/fan130°C/gas 2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract and black treacle. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, adding 1 tbsp flour with each addition to prevent the mixture from curdling.
- Sift over the remaining flour, salt and spices and fold into the cake mixture with the rum-soaked fruits and Brazil nuts until well combined. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and level the surfaces. With the back of a spoon, make a shallow dip in the centre of each. This will help them to cook with flat tops. Bake for 1½-1¾ hours, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the tins.
- When the cakes are cold, remove from the tins, peel off the baking papers, wrap tightly in foil and store in an airtight tin, until you’re ready to decorate. If the cakes don’t have flat tops, take a thin slice off the top.
- Put the marmalade into a small pan with 2 tbsp water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute, then strain into a bowl.
- Cut the marzipan into 4 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, cut in half and roll 1 half out on a board lightly dusted with icing sugar into a square slightly larger than the top of the cake. Brush the top of the cake with the marmalade glaze and invert the cake onto the marzipan. Fold in the overhanging marzipan and push it into the sides of the cake to give a nice square edge, then trim away any excess. This will give your cake a perfectly flat top.
- Next cut 2 pieces of string, 1 to the circumference of your cake, and 1 to the same height. Using these as a guide, roll the other piece of marzipan out into a long wide strip and trim neatly to size. Brush the sides of the cake with more glaze and wrap the marzipan strip around the sides. Turn the cake right side up and put on a tray. Repeat steps 7 and 8 with the remaining cakes. Leave somewhere warm and dry for a few hours to allow the marzipan to dry out.
- To ice the cakes, cut the fondant icing into 4 equal pieces. Cut a piece of string that goes up 1 side of the cake, across the top and down the other side. Working with 1 piece of icing at a time, roll it out on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, using the string as a guide. Brush the marzipaned surface of the cake with some cooled boiled water. Carefully lift the icing over the top of the cake using a rolling pin and smooth it over the top and down the sides, pinching it together gently at the corners. Slice away the excess icing at the corners, about 5mm out from the sides of the cake, and smooth away the joins with your fingers sprinkled with icing sugar.
- Trim neatly around the base and set aside on a board or tray. Repeat with the rest of the cakes. Leave to go hard overnight, then store in an airtight tin until needed. Or decorate the sides of the cakes with ribbon, attaching to the cakes with pins. Decorate the tops of the cakes as you wish using fake or dried berries, baubles, fresh flowers or holly.
You will either need 4 x 10cm square cake tins or 1 multi-size foldaway cake tin – the one made by Silverwood comes with dividers so you can make 4 cakes in 1 tin. And with a multi-size tin, you will never have to buy another square cake tin or loaf tin again!
Presentation idea: Carefully lower the cakes into deep gift boxes, loosely lined with coloured tissue paper. Decorate with ribbon and a handwritten label.
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