Flicking through one of the Christmas issues of Good Food Magazine I found a recipe for Christmas cakes in jars, complete with marzipan and icing!
I thought this sounded like an awesome idea, but was a little dissuaded when I mentioned the concept to the boyfriend and a few friends who all immediately asked “How would you eat it?”. Hmmmm, I started to think that maybe my baking lust was taking over my common-sense as my first thoughts had been “how cute!” and “How soon can I try this out?”
I have scaled down the recipe to make 5 portions and made a few amendments, including warming the dried fruit and brandy on the hob rather than leaving soaking overnight, using flavoured brandy and a mixed bag of dried fruit (I used Sainsburys basics for economy). Original recipe by Kerry Hemms in BBC GoodFood mag Dec 2012, mine is below:
- 370g dried fruit mix (mine was sultanas, peel, currants, raisins and candied peel)
- Zest and the juice of 1 orange
- 5 tbsp Orange & Honey Brandy (from M&S)
- 115g unsalted butter
- 70g dark brown muscavado sugar
- 40g light brown muscavado sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- 150g marzipan
- 150g white fondant icing.
1. Pick out the candied peel from the mixed dried fruit and then chopped it finely for a better consistency.
2. Then put the dried fruit, orange zest, orange juice and brandy in a saucepan and over a very low flame, heat gently stirring regularly for around 10-15 mins.
3.Preheat the oven to 150°C Cream the sugar and butter together in a bowl adding the eggs one at a time, slowly add in the flour and spices stirring constantly.
3.Divide the mix between 5 jars (that have been sterilized first- how to here). Please remove any rubber seals if using Kilner jars or similar. Pop into a deep roasting dish, half fill the dish with water and place in the oven.
4. Bake for 1 hour. Remove and leave on a rack to cool.
5. Once completely cooled, smear a little of the apricot jam over the top of each cake and place a cut out circle of marzipan on top followed by a smidge of bottled water and then topped with a circle of the fondant icing.
6. Either decorate the cake with a fondant icing cut out shape e.g. snowflake, holly, star etc… Seal the jar and decorate however you fancy!
The recipe states that the cake keeps for 6 months once sealed!
When ready to eat, grab a spoon and get digging!