Have you forgotten to make or buy your Christmas cake?! Here’s the answer….
230gms tinned pineapple, drained from any juice.
150gms caster sugar
500gms mixed dried fruit – glace cherries, candid peel, chopped stem ginger, sultanas.
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
150gms Self raising flour
2 small eggs, beaten.
For the marzipan-enough to cover the top and sides of a 7″ cake:
- 300gms icing sugar
- 350gms ground almonds
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg white
- Almond essence – optional
For the marzipan mice:
- Flaked almonds
- Liquorice string or black fondant icing
- Melted chocolate – optional
Using a food processor, whizz the pineapple to a pulp.
Measure the sugar, butter, fruit and bicarbonate into a saucepan, and add the pineapple. Set over a low heat to melt butter. Once butter has melted, raise heat and simmer the mixture for 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, set aside for a moment to cool.
Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, add the eggs and sifted flour.
Pour into tin and place in the center of the oven, 160 degrees for an hour.
When cool, the cake can have a douse of Christmas liquor or brandy, prior to a marzipan and icing finish.
For the marzipan:
- Whisk egg and sugar in a bowl above a saucepan of simmering water. Mixture should increase in volume and have the texture of thick cream.
- Add almonds and work to a thick paste. Roll into a sausage, wrap in cling film and leave overnight before using.
- Dust a flat work surface with icing sugar, roll out half the marzipan in an oblong shape.
- Using a piece of string, measure the circumference of the cake, then using this measurement cut the oblong into the exact width & length.
- Melt 2 Tbsp jam in a pan, brush the sides of the cake with the melted jam. This will help the marzipan to stick.
- Press marzipan onto the side of the cake, trim any excess off where it joins, and on the top of the cake.
- Roll out the other half of marzipan into a circle, using a plate or base of a cake tin as a guide, cut out a round to cover the top.
- Brush top with melted jam, then place marzipan circle on top.
- Add food colourings to marzipan trimmings to make decorations and lettering.
- Once decorations are complete, lightly dab cake with a little beaten egg white foam.
- If you don’t have a blow torch, use a grill, to burn a glaze on the marzipan.
For the marzipan mice:
- Roll walnut size pieces of marzipan into ovals, keeping one end rounded, and roll the other end into a point. Using the end of a skewer poke eye and tail holes.
- Select whole flakes of almonds as ears.
- Cut liquorice strings for tails and small bits for eyes.
Chocolate mice – once marzipan is formed and almonds added, insert cocktail stick in the tail hole. Using a small paint brush, apply melted chocolate to marzipan. Leave to set before adding tail and eyes.