Tip the sugar, butter, dried fruit, whole
cherries, ginger, orange zest and juice
into a large pan. Pour over the rum,
brandy or juice, then put on the heat and
slowly bring to the boil, stirring frequently
to melt the butter. Reduce the heat and
bubble gently, uncovered for 10 mins,
stirring every now and again to make sure
the mixture doesn’t catch on the bottom
of the pan. Set aside for 30 mins to cool.
Stir the nuts, eggs and ground almonds
into the fruit, then sift in the flour, baking
powder and spices. Stir everything
together gently but thoroughly. Your
batter is ready.
Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2.
Scoop the cake mix into 12 deep muffin
cases (an ice-cream scoop works well),
then level tops with a spoon dipped in hot
water. Bake for 35-45 mins until golden
and just firm to touch. A skewer inserted
should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
Unravel the marzipan onto a work
surface lightly dusted with icing sugar.
Stamp out 12 rounds, 6cm across. Brush
the cake tops with apricot jam, top with
a marzipan round and press down lightly.
Make up the fondant icing to a
spreading consistency, then swirl on top
of each cupcake. Decorate with sugared
almonds and snowflakes, then leave to
set. Will keep in a tin for 3 weeks.