For the batter
- 200g dark muscovado sugar
- 175g butter, chopped
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 700g luxury mixed dried fruit
- 50g glacé cherries
- 2 tsp grated fresh root ginger
Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…
- zest and juice 1 orange
One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…
- 100ml dark rum, brandy or orange juice
- 85g/3oz pecan nuts, roughly chopped
Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…
- 3 large eggs, beaten
The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…
- 85g ground almond
arr-mund or al-mund
Sweet almonds have a subtle fragrance that lends itself well to baking and also works well with…
- 200g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…
For the icing
- 400g pack ready-rolled marzipan (we used Dr Oetker)
One of mankind’s oldest sources of sweet pleasure, marzipan needs to contain only ground…
- 4 tbsp warm apricot jam or shredless marmalade
A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…
- 500g pack fondant icing sugar
- icing sugar, for dusting
You will also need
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.