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Mini Christmas cakes with soft silver pearls

21 NOVEMBER 2013
Instead of baking just one large Christmas cake, try these gorgeous mini one-bite cakes. They make a perfect Christmas gift for your friends or family too...

Ingredients:

175g (6oz) butter or margarine
175g (6oz) light brown sugar
3 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp Dr. Oetker Moroccan Almond Extract
75g (3oz) ground almonds
175g (6oz) plain flour
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp Dr. Oetker Baking Powder
300g (10oz) sultanas
175g (6oz) dried cranberries
150g (5oz) glace cherries
Icing sugar for dusting

To decorate:

225g (8oz) Dr. Oetker Ready to Roll Regal-Ice White Icing
200g (7oz) Dr. Oetker Ready to Roll Golden Marzipan
2 tsp clear honey
Dr. Oetker Soft Silver Pearls
4 x 25cm (10in) lengths cake ribbon
Star Cookie Cutter

Method:

1. Place a roasting tin of cold water in the bottom of the oven then preheat the oven to 150°C (140°C Fan, 300°F, Gas Mark 2). Grease and line a 19cm (7in) square cake tin, and wrap the sides in a double layer of brown paper. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter or margarine and sugar together until pale and creamy then gradually beat in the eggs, and stir in the Moroccan Almond Extract and ground almonds.

2. Sift the flour, nutmeg and Baking Powder on top and add all the fruit. Carefully mix all the ingredients together and then spoon into the prepared tin. Smooth over the top and bake in the oven for about 1 ½ hours until lightly browned, slightly risen and firm to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin before removing. Discard the tin linings and wrap in fresh paper and foil and store for 3 days before decorating.

3. When ready to serve the cakes, discard the storage wrapping from the cake. Using a 7cm (3in) round pastry cutter, push down on top of the cake within 1cm (1/2in) of the edge to make 4 circles – you may need to trim up the edges with a knife.

4. Divide the Marzipan into 4. On a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, roll each piece into a circle to fit the top of the cake. Brush with a little honey, secure a Marzipan circle on top and trim to neaten.

5. Lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar. Roll out 100g (4oz) Regal-Ice Icing to a thickness of 5mm (1/4in). Using assorted snowflake cutters stamp out 12 snowflakes, re-rolling as necessary. Place on a board lined with greaseproof paper and set aside in a warm, dust free place, to dry. When dry, carefully peel off the paper and place on a wire rack. Pipe a small dot of writing icing in the centre of each snowflake and place a soft silver pearl on top. Put aside until completely set, then cover lightly until ready to decorate the cakes. Roll out the remaining Regal-Ice Icing and using your pastry cutter cut out four discs of icing.

6. Brush the Marzipan with a little water and carefully secure the Regal-Ice discs on top of each of the cakes. Carefully place your snowflakes on top of the iced cakes.

7. To finish, secure a piece of ribbon round the side of each cake.

Baker's tip: For a less almond flavour, replace the almond extract with the same quantity of Dr. Oetker Madagascan Vanilla Extract. For longer storage before marzipan and icing, wrap the cake as described and freeze for up to 6 months. Allow the cake to defrost in the wrappings before finishing.

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