Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Cakes

For Sally's birthday party I made a few little cakes - fruity ones and muffins!

Mini Christmas Cakes a la BBC Good Food
225g butter
2 tbsp brandy
pinch of saffron
225g golden catser sugar
4 eggs
225g plain flour
50g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
300g raisins
300g sultanas
100g glace cherries, halved
85g mixed peel
50g almonds, roughly chopped
50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
50g pecans

Heat the oven to 160°C. Heat the brandy in a small pan and add the saffron and leave to infuse for a few minutes. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a bowl, beat together until smooth. Mix in the fruit, nuts and brandy-saffron. Spoon into 24 muffin cases and bake for 50min, or until a skewer comes out clean.

To ice I used ready rolled marzipan and regal icing because I'm lazy but you could easily make your own. I dusted the cakes with edible snowflake, silver or gold from Squires Kitchen.

Cranberry and orange muffins
200g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarb
1/2 tsp baking poweder
125g caster sugar
100ml low fat plain yoghurt
grated rind of an orange
100ml freshly squeezed orange juice
1 egg
150g fresh cranberries

Heat the oven to 200°C. Put the cranberries in a baking dish and sprinkle with 50g sugar. Bake in the oven for about 10min until they have burst and soaked up the sugar, but are still whole and not mush. In a bowl sift the flour, bicarb, baking powder and remaining sugar. In a jug mix together the yoghurt, egg, orange juice and rind. Then combine the liquids and flour mixture and stir in the cranberries. Just incorporate everything and don't over mix to get fluffy muffins. Then distribute between 12 muffin cases and bake for about 20min. The cranberries give the muffins quite a tart taste so if you like them a bit sweeter just adda little more sugar.
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