The extra work made me delay another post, but this is the last week this will happen. The 7th week was Victorian, a period I’m very found of and I also like baking Victorian recipes. The signature was game pie, obviously not suitable for me as a vegetarian. The other two challenges were fruit cake and charlotte russe. I love fruit cake, I buy it every Christmas, but I never made it at home, so I baked Victorian fruit cake. Hubby is very found of charlotte russe and that is another recipe I never made before and that I want to try.
In the show, the contestants had to make a tenis court. I’m not that keen on tenis, so I decided to make marzipan ivy decorations.
I used a silicone baking tray, oiled, without any other linings.
Ingredients for a small Victorian fruit cake:
– 375g mixed dried fruits
– 125g plain flour
– 125g butter at room temperature
– 2 eggs
– 125g muscovado sugar
– 50g almonds
– 25g ground almonds
– 4-5 spoons of brandy
– 2 spoons of apricot jam for coating the cake
Ingredients for the marzipan:
– 100g icing sugar
– 100g grounded almonds
– 4-5 spoons of date nectar (or sugar syrup)
– food colouring
Preheat the oven at 150C/130C fan.
Mix the dried fruits with the chopped almonds and a spoon of flour. Using them coated with flour makes it easier to have a good spread of fruits in the cake.
Beat the butter with a spoon or a mixer for a minute until is smooth. Add the sugar and mix it for a few minutes. The butter should have a creamy consistency. Gradually add the beaten eggs and mix them in the butter cream. Add a spoon of flour if you think the mixture will curdle.
Gradually add the flour and grounded almonds and incorporate them into the butter and egg mixture. Add the fruits into the mixture. When is combined, spread the mixture into the baking tray and bake it for a couple of hours, until the skewer comes clear when tested. Take the cake out of the oven and leave it to cool on a cooling rack.
When is completely cool, add the brandy.
Heat the apricot jam and brush it on the cake. The jam will not allow crumbs to get into the marzipan.
To make the marzipan, mix the grounded almonds with the icing sugar in a food processor. Add 2-3 spoons of date nectar and mix it for a few seconds. Dust icing sugar on the worktop and tip the mixture. Start making the paste. If it’s too dry and it will not get together, add more nectar. It takes only a couple of minutes to make the paste, there is no need to knead.
Roll the marzipan on the worktop dusted with icing sugar and cut it to size using the baking tray as a template. Add food colouring and incorporate it in the remaining marzipan. Using special cutters, cut the leaves and arrange them on top of the cake.