One of the first friends I made was Karen who writes the beautiful blog Lavender and Lovage. She writes about seasonal flavours and local produce from her kitchens in France and England. Karen has a gorgeous writing style and includes snippets of history and poetry in her posts. She has also mastered the art of taking stunning photos of her food. Do pop along and make a new friend.
As soon as I saw these little snowflake cakes I knew I would be making them for Christmas. Firstly, you need to whip up the Wee Whisky Cakes, then after feeding them with whisky for a week it is time to ice and decorate them with snowflakes. Rather than show you my version I thought it would be best for Karen to guest post and show us how to make these lovely cakes in her own words. Mine will be added to the food hampers I am making as gifts. Now over to Karen....
A gentle meander down the lane to the local Farm Shop........that early morning pearly light that shimmers over barren fields; the sharpness of first breath as you leave the warm cocoon of home. The crackle and snap of feet kicking through crisply fallen leaves and then the glorious vision of sizzling leaves of gold, orange, bronze and flame red; beech and bracken, elm and elder, all bedecked in gaudy colours and now showing more than they should, branches blatantly on show with sparse leaves to cover their dignity.......smoke suspended in the air above toy cottages and tidy terrace houses. Family dogs barking by wooden garden gates and cats skulking behind ragged hedgerows whilst seaside gulls wheel above, squawking and shrieking with delight as they are lured by the richer pickings of "inland" dining.
300g luxury dried mixed fruit
50g mixed peel
100g light brown sugar
100g butter, unsalted
juice of 1 clementine
1 large egg
200g self raising flour
25g ground almonds
1 teaspoon mixed spice
grated zest of a clementine
One batch of the following cake mix makes 8 to 10 muffin size cakes.
- Preheat oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark
- Grease and line a muffin tin
- Place the dried fruit, peel, clementine juice, butter, sugar and water in a saucepan and simmer gently over a low heat with the lid on for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool and then add the beaten egg, ground almonds, mixed spice and sieved flour.
- Mix well and then pour into prepared tins.
- Shake the tins gently to level the mixture and bake for 45 to 50 minutes; test with a skewer after 50 minutes, which should come out clean if the cake is cooked.
- Cool the cakes in the tins for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the tins and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Make some holes in the cake with a knitting needle or a skewer and feed with whisky for several weeks.
Baking Mad, Mich Turnerand Mini Snow Flake Christmas Cakes
I was lucky enough to receive a wonderful Mich Turner cake decorating kit recently from Baking Mad, which is one of my very favourite websites for fabulous inspirational baking recipes. In my kit there was a pack of ready to roll Madagascan Vanilla White Icing, ready to roll finest quality Marzipan, Gold Lustre, Pearl Lustre and Bronze Lustre ~ the makings of a creative decorating set for cakes and bakes. Mich Turner is famous for setting up The Little Venice Cake Company in London where she has created cakesfor celebrities and international royalty including Her Majesty The Queen, Madonna, Pierce Brosnan, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Cheryl Cole, Gordon Ramsay and David Beckham. She has recently launched this cake decorating range with Silver Spoon, and it is this fabulous new range that I received fromBaking Mad to review. If you are looking for the snowflake cutters they can be bought online here.
I eased the rolled marzipan over the cakes and gently moulded it over the cakes before using a handle from a rolling pin to ease the marzipan around the sides of the cakes. I let the marzipan dry for about 3 hours before decorating the cakes with the vanilla icing. The ready to roll icing was just as easy to handle as the marzipan and has a subtle but obvious vanilla flavour. It rolled out easily, was smooth and silky, and was very easy to manipulate.
Thank you Karen! Don't forget to pop along to Karen's blog Lavender and Lovage for daily food inspiration.