- 500 gram (1 pound) dried mixed fruit
- 125 gram (4 ounces) butter, chopped coarsely
- 1/2 cup (125ml) water
- 1 cup (200g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 2 tablespoon brandy
- 2 eggs, beaten lightly
- 1/2 cup (75g) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1/2 cup (75g) self-raising flour
- 1/2 cup (75g) cornflour, for dusting
- 750 gram (1½ pounds) ready-rolled white icing
- 1 egg white, beaten lightly
- edible gold paint
- 1Combine fruit, butter, the water, sugar and soda in a large saucepan; stir over medium heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; remove from heat, stir in brandy. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl; cool to room temperature.
- 2Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F. Line 12-hole ¾-cup (180ml) texas muffin pan with paper cases.
- 3Stir eggs into fruit mixture, then the sifted flours; divide mixture evenly among pan holes. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cover hot cakes with a clean tea towel while still in the pan; cool cakes in pan.
- 4To decorate: On a surface dusted with a little cornflour, knead icing until smooth. Roll out into a 5mm (¼-inch) thickness. Using a 5.5cm (2¼-inch) fluted cutter, cut out 12 rounds. Lightly brush tops of cakes with egg white; cover with icing rounds.
- 5Using alphabet and snowflake cutters, cut out the letters to spell `noel'. Use snowflake cutters to cut out snowflake shapes. Brush snowflakes with egg white, then secure on top of icing on some of the cakes.
- 6Paint letters with edible gold paint. When completely dry, brush the bases with egg white; secure to cakes.
You need alphabet and snowflake cutters, edible gold paint, available from cake decorator supply shops, and a new small artist's paintbrush. Use silver or gold paper cases for the cakes. Cakes can be made up to 5 days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. If the weather is humid, decorate them the day before serving.
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