Baking

Ingredients
  • 100 g (3½ oz) raisins
  • 75 ml (3 fl oz) Marsala or dry sherry
  • 125 g (4 oz) lightly salted butter, softened
  • 100 g (3½ oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g (5 oz) self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 250 g (8 oz) ricotta cheese
  • 50 g (2 oz) icing sugar
  • handful of flaked almonds, lightly toasted
  • 12 raisins
Directions

Line a 12-section bun tray with paper cake cases. Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the Marsala or sherry and heat until bubbling around the edge. Simmer for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and turn into a bowl. Leave to cool.

Put the butter, muscovado sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and beat with a hand-held electric whisk for about a minute until light and creamy.

Drain the raisins thoroughly, reserving the unabsorbed Marsala or sherry, and stir into the cake mixture. Divide between the cake cases.

Bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 20 minutes or until risen and just firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Put the ricotta in a bowl and gently stir in 1 teaspoon of the reserved Marsala or sherry and the icing sugar – don't overbeat the mixture or it will become too runny.

Pierce the tops of the cakes with a skewer and drizzle with the remaining Marsala or sherry. Spread the ricotta mixture on top. Use the flaked almonds and raisins to decorate each cake with a simple flower shape.

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