Baking

Ingredients
  • 125 g (4 oz) lightly salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 50 g (2 oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 1 piece of stem ginger from a jar, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons ginger syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 g (5 oz) self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 200 g (7 oz) luxury mixed dried fruit, soaked in 3 tablespoons brandy or orange-flavoured liqueur for 1 hour
  • 325 g (11 oz) white almond paste
  • icing sugar, for dusting
Directions

Line a 12-section bun tray with paper cases. Put the butter, sugar, ginger, eggs, flour, baking powder and nutmeg in a bowl and beat with a hand-held electric whisk for about a minute until smooth and creamy. Stir in the fruit and any liquid until evenly mixed.

Roll 100 g (3½ oz) of the almond paste into a log shape, about 6 cm (2½ inches) long, and cut into 12 slices. Divide half the cake mixture between the cases and level with the back of a teaspoon. Place a paste slice over each. Cover with the remaining mixture.

Bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for about 25 minutes until just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Roll out the remaining paste thinly on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar. Cut out 12 rounds with a 5 cm (2 inch) cookie cutter. Brush the cakes with the ginger syrup and cover each with a paste round. Flatten a small piece of paste into a thin ribbon and roll up to make a rose. Position on the cake centre. Repeat for the remaining cakes. Put on a baking sheet and heat under a moderate grill, watching closely, until lightly toasted.

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