Thursday, 12 December 2013

Festive Squashed Slices with Almond Buttercream

I'm sure you'll all be indulging in your fair share of baking this festive season and I'm equally sure you all have a wealth of Christmas recipes primed for use. So here's a little spin on a Christmas classic, that you can nestle in your lunchbox ready for whenever you need a little necessary festive cheer. It's pretty standard stuff, from the basic spiced sponge to the sweet buttercream, but there are a few interesting little twists when it comes to its construction (and destruction). As always, try to use the finest ingredients you can afford (or find), but don't go crazy. You need to save your pennies for all those presents!

Prep time: 30 Mins (Plus an hour or so to chill)
Baking time: 50 Mins
150g Plain Flour
150g Light Muscovado Sugar
1hpd tsp Mixed Spice
1tsp Baking Powder
150ml Sunflower Oil
2 Large Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Extract
250g Mixed Fruit and Peel

For the buttercream
300g Icing Sugar
150g Unsalted Butter
Around 1.5tbsp Brandy
2tsp Almond Extract

Ready, steady, go! Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease a 2lb loaf tin and line with baking paper, or ideally one of those loaf tin liners you can pick up relatively easily these days. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, spice and baking powder. In a separate bowl or large jug beat together the oil, eggs and vanilla extract, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix to a smooth batter. Pour the batter into your prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for around 50 minutes, until a metal skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. When you're happy they are baked remove from the oven, leave in the tin for around 15 minutes, then carefully turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cake has cooled break it up in a large mixing bowl until you are left with small crumbs. It doesn't matter if there are a few larger lumps left, but be as vigorous in your destruction as you can. Mix in the fruit and in a separate bowl, cream together the icing sugar and butter. Decant a third of the buttercream into a separate bowl and mix through the brandy. You can use more or less brandy depending on how boozy you like it!. Mix the brandy buttercream into the cake crumbs with a large spoon or ideally your hands, then press the mixture firmly into a 21cm square cake tin that's been lined with baking paper. Add the almond extract to the remaining buttercream, then spread on top of the pressed cake mixture. Place in the fridge for at least an hour, ideally two then carefully remove from the tin. With a sharp knife, slice into individual slices or squares. There you go, all done. Ho ho ho!

No comments:

Post a Comment