Thursday, 18 December 2014

Festive Cake Truffles with Brandy Buttercream

So here's a fun recipe that combines many of the familiar festive flavours in a lovely little bitesized package. A delicately spiced sponge is broken into crumbs, before being mixed with a really rather naughty brandy buttercream. Each is then shaped into a cakey truffle ball and finished with a paper thin layer of marzipan (one of my favourites by the way), to create a moreish mouthful that's perfectly suited to the party season. So to the kitchen with you fellow cake crusader, for it is time to bake once more.

Prep time: 30 Mins (Plus some cooling time)
Baking time: 30 Mins
150g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
150g Light Muscovado Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1tsp Orange Extract
1tsp Lemon Extract
1tsp Vanilla Extract
160g Plain Flour (Sifted)
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Mixed Spice

For the buttercream
50g Unsalted Butter (Softened)
100g Icing Sugar (Sifted)
A splash of Brandy

100g Marzipan
2tsp Apricot Jam

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease a 20cm loose bottomed sandwich tin and line the base with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the extracts, along with the flour, baking powder and spice then mix to a smooth consistent batter. Spoon into your prepared tin, even gently to the edges, then bake in the centre of the oven for around 30 minutes, until a metal skewer can be cleanly removed when inserted into the middle of the cake. When you are happy the cake is baked remove from the oven, leave in the tin for 10 minutes, then carefully turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cake is cool you can prepare the buttercream. In a bowl cream together the butter and icing sugar, then mix through the brandy until smooth and glossy. In a clean, large bowl break the cooled cake down to fine crumbs. Add the buttercream and mix to combine. I find the best tool for this is your hands! Shape into balls (you should get about 20 out of the mixture) and place on a sheet of greaseproof or baking paper.

For each ball take a small amount of marzipan, roll it into a ball and press into a thin disc. Warm the apricot jam to loosen, dab a small dot onto the top of each ball, then top with the marzipan disc. Mould the disc to cover the top (so it looks like a little Christmas pudding) and leave in a cold place for an hour or two to firm up. You can decorate these further if you wish but even without embellishment they are still ruddy delicious!

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