Moreish Mini Spiced Almond Cakes

Christmas desserts 03

Greet your guests with warmth this festive season with these exotic spiced almond cakes…

Little cakes of joy with a subtle chilli kick – one of these moreish mouthfuls is never enough, so bake plenty!
Makes 10 mini cakes.

For the spiced orange jelly
* juice of 1 orange
* 1 tsp allspice
* 3 sheets gelatin

For the spiced almonds
* 12 almonds
* 50g sugar
* 1 tsp chilli flakes

For the sponge cake
* 200g self-raising flour
* 200g butter
* 200g sugar
* 4 eggs
* 1 tsp vanilla essence

For the marzipan
* 1 pack golden marzipan

Moreish Mini Spiced Almond Cakes

1 Juice the orange and add 2 tbsp boiling water plus the allspice.
2 Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water and once soggy drain and add to the hot water and orange juice mix.
3 Stir until fully incorporated, pour into a shallow tin and leave to set.
4 For the spiced almonds heat the sugar and chilli flakes in a frying pan without stirring until the mixture melts and turns slightly brown.
5 Add in the almonds and move the pan around to coat.
6 Once covered, remove the almonds and leave to cool on baking paper in twos.
7 For the sponge, preheat an oven to 190°C and line and butter a wide flattish tin.
Beat the butter, vanilla and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add one egg in at a time.
9 Once incorporated, fully sift in the flour and fold in.
10 Cook the cake for 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
11 Remove from the tin and leave to cool.
12 Roll out your marzipan to ½cm thickness and cut circles using a small scone cutter.
13 Keep the marzipan circles in the freezer until everything else is ready.
14 To assemble: using the same-size scone cutter, create mini sponge cakes.
15 Repeat with the spiced orange jelly.
16 Place one layer of jelly on top of the cake and then a layer of marzipan.
17 Top with a couple of spiced almonds and enjoy.

Pick up the sparkling January-February 2016 issue today for our gorgeous gourmet guide to Galway – Ireland’s new foodie capital!

Recipes and styling Jette Virdi  Photography Nathalie Marquez Courtney  Styling assistant Michelle Hanley

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