Cherry Bakewell fondant fancies
Almonds and cherries are a great combination - used to great effect in these pretty individual cakes.
For this recipe you will need a freestanding mixer with a whisk and beater attachment, a deep 23cm/9in square cake tin and a piping bag fitted with a medium star nozzle.
For the marizpan
- 100g/3½oz ground almonds
- 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
- 50g/1¾oz icing sugar, sifted, plus extra if the mixture is too wet and to dust
- 1 free-range egg
- ½ tsp almond extract
For the sponge
- 75g/2½oz unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing tin
- 5 free-range eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest only
- 150g/5½oz golden caster sugar
- 150g/5½oz plain flour
For the fondant icing
For the almond buttercream
- 150g/5½oz unsalted butter, softened
- 225g/8oz icing sugar, sifted
- 15g/½oz ground almonds
- 1 tsp almond extract
- violet food colour gel
For the filling and decoration
For the marzipan, combine the almonds, caster sugar and icing sugar in a large bowl. Create a well in the middle and add the egg and almond extract. Stir until just combined. Knead briefly until the marzipan is smooth, adding more icing sugar if the mixture is too wet. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge until needed.
For the sponge, Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 23cm/9in square deep baking tin with butter and baking paper.
In the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the eggs, almond extract, lemon zest and sugar. Beat on a high speed for 7–10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick, smooth and trebled in size and the whisk leaves trails which sit on the surface of the mixture when lifted out.
Sift a third of the flour over the surface and very gently fold into the mixture using a large metal spoon until combined. Repeat this process once more, then pour in the cooled, melted butter around the rim of the bowl and fold in with the last third of flour. Make sure the butter and flour are completely folded in, but be careful to keep as much air in the mixture as possible.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes until golden-brown and coming away from the edges. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Wrap in cling film and place in the freezer.
For the fondant icing, tear the fondant into small pieces into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add 100ml/3½fl oz water and the lemon juice gradually (you might not need it all) beating on medium speed until a thick pourable consistency. Add a drop of colour to the fondant, mixing thoroughly, until it is a pale lilac colour. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and set aside.
For the almond buttercream, beat the butter in a freestanding mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until smooth. Gradually add the icing sugar and almonds and beat until light and smooth. Add the almond extract, to taste. Cover and leave in a cool place.
For the filling, mix the cherry conserve with the almond liqueur.
Remove the sponge from the freezer and carefully trim the edges to straighten. Measure the cake and mark out a grid of 5 equal columns and rows on the surface of the cake (which will be cut later to make 25 squares of cake). Using a small knife, cut out a dip in the middle of each square – but be careful not to cut through to the bottom. Fill each hole with a little cherry conserve.
On a surface dusted with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to a square slightly larger than the cake and drape over, trimming the edges so it covers the top neatly. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to set. Re-measure the 5 x 5 grid as before and cut the cake into individual fancies using a serrated knife.
Using a palette knife smooth a crumb coat of buttercream around the sides of each sponge. Place in the freezer to chill for a minute. You may want to do a second coat to make very neat edges.
Place a large cooling rack over a sheet of newspaper. Dip the chilled cakes into the lilac fondant to cover the sponges. Set the fondants onto the rack to drip dry.
Place the remaining buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a medium star nozzle. Once the fondant is slightly set, pipe a small swirl of buttercream on top of each fondant fancy. Place half a fresh cherry on top of each swirl. Sprinkle each cherry with a little glitter, if using.