175g soft light brown sugar
2 Tbsp. baking powder
50g ground almonds
½ tsp. each ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg
3 large free-range eggs
1 Tbsp. milk
100g currants or sultanas
100g glacé cherries or dried cranberries
100g mixed citrus peel
3 Tbsp. Chaloner Apricot Jam
icing sugar, for dusting
cinnamon, for dusting (optional)
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Grease the base and sides of a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin and double line with greaseproof paper. Cream the butter and sugar until pale, then finely grate and beat in the lemon and orange zest.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, ground almonds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and a pinch of salt.
Beat 1 egg into the butter mixture with 1 tablespoon of the dry mix. Repeat with the remaining eggs, and finish by folding in all the dry mix. Stir in the milk and dried fruits and peel. Do not overbeat. Pour the cake batter into the lined tin and bake for 1½ to 1¾ hours, or until golden. Test the cake by inserting a skewer – if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. Leave to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, heat the apricot jam in a small pan over a low heat until it thins to a liquid. Dust a work surface with icing sugar, roll out the marzipan to 1cm thick and trim so that it’s just a little bigger than the cake tin. Use the trimmings to form 11 balls.
Brush the top of the cake with the jam and place the marzipan round on it. Crimp the edges with your fingers then evenly dot the balls around the cake, securing in place with a little jam. Serve as is, or finish by caramelizing the marzipan’s edges with a blowtorch or under a hot grill and lightly dusting with cinnamon.