Monday, June 18, 2012

Merry Cherry Bakewell Fairy Cakes!

Bakewell Tarts are delicious and I have made them here on the blog before but then recently I saw this recipe on Pinterest and thought to myself – I do need to make those don’t I? They look like the iconic British Fairy Cake – a small simple cake much like an American cupcake but lighter in texture and without the great walloping swirls of frosting/buttercream – of which I am greatly fond so alas on that score!!

Anyhow I took the recipe from a Butcher Baker Blog pin on Pinterest – lots of good British pudding recipes there, do check it out!! - and I added some marzipan to it and here you have my version of the Cherry Bakewell Fairy Cake – a bit of a bogus title really as the only cherry part is on the top – they should really be called marzipan fairy cakes – but they’re not and there you have it!! Here's a link to a standard British Cherry Bakewell.

First make the MARZIPAN – if you decided to use it or buy a package of marzipan and roll into 8 even balls.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

INGREDIENTS for the marzipan if you chose to make it yourself:

2oz toasted almonds ground fine in a coffee grinder – usually you wait until warm things are cool to grind them because they get oily or damp but in this case you want to make the grind a bit soggy so I did them while they were still warm.

2oz icing/confectioners sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract/essence

1 egg yolk – from a reliable source so you have no risk of salmonella – if you are worried about using raw egg yolks them maybe just buy your marzipan or almond paste – whichever you prefer.

1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mush/knead together until the mixture holds – break and roll into 8 even balls and put aside until later.

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FAIRY CAKES – they should all be at room temperature: This recipe makes 8 - an odd amount I know – it is supposed to make 12 but I didn’t see how you stretched the batter that far – you could go to 10 maybe and then they’d be bit more even with the top of the cupcake liner.

4 oz butter softened

4 oz sugar

4 oz flour plain/all purpose flour sifted together with 1 scant teaspoon baking powder or 4oz self raising flour

2 eggs whisked well

1 teaspoon almond extract/essence

8 scant teaspoons raspberry jam

8 glace cherries – the traditional ones and they’re nice because they’re not wet like the ones I chose which are maraschino cherries – I chose them because I found a brand which has no red dye or artificial preservatives which I like but they are wetter and should be drained for a while before using. 

If you would like to use cups instead of weights HERE'S a great place to covert:

METHOD FOR CAKES: Firstly put your cupcake liners into muffin pans to help the cakes stand up whilst baking.

1. Cream the butter and sugar together until light in texture and colour.

2. Slowly add eggs bit by bit and beat well in between additions.

3. Beat in the almond extract/essence.

4. Fold in the sifted flour and baking powder with a metal spoon – apparently this stops air escaping – a wooden spoon lets the air escape - until evenly mixed!

5. Separate your mixture in two even parts – just to each side of the bowl – and then spoon a good big teaspoon dollop of batter into each cupcake case.

6. Add a good teaspoon of jam to each and then bob the ball of marzipan on top of each blob of jam thus:
7. Top with more batter and try to smooth the batter to seal the jam and marzipan in nice and cozily:
 8. Bob into the 350F oven and bake for about 20 minutes until risen and golden and the tops spring back to slight pressure.

9. Because of the addition of the marzipan the middles dip a bit but no worries – you‘ll be filling them with icing and a merry cherry!!
10. Remove from oven and move onto a cooling rack – allow to cool completely

In the meantime make the icing – 2oz icing/confectioner’s sugar and I scant tablespoon boiling water – or a bit less – my icing was a tad runny – mix the two together and allow to thicken a bit before you use – just keep stirring if it starts to dry out on top.

When the cakes are cooled completely put a small teaspoon of icing on the top and smooth into a circle – as I said mine was a bit runny and I put a bit too much on so it ran down the edge of the cakes but you want to keep the icing in a nice neat circle on the top that stays about a good ¼" from the edge of the cakes – you can see how I TRIED to do that.
Allow icing to dry a little before adding your cherries maraschino or glace or......
...the juices will flow as above...and mess up your nice white icing :((

These are the maraschino cherries I used - no red dye and preservative free and delicious MERRY MARASCHINO CHERRIES!!
Look at that lovely nugget of marzipan - I love marzipan!! - I didn't add enough jam to mine as you can see so I adjusted the recipe above to give yours more and be more like the original Bakewell Tart.
Ta Dah you’ve made Fairy Cakes!!
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