Golden peach Christmas cakes

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 6 people

  • 520 gm dried fruit, such as peaches, apricots, pears or figs, finely chopped
  • 400 gm glacé peaches, finely chopped
  • 300 gm sultanas
  • 160 gm dates, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 100 gm candied orange rind, finely chopped
  • 2 peaches, stones removed, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice and thinly peeled rind only
  • 300 ml brandy
  • 80 ml Grand Marnier and peach liqueur
  • 335 gm (2¼ cups) plain flour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp each ground cinnamon and cloves
  • 325 gm butter, softened
  • 280 gm raw caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only
  • 4 eggs
  • 500 gm fondant (see note)
  • For dusting: pure icing sugar
01   Preheat oven to 150C. Combine dried, candied and fresh fruit, rind and juice, 200ml brandy, Grand Marnier and peach liqueur in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until alcohol is absorbed (8-10 minutes). Cool, discard lemon rind.
02   Sieve flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and ½ teaspoon salt into a bowl.
03   Beat butter, sugar and vanilla seeds in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add vanilla seeds and beat until just combined. Stir in dry ingredients alternately with macerated fruit until just combined.
04   Divide mixture among six greased 10cm-diameter deep cake tins. Cover tops tightly with baking paper, tie with string, cover with aluminium foil and bake until a skewer withdraws clean (50 minutes-1 hour). Stand in tins for 10 minutes, remove and drizzle with remaining brandy.
05   Roll out fondant to 4mm-thick on a work surface dusted with sieved pure icing sugar and cut out six 10cm-diameter rounds. Place a round on top of each cake and top with orange meringue frosting (see short-order recipe below) if desired. Cakes can be wrapped in foil and stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Note Fondant is available from supermarkets and cake decorating shops.


Short-order recipe
Orange meringue frosting
Combine 165gm caster sugar and 100ml water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until syrup reaches 121C on a sugar thermometer (10-15 minutes). Meanwhile, whisk 2 eggwhites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. With motor running, add sugar syrup in a thin steady stream. Increase speed to high and whisk until cooled to room temperature and meringue is thick and glossy (15-20 minutes). Whisk in finely grated rind of 1 orange and 40ml Grand Marnier, to taste.

Recipe:

EMMA KNOWLES, LISA FEATHERBY, ADELAIDE LUCAS

Photography:

CHRIS CHEN

Styling:

GERALDINE MUNOZ

Drinking Suggestion:

STRONG CUPPA TEA. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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