Mini Genoa Cakes / Genoa Cupcakes
More often than not, the cake won't be eaten on Christmas Day because everyone would be so busy with the roast dinner and the cake would be left lonely in the fridge over New Year then made its way into Chinese New Year. If anything, it does keep well especially when we keep it moist by adding a few drops of orange juice (sometimes a little brandy or rum).
But this year I've decided to challenge the recipe further - instead of a whole cake that takes up quite a bit of space in the fridge and takes a long time to bake (and no guarantee that it will come out good), I'd make mini ones. They require no cutting or slicing and can be stored separately or together - and probably look less intimidating to be eaten 😀
If we can buy smaller loaves from the shops, I don't see why they can't be baked in cupcake size.
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g plain flour, sifted with 1 teaspoon of baking powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
60g ground almond
Zest of 1 lemon
300g (in total) of random mixed fruits:
- dried apricot, finely chopped
- dried cranberries, finely chopped
- Tart Montmorency cherries, finely chopped
- few slices of canned pineapple, finely chopped
For decorating the top:
- Some green glacé cherries and some natural coloured glacé cherries, cut into half each.
- Some halved blanched almonds
Soak the mixed fruits overnight in the fridge (I have to do that in this hot & humid weather) with some syrup from the canned pineapple, added with 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar. The liquid doesn't have to completely cover the fruit, just need to stir it around every few hours or so.
On the day of baking, separate the mixed fruits from the liquid and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl till light and creamy. Mix in the beaten egg in a little at a time, with a spoonful of flour every time to avoid curdling caused by the egg.
When done with the eggs, gently fold in the remaining flour then the ground almond. Then followed by the mixed fruit (and nuts if using) till just combined.
Set the oven to 160ºC. Place a silicone muffin cup (can be baked straight in a paper cake cup too) into each muffin pan hole, divide the cake batter into each cup, then level the top as much as possible. Decorate the top with a halved cherry and some blanched almonds around it.