Prep Time25 min
Cooking Time15-20 mins
ServesMakes 1 x 24cm cake
Is it a gingerbread house? Or a Christmas cake? Well, this is what happens when a mommy fruit cake and a daddy gingerbread house love each other VERY much.
Never-Fail 5 Ingredient Fruit Cake
(Great Aunt May's recipe)
Spiced Ginger Biscuit Houses
First up, the fruit cake. Great Aunt May strikes again with one of her famous recipes and this one is her 'never-fail' fruitcake. What I love most about it, is that it only has 5 ingredients, but let's be honest, I had you at 'never fail' right?! Because it only has 5 ingredients, they have to be seriously good ingredients and trust me, you do not want to switch out the Natura Dark Muscovado Sugar for anything other than the real deal 'cos it elevates the humble fruit cake to a point where I want to eat the entire thing. It adds such a gorgeous dark, rich, molasses flavour that you just can't replicate.
The next part: the gingerbread houses. How cute are they? Like a little gingerbread village! You can go totally crazy with decorating them or even better, give the already-baked cookies to your kids, let them make their own houses using sweets and sprinkles and then just stick them around your cake! This cake is such a show-stopper that you could put it on the table as a decoration that is good enough to eat. And speaking of eating, for those of you worried about your waistlines this festive season, you needn't worry about this cake, it has so much dried fruit in it, one slice is basically one of your five-a-day!
Grease and double-line a 24cm-cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Placed dried fruit, sugar and 1 ½ cups water in a saucepan with the butter and allow to simmer for 25 minutes. Allow to cool. Stir in the flour and egg and mix well. Pour into a double-lined greased 24cm cake tin and bake for 1 ½ - 2 hours on the lowest oven shelf until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
This is the fun part where you can tailor the recipe to suit whatever you fancy! Spices and Flavourings: Mixed spice, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove - add as much as you like (about 3 tsp in total should do it) Nuts: Subsitute some of the dried fruit for hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds, pecans or walnuts Fruit: Orange or lemon zest, chopped candied fruit or cherries - just make sure to remove a portion of the mixed dried fruit and replace it with the same amount.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Mix together the dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients and combine to form a dough (you can do this in a stand mixer using the dough or paddle attachment). Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/2 cm thick. Cut out house shapes using a sharp knife then place on a baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool completely before icing.
To make the royal icing, whisk the egg white gently then add the icing sugar until a stiff paste forms. Add the lemon juice and stir before placing in a piping bag. Pipe the frosting onto the biscuits in patterns (you can make more colourful houses by using sweets and sprinkles) and allow to dry thoroughly. Then use spread the remaining royal icing around the outside of the cake and stick the houses in place. Dust with extra icing sugar to serve.
Recipe by Katelyn Allegra
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