Grilled Peach, Blue Cheese Prosciutto

Preparation time: 45 mins plus overnight standing
Makes 6 x 9cm square cakes 

INGREDIENTS
Melted butter, for greasing
500g pitted prunes, chopped
375g raisins, chopped
375g currants
375g sultanas
1 cup brandy
250g butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
½ cup plum or cherry jam
Finely grated zest of 1 large orange
2 cups plain flour
½ cup self-raising flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
½ cup orange juice
Extra 6 tsp brandy

BRANDY BUTTER FROSTING
250g butter
3 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
4 Tbsp Brandy

METHOD
Grease base and sides of 6 x 9cm square cake tin and line with baking paper.
Combine prune, raisin, currant, sultana, and brandy in a large bowl. Cover and stand overnight.
Preheat oven to 160˚C.
Put butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until mixture is light and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add jam and zest and beat until combined.
Add fruit to butter mixture. And beat on low speed until just combined. Sift flours and spices over fruit mixture and beat on low speed to combine. Add orange juice and mix to combine.
Spoon 2 cups of the mixture into each small tin. Smooth surface of cakes with the back of a wet spoon. Tap tins gently on a flat surface to settle mixture and remove air pockets.
Wrap 2 layers of brown paper around each tin and secure with kitchen twine. Bake small cakes for 50-60 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Pour 1 teaspoon of brandy over hot cakes. Cool completely in tins.
To make frosting, put butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and creamy. With motor running add icing sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, beating well after each addition until light and creamy. Stir in brandy. Spread frosting over cake.

NOTE
To store these cakes, wrap them securely, undecorated, in two layers of plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 year.

MEMORY: Christmas Cake with brandy frosting reminds me of Christmas as a child. My mum use to make brandy frosting (to represent snow) and it was the only part of the cake I would eat. As a kid I hated fruit cake and Christmas Mince Pies but I think your taste buds change as you get older. I remember the special Christmas decorations my mum would put on the brandy icing; a sleigh, a tree, a figurine ice-skating and a snowman. When she wasn’t looking I would sneak some of the frosting. 

I am the only person in our family that likes a piece of Christmas cake so I certainly wouldn’t bake a large one, so these little cakes are the perfect size for me. I keep one for our family and then give the others as gifts. I love to give to others generously at Christmas. To me there is more joy in giving than receiving. The prunes make this cake so moist.

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