Anna Olson’s individual fruitcakes are an attractive dessert to serve at a dinner party.
Cake and Assembly
For the fruit base, combine all of the dried fruits, almonds, brandy, ginger, cardamom and pepper in a large mixing bowl or other container, cover and let sit at room temperature overnight or up to 24 hours, stirring once or twice.
Preheat the oven to 325 °F (160 °C). Grease 2 muffin tins.
Cut 200 g of the marzipan into pieces and place in a food processor. Cut the navel orange into quarters (do not peel), remove any seeds and add this to the food processor. Pulse to blend. Add the brandy, brown sugar and eggs and pulse until evenly blended.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the marzipan mixture to the flour and stir until blended. Add the soaked fruit and almonds (and any excess liquid that might remain) and stir in. Divide this between the 2 muffin tins (an ice cream scoop works best) and spread the batter if needed, to level the cakes. Bake for 30 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the fruitcakes in their tin for 20 minutes, then tip out and place onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
To decorate the fruitcakes, roll out the remaining 225 g of marzipan on a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar, to a thickness of about 1/8-inch (3 mm). Use a cookie cutter that is the same diameter as the top of each fruitcake to cut out 24 discs – you can use a smaller cutter or piping tip to cut out a bit from the centre if you wish for added flair. Brush each marzipan piece with a little brandy and press it gently onto the top of each fruitcake to secure it.
Place the ground almonds into a food processor. Stir the sugar, honey and water in a small saucepot over high heat until it reaches a full boil and the sugar has completely dissolved. Pour this into the food processor while it’s running. Add the almond extract and blend until the marzipan comes together. While it’s still warm, shape this into a log and wrap in plastic wrap well. Leave at room temperature to cool and store well-wrapped until you are ready to use it.