Have a go at baking this sweet showstopper!
FOR THE CAKE
3 large eggs 300g plain flour 250g butter, softened 250g light muscovado sugar 1tbsp ground mixed spice Pinch of salt 410g jar of mincemeat 500g dried mixed fruit
4tbsp brandy TO DECORATE 6tbsp sieved apricot jam 750g white marzipan icing sugar 250g green sugarpaste 350g red sugarpaste 100g skincolour sugarpaste 1kg white sugarpaste
knob of trex 150g black sugarpaste
1 Preheat the oven to 140°C/gas 1 while you mix up the cake. Put the oven shelf just below the centre of the oven.
2 Break the eggs into a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients, except for the brandy. Beat until smooth, then spoon into a lined 20cm round cake tin.
3 Bake the cake for 3hrs or until the cake feels firm to the touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
4 Remove the cake from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack to cool for 15mins. Spoon over the brandy and leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
5 Remove the cake from the tin and peel away the lining paper. Brush a little jam over the cake. Roll out the marzipan on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar until big enough to cover the cake. Smooth down with an icing smoother and trim any excess.
6 Knead the green sugarpaste to soften it and roll out. Wet the top of a 30cm round drum cakeboard and cover with the sugarpaste. Trim away any excess and polish the surface with the icing smoother. Place a little jam in the centre and position the cake on top.
7 Draw around the cake tin you used to bake the cake in and then draw a face. This will be used as a template later.
If you’re not a fan of fruit cake bake a Madeira sponge Instead and fill with jam and buttercream
8 Knead the red sugarpaste to soften it and roll out into a long strip, just wider than the height of the cake. Cut one edge to give a straight line. Brush water on the side of the cake. Roll up the red sugarpaste and then unwrap it around the cake, with the straight cut edge against the cake drum.
9 Rub the red sugarpaste with the icing smoother and use a knife to cut away any surplus sugarpaste around the top edge.
10 Roll out some more red sugarpaste and cut out the hat. Brush water on the back of the piece and stick into place.
11 Roll out some of the skin-coloured sugarpaste, cut out the face shape and stick in place with water. Roll out some white sugarpaste and cut out the brim of the hat. Use a round cutter to cut the bobble for the hat and both sides of the moustache and leave to dry flat.
12 Add some Trex to the black sugarpaste to make it soft enough to go through a sugarcraft gun. If you don’t have a sugarcraft gun, then roll out the paste by hand into a long sausage. Brush water on to the cake where the black lines are needed, position it on the cake, or squeeze the sugarpaste into place if using a gun. Press it down lightly, when the bobble is dry stick it on top of the hat.
13 Roll 2 balls of black sugarpaste and stick in place for the eyes, and make a curved shape for the mouth. Roll an oval-shaped piece of skin-coloured sugarpaste and stick in place for the nose. Place a line of black sugarpaste around the base, as shown. Secure a ribbon around the edge of the cake board using double-sided tape, to finish.
Decorate a ready-made fruit cake if you don’t have time to bake
Carefully wrap around the red sugarpaste
Draw a template of your design
Place the cake in the centre of the board
stick on to the cake with water
Cut out the different shapes
Pipe around the black sugarpaste