Made last week, but writing it up now because all cooking has become very simple due to Jon’s dentist appointment.
The icing turned out delicious and quite cute and snow-like with the split between icing sugar and cocoa and the sparkles of plain sugar, though it was far too runny and looks more messy than anything. Need to work on my cake decorating skills!
For the cake:
- 700g flour and raising agents
- 1 to 2 cups chopped brazils
- 150g dark chocolate, chopped into chips
- 100g sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3tbsp plain cocoa powder
- 5tbsp sweetened cocoa powder, milk or white
- 1 egg
- 1tsp each: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, coffee granules
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 cup white chocolate powder
- water as needed
- whole brazils
- white grain sugar
- mixing bowl and spoon
- small mixing bowl and whisk
- greased, nonstick, lined cake tin
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Mix the dry cake ingredients.
- Stir in the egg and honey.
- Add water until a batter forms.
- Pour into the tin. Bake until a skewer comes out with sticky crumbs on it: not dry, but firm.
- Put aside to cool.
- Mix the icing sugar and white chocolate powder. Add water a few drops at a time and stir into a thick paste. I’m not too impressed with the melting snowfall look, so just blend it thoroughly and set aside to cool a little.
- Pour the cool-ish icing over the cold cake.
- Stick whole brazils on it.
- Sprinkle with white sugar before it completely sets.
Not very, unless you overbake them. :p
But, in all seriousness, this English classic is very easy to make at home and absolutely delicious.
My own recipe is a secret, which is secret, will be kept secret and not be secretly or discreetly disclosed.
However the general outline of how I make mince pies is free for anyone to experiment with.
You will need:
- 500g raisins or sultanas
- 500g mixed dried fruit (preferably including candied peel)
- 500ml applesauce
- cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to taste
- 500g flour
- 1 egg
- 300g butter
- 1 beaten egg
- sugar for dusting
- rolling pin
- greased/nonstick tart/muffin tray
- mixing bowls
- Mix the dried fruit, applesauce and spices together. Add around 50-200g of sugar if you think the mix isn’t sweet enough.
- Rest the mix as long as possible. Overnight or 12h is fine, but 48h allows for some real richness.
- Make a thick, stretchy pastry mix with the flour, egg, butter and a little water. Chill for 30-60min before use.
- Preheat the oven to 160C or 180C fan.
- Roll out the pastry at least 1/8 of an inch for small (tart tray) pies and 1/4 of an inch for deep fill (muffin tray) pies. I made the mistake of using 1/8 inch pastry for both and the deep fill ones were not as excellent.
- Cut circles for the base. Push them into the grooves in the tray.
- Fill your pies, leaving a bit of a rim of pastry visible.
- Brush the rim with beaten egg before adding circles of pastry for the top.
- Brush the whole pie with egg and sprinkle granulated sugar on top.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden and crumble juuust a little bit when pressed.
- Remove from trays and fully chill.
- Serve with wine or custard.
And feel free to mix and match the recipe! My own mix has another two to three ingredients and a specific spice balance. Jon normally despises mince pies, yet these ones received a 6/8 (an honourable 7 as he doesn’t like most mince pies). And friends and family seem happy enough with them too. Find your own perfect balance to enjoy!
TTFN and Happy Hunting!