Fish & Shellfish
Puddings & Desserts
There’s a bit of a last-minute theme developing here - I’ve just realised that my Christmassy posts have all been about doing things at the last minute or taking shortcuts! And in the same spirit, here’s another quick recipe that you can make if you’re short of time… Unlike a traditional fruit festive cake, this one doesn’t need to be made in advance (in fact, it’s best if eaten within a day or two of being made) and yet it still has a lovely, boozy taste and a celebratory feel. It’s been inspired by a recipe given to me by my former next door neighbour, Linda. Her version is a sandwich cake, with a whisky buttercream filling - which is just as nice but, as it’s Christmas, I’ve turned it into a recipe for iced fingers to give me the chance to show off my ‘fir foliage’ decoration, made using rosemary sprigs, which I’m really rather proud of! (The lovely, shiny red berries aren’t real - I bought them in John Lewis’s Christmas shop.) Linda’s version uses a mix of nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice but I’ve used ras el hanout (another shortcut!), which although it’s a spice blend usually associated with savoury dishes, works really well here as it combines all those flavours in one.
Line a 20cm square tin with baking parchment. Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg with a fork. Stir in the flour, baking powder, ras el hanout and salt, then stir in the whisky and milk. Finally, stir in the fruit.
Spoon into the tin and level the top. Bake in a preheated oven (160C fan) for 35 mins until the top is browning and just firm. When cool, cut into bars.
Gently melt the jam in a small pan, then roll out the icing on a worktop dusted with icing sugar and cut into rectangles the same size as the bars. Brush each bar with melted apricot jam and press a piece of icing on top. Decorate with the rosemary sprigs and berries.