Back in the days of gluten life, a hot cross bun was the ultimate indication that the Easter holidays were almost here. The supermarkets boost and stock hot cross buns from the beginning of March and as I was shopping in M&S (oh please I only go to Marks and Sparks for ‘my bits’ – The Mighty Boosh), it was clear that us gluten intolerant were not to be partaking in the ridiculously early Easter indulging. Still it’s these kinds of moments that make me think ‘I can make something better anyway’ and stick out my tongue like Helga from the 90’s American animated series Hey Arnold.
Public Holidays are amazing aren’t they really, they all center primarily around eating. And although some feel that Easter’s focus is the chocolate egg well, I think 2012 should really be about celebrating our baking spirit that’s been ever growing after all these ‘bake-off’ programmes. And please darling, don’t let us forget the Queen’s Jubilee in June, afternoon tea has never been so sought-after.
So after my M&S experience, I was determined to experiment with some recipes I’d collected over the years. I decided to stick with my family routes in the end and adapt one simple classic fruit recipe that my mum used to make. The recipe was originally a big fruitcake that was sometimes made during the spring or iced and alcohol induced for Christmas. I wanted something a bit more light and tangy, so after finding my half empty jar of marmalade (for some reason it’s the least used toast spread in my cupboard!) I persisted to experiment with it in the cake and as a glaze on top.
I think I found Easter heaven in a cake. Enjoy!
Marmalady ‘hot cross bun’ cakes
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
125g (1 1/2 cups) gluten free self raising flour
1 teaspoon of xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
100g of sultanas
1 tbsp of milk
2 tablespoons of marmalade
Marmalade without shreds
Teaspoon of water
100g icing sugar
Water or milk
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Fill a muffin tray with paper cases.
Sift your flour, xanthan gum, mixed spice and salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter, milk and sugar until pale and fluffy. Then add eggs, one at a time, beat until all combined.
Fold in sifted flour mixture alternately with marmalade and sultanas.
Spoon batter evenly into the paper cases. Bake for about 25-30 minutes and leave them to cool completely.
Create the glaze by popping about a teaspoon per cupcake into a saucepan with a teaspoon of water. Heat the mixture until hot and liquefied. Using a pastry brush, gently glaze each cake with the mixture.
When marmalade is set slightly, make the icing by combining icing sugar and water to form a paste.
Place the icing in a piping bag and pipe a cross onto each cake.
Eat with a lovely cup of Darjeeling tea or something with character!