- Whisk together the sugar, cornflour and eggs – either by hand or in a mixer – until smooth.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk and vanilla until small bubbles appear along the edge of the pan.
- Slowly pour the some of the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking to avoid curdling the eggs. Gradually add the rest of the milk while whisking.
- Pour back into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes until cream thickens.
- Turn the heat off and stir in the butter.
- Cut the marzipan into small pieces and put in a bowl with the milk. Microwave for 10 second bursts until it is warm enough to mix into a paste.
- Sieve the marzipan paste into the pastry cream (pressing on it with the back of a spoon) and mix thoroughly.
- Sieve the pastry cream into a bowl and place cling film directly on the surface to stop a skin from forming. Chill for at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight.
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g | 3.5oz unsalted butter, cubed
100g | 3.5oz mixed peel
100g | 3.5oz glacé cherries, quartered (optional)
100g | 3.5oz icing (powdered) sugar
2-3 tbsp milk or lemon juice – or as needed to achieve right consistency
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease 2x15cm (6in) cake tins and dust with flour.
- Sift all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, almonds, baking powder/soda, spices, salt) and add them to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix together for a minute.
- Add the cubed butter and pulse or mix until the mixture resembles sand.
- Add the eggs and mix them in. Add the milk and zest and beat together until you have an evenly mixed batter. Stop the mixer and use a spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure the batter is thoroughly mixed.
- Fold the currants, mixed peel and cherries (if using) into the batter. Divide between the prepared cake tins.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cakes are firm on top and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool completely before filling.
- Pipe a generous amount of pastry cream over the bottom cake layer and top with the second. If you have time place the cake in the fridge for an hour.
- Make the glaze by mixing the icing sugar and milk together until you have a thick but pourable consistency. Spread the glaze over the top of the cake letting drip over the sides. Decorate with edible flowers or sugar coated mini chocolate eggs.