Mix the sugar and almonds together and add enough beaten egg to achieve a fairly soft consistency. Add the almond essence and knead until paste is smooth and pliable. Roll out a third of the paste and cut out 12 x 6cm circles, reserving the rest for the tops and the marzipan balls.
Preheat the oven to 140°C/284°F. Grease the sandwich tin.
Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy then gradually beat in the eggs until well mixed. Sift in the flour, salt and mixed spice. Add the dried fruit, peel and lemon zest and mix thoroughly.
Place half the mixture into the holes of the tin, smooth the tops and cover with the marzipan circles. Add the remaining mixture and smooth the tops, leaving a slight dip in the middle of each to allow for rising.
Bake for 45 minutes then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Brush the top of the cakes with the apricot jam.
Roll out half the remaining marzipan and cut out 12 x 6cm circles, place on top of the cakes and crimp the edges.
Roll the remaining marzipan into 11 little balls for each cake and place on top of the cakes around the edges.
Put in the oven for about 6 minutes or until the marzipan begins to brown.
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