Mincemeat & Marzipan Couronne

Does anything say winter baking more than mincemeat and marzipan? Here, the two of them escape the festive pies and cake and are reinvented together in a showstopping couronne that sits somewhere between a babka and a stollen.

Serves: 12
Difficulty: Needs skill
Hands-On Time: 45 mins, plus rising
Baking Time: 40 mins
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Step 1
Tip the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the sugar, yeast, mixed spice and salt and mix to combine. Make a well in the centre.

Step 2
Warm the milk until lukewarm, add the butter and pour the mixture into the well along with the eggs and vanilla. Mix on low–medium speed until combined, scraping down the inside of the bowl from time to time. Continue to mix for about 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and starts to cleanly leave the side of the bowl. Shape the dough into a ball, place it in an oiled bowl, cover it and leave it at room temperature for 1–1½ hours, until doubled in size.

Step 3
Meanwhile, make the filling. Tip the crumbled marzipan into a bowl, add the mincemeat, almonds and pistachios and mix well.

Step 4
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it into a neat 50 x 30cm rectangle with one of the long sides nearest you. Spread the mincemeat mixture evenly over the top. Starting at a long side, roll the dough into a Swiss roll encasing the filling.

Step 5
Transfer the roll to a sheet of baking paper and slice it in half lengthways. With the cut sides facing upwards, twist the halves around each other, shaping them into a ring at the same time. Seal the ends together. Slide the ring (on the baking paper) onto a baking sheet, cover it and leave it at room temperature for 1 hour, until the dough is puffy. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas 4.

Step 6
Brush the couronne with beaten egg to glaze and scatter it with pearl sugar. Bake it for 25 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/150°C fan/325°F/Gas 3 and bake it for a further 10–15 minutes, until golden brown (cover it loosely with foil to prevent it burning, if needed). Cool it on the baking tray, then transfer it to a serving plate.

Step 7
To decorate, mix the icing sugar with the juice to a drizzly icing. Spoon this into the small piping bag, snip the end and pipe zig-zag lines across the wreath. Scatter with cherries, pistachios and silver balls and leave the icing to set for 30 minutes before serving.