last weekend i went to not only my first leicester clandestine cake club but my first festive club! my mum and i made this christmas chocolate wreath cake from last christmas's women and home magazine. it has prunes and lots of golden caster sugar so is really rich and sticky; with a chocolate crème fraîche topping for even more indulgence. a great alternative to christmas pudding, yule log or fruit cake!
♥ 250g prunes
♥ 50ml skimmed milk
♥ 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for lining the bundt ring
♥ 1 tbsp vanilla extract
♥ 125 plain flour
♥ 150g cocoa powder
♥ 1 tsp baking powder
♥ 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
♥ four eggs
♥ 240g golden caster sugar
♥ 250g crème fraîche
♥175g dark chocolate
♥ marzipan, food colouring and cutters to decorate - cornflour will help prevent your marizpan or royal icing sticking too
♥ icing sugar to finish
recognise the kitchen? it's at my mum's where my little blog began :)
heat the oven to 180 c or 160 c with a fan oven. whizz the prunes in a blender.
add in the milk, oil, vanilla and 3 tablespoons of water to make a puree. set aside.
next for the dry ingredients; in a separate bowl sift together the cocoa powder, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and 1/2 a tsp of salt. set aside. (sorry you need so many bowls for this!)
lastly whisk together the sugar and eggs in a third bowl for at least three minutes until airy and mousse like. add in the prune mixture. then, fold in the dry ingredients.
carefully pour the mixture into a bundt tin or silicone ring - which has been coated with oil. bake for 30-35 minutes, turning mid way through.
allow to cool before turning out on a rack. luckily in the silicone moulds you can check if it comes away by checking if the centre piece comes away towards to middle.
make the topping by slowly warming up the crème fraîche in a saucepan and adding chunks of chocolate bit by bit. i've not done it this way before but followed the recipe and it worked out pretty well - i thought it would curdle. allow the topping to cool and thicken before using on the cake. putting in the fridge for a while can help :) the cake needs to be completely cool too.
i then dusted with chocolate icing sugar. it didn't quite have the desired effect though, as after the pics were taken the icing sugar turned, well, chocolate coloured. oops!
now on to the christmas marzipan decorations... yippee!
lay down some baking paper, dust with cornflour to prevent sticking and roll out a thin layer of marzipan. use cutters to create shapes and try not to move them about on the baking paper too much. they will be easier to handle with the back of a knife once dry.
next - holly! i coloured the marzipan with spruce green food colouring which i bought off ebay especially for christmas baking :) to colour the marzipan or icing,
take a ball of marzipan and use a cocktail stick to add a little colour at a time until you are happy with the shade. you won't need much as you'll be surprised how strong it is. if happen to you use too much colour, dilute the colour back down by adding more marzipan.
again, roll out the marzipan. don't worry about the cornflour as this will either fade or can be removed with a little water.
we created the glitter holly berries by dipping marzipan balls first in red food colouring and next in red edible glitter. sparkly sparkly!
assemble as you wish...
and the wreath? that's just my mum being amazing at every and all crafts as usual. when i first arrived this is what she was making and hadn't even added the baked oranges and apples yet. beautiful hey?
and then after lots of christmas crafting and baking, we headed to cake club to enjoy even more christmas indulgence.
yum yum yum! we enjoyed the likes of cinnamon and orange cake, chocolate cake with peppermint candy canes on top, ginger iced cake, a cake with bucks fizz icing and a nigella spiced chocolate cake.