Here's the perfect Christmas cakes for those that don't like Christmas Cakes. And the perfect Christmas Puddings, for those that don't like Christmas Puddings. They're also fun if you DO like Christmas Pudding and Cake too. Karen shows how to chocolate cakes can be given a great treatment for the festive season.
I love making unusual cakes and bakes, and I am always on the lookout for new cake tins and pans for my next culinary journey, so when I spied these Hemisphere Cake Pans
in the Lakeland catalogue, they went to top of my “must have” list! I only wish I could have bought them about twenty years ago when my daughter was very small, as I used to always make her a Christmas themed birthday cake, with her birthday being a week before the big day, and many a “Snowman” cake has graced her birthday party table, but, I used to have to make microwave cakes in plastic pudding basins, which was a bit of a faff!
But now I can BAKE a Christmas themed cake with ease and not only that, I can choose between four sizes of these nifty hemisphere cake pans, as they come in large, medium, small and individual sizes. I decided to buy a large cake pan, for large cakes of course, as well as four of the smallest individual sizes, for mini cakes – which always fun for gifts and festive dinner parties. So, my plan was to make a large “Christmas Pudding Cake” as well as a couple of individual “Victorian Style Christmas Pudding Cakes” to add to a hamper I am making for my parents, and I spent a happy few hours in the kitchen creating my pudding cakes the other day, as well as tasting one of them with a cuppa – well it has to be done!
I could have made a fruit cake, in the manner of a traditional Christmas cake and I may yet make a fruity pudding cake for us; but, it was the theme of chocolate that I wanted to experiment with and so the idea came to me to make a double chocolate cake in the shape of a Christmas pudding, just in time for “Stir Up Sunday”
and complete with “white chocolate” snow and a sprig of holly. There is a recipe for a chocolate pudding cake
on the Lakeland site, but I decided to adapt one of my favourite chocolate cake recipes from my trusty “Be-Ro” recipe book
for these cakes, a Milk Chocolate cake recipe
with my own recipe for white chocolate and vanilla ganache.
The recipe for my Double Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cakes is shared below, and the quantities are for one large cake with 2 small “cannon ball” shaped cakes, or, the mixture will make a VERY large cake using two of the large cake pans; I decided to make a smaller cake using only one pan.
There are a few tips I would like to share……you MUST use a reputable cake release spray,
and it’s also advisable to cut out a little circle of greaseproof paper to line the bottom of the cake tins, this makes sure the cakes come out easily and with no cracks or breaks.
You MUST also cook the large cake in a slow oven (low heat) as there is quite a lot of cake batter and the cake needs a long, slow bake to make sure the centre is cooked. Other than that, these cakes are really easy to make and my family and friends were captivated with them when I showed them the finished results. If you are a Christmas fruit cake hater, then why not make one of these cakes for Christmas, it would make a great alternative to the usual fruit cake and will appeal to all the family, especially the little ones. Enjoy these cakes if you make them and have a Cool Yule this year!
(Makes one large cake using 1 large cake pan and two small round cakes using 4 individual cake pans)
Double Chocolate Christmas Pudding Cakes
400g self-raising flour
450g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
200g butter, softened
6 large free-range eggs, beaten
150mls single cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
100g icing sugar
50g melted dark chocolate
150g White chocolate (I used Green and Blacks with Madagascan Vanilla)
75mls single cream
1. Pre-heat oven to 60C/325F/Gas mark 3. Spray the cake pans with cake release spray and line the base with a small circle of greaseproof paper.
2. I find that using a food mixer is the easiest way to make the cake batter as the amounts are quite large. Place all the cake ingredients in a food mixer and mix on low for 2 to 3 minutes before beating on medium to high for a further 3 to 4 minutes, until the batter is light and smooth. You can also beat the batter with a hand mixer too.
3. Spoon the mixture into four small hemisphere cake pans and one large cake pan and place them in the oven. Bake the small cakes for between 20 and 30 minutes, or until well-risen and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the cakes. The large cake will take between 1 and half hours to 2 hours to bake. Check the cake is cooked the same way as the individual cakes.
4. Take the cakes out and allow to cool for 2 minutes, before turning them out of the pans and allowing them to cool completely on a wire rack.
5. Meanwhile make the buttercream filling by beating the butter, icing sugar and melted chocolate together until smooth. Allow to cool and thicken slightly.
6. Make the ganache JUST before decorating by melting the chocolate in a pan over a larger pan of hot but not boiling water, until melted and smooth. Beat in the cream and mix well. Allow to cool slightly before using – it must not get too cold or it will set before you use it.
7. Place the large cake on a plate and spoon or drizzle the ganache over the top before adding a sprig of holly with berries.
8. Sandwich the small cakes together with the buttercream to make small round cakes, and then spoon or drizzle the ganache over the top before decorating with a sprig of holly with berries.
9. For a large round cake, bake the mixture in two large cake pans and sandwich together as the smaller individual cakes before decorating the same way as above.