Every year during the weekend before Christmas day, myself and Jo and our BFF’s like to get together for a 24 hour food marathon. It revolves around a huge Christmas dinner with all of the trimmings and our annual viewings of Elf, Home Alone and The Muppets Christmas Carol. Each year we alternate who provides each course of our Christmas feast. This year, Jo treated us to a titillating turkey and it was my turn to don my apron and get baking some festive puddings. I’ve always wanted to attempt Cake Pops, so when I saw this recipe, I thought it was the perfect time to give them a go!
Christmas is a time for overindulging, so I decided to make two puddings, with the cake pops acting as more of a cheeky snack to nibble on throughout the night, rather than a filling dessert. This year I was inspired by the Christmas edition of The Great British Bake Off, in which Mary Berry (love her!) made an incredible looking Tunis Cake.
I thoroughly recommend making this cake, as it is simply delicious! It can be adapted for any occasion, as it is only the decorations that make it ‘Christmassy’. It’s perfect for any chocolate lovers. Here’s a foolproof guide how to make it.
- 225g/8oz softened butter
- 225g/8oz caster sugar
- 225g/8oz self-raising flour
- 70g/2½oz ground almonds
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 1 large lemon, finely grated zest only
- 300ml/10fl oz double cream
- 400g/14oz plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
- 200g/7oz natural marzipan
- gel food colouring, in red and green
1. Preheat the oven to a toasty 180C/350F/Gas 4 (fan 160C) and grease and line your baking tin with baking parchment.
2. Mix together the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, eggs and lemon zest with and electric mixer or hand-held mixer for one minute. Pop the batter into the tin and level the surface with a palette knife.
3. Bake for 45 minutes, then cover with foil to prevent from browning and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool completely in the tin.
4. For the Christmassy topping, bring the cream almost to the boil, then remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted. When cool but not setting, pour the mixture in an even coat over the cooled cake (still in it’s tin!) and put aside to set.
5. To decorate, colour 175g/6oz of the marzipan green and cut out 20 holly leaves. Mark the veins with a knife and lay over a rolling pin to create a curved effect and leave to dry. Colour the remaining marzipan red and roll into 30 ‘holly berry’ size balls. Leave to dry.
6. To serve, peel off the parchment paper and arrange the holly leaves and berries in a design of your choice. I went for the ‘cover any bumps’ technique!
Before changing into our PJ’s to grab a mulled wine and indulge in some Macaulay Culkin, I wore a floral Primark skater dress. Guest blogger and super chum Ellie wore a gold George beauty and Jo’s super sparkly dress is from Dahlia. Each accessorized with a candy cane!
Happy New Year Hemsters!