“Fake” Christmas Pudding

Christmas Fake Pudding

I love Christmas and, for me, the Christmas season starts from December 1st (I’m not into all this selling Christmas products in shops during October sort of thing…). What’s the best way to get in the festive spirit?…. bake of course! Now, much to the shock of some people, I don’t like Christmas Pudding. I do, however, love the look of them – so I decided to make a cake version!

My Mum so very handily works for my favourite cookery and kitchen shop Lakeland. She is consistently filling up my small student cupboards with fabulous Lakeland products, and one of such items is my medium hemisphere baking pan (you can find this here: http://www.lakeland.co.uk/16780/Lakeland-Medium-Hemisphere-Cake-Pan). Now, I know not everyone has one of these so the number of people who could bake this cake exactly is limited unless you want to purchase one, but you could easily adapt the recipe using regular round cake pans and decorating it the same!

This is the first time I used this cake pan and I can’t wait to create even more rotund cakes in the near future. My ideas are: Harry Potter “Snitch” cake, piñata cake and maybe a giant Forrero Rocher (yum or what?).

The base for this cake are simple chocolate sponges which are sandwhich-ed between and smothered in yummy chocolate ganache. Ideally I would’ve added holly leaves as well has holly berries to my christmas pudding cake but it came out a horrible garish green colour so I decided it would’ve looked better without. You can buy plastic holly decorations which would probably still look good – but you can’t eat them, gutted.

Just a warning, this is definitely not your average bake – it is not cheap! But then again, it is pretty massive.

MAKES: 1 awesomely-shaped cake

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

1 medium hemisphere pan

2 mixing bowls (one large, one small)

2 regular bowls (or 1 regular bowl and 1 small saucepan)

1 medium saucepan

1 egg beater

1 pastry brush (optional)

1 electric hand mixer

1 weighing scales

1 sieve

1 large spoon/spatula

2 knives

1 rolling pin

INGREDIENTS:

For the sponge:

390g butter (I used Stork Baking Spread) plus a little extra for greasing

390g caster sugar

300g self-raising flour plus a little extra for dusting

90g cocoa

6 eggs

For the chocolate ganache:

450ml double cream

450g milk or dark chocolate

For the decoration:

100g ready-roll icing

red food colouring

green food colouring

sprinkle of icing sugar

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

For the sponge:

  1. Melt a small amount of butter in a regular bowl in a microwave for 30 seconds or in a small saucepan on a low heat. Using a pastry brush (or some kitchen towel – but be careful it doesn’t start to disintegrate) grease the hemisphere tin with the butter
  2. Sprinkle around 1 tablespoon of flour into the greased tin and tap the edges with the palm of your hand whilst rotating the pan to lightly coat the inside with flour
  3. Weigh out the butter into the large mixing bowl and then add the caster sugar, cream together using an electric hand mixer until pale
  4. Beat the eggs in a separate regular bowl with an egg beater
  5. Weigh out the flour through a sieve into the smaller bowl, sieve the cocoa into this too and mix with a spoon until combined
  6. Gradually add the beaten eggs into the butter and sugar mixture, if the mixture curdles add a spoon of the flour and cocoa and beat that in too
  7. Spoon half the mixture into the greased and floured baking tin (or until the mixture is around 1cm from the rim of the tin)
  8. Bake for 60 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when stuck in the middle
  9. Leave to cool to room temperature in the tin (this is very important, if you try to remove it too early then the cake will fall apart)
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 with the remaining mixture

For the chocolate ganache:

  1. Pour the cream into a medium saucepan and break up the chocolate into it
  2. Heat up the mixture on a low heat until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is thick
  3. Place in the fridge to cool until a spreadable consistency (this may be overnight)

For the decoration:

  1. Lightly cover a clean surface with icing sugar
  2. Place the ready-roll icing on the surface and roll out until the thickness of a 20p coin
  3. Use a knife to cut out a “splat” shape
  4. Use the trimmings of the “splat” to make red holly berries and green holly leaves using the appropriate food colouring

For the assembly:

  1. Slice a small amount of cake off the roundest part of one hemisphere, this will form the base of the pudding
  2. Cover the largest flat surface of the hemisphere (i.e. what would be the middle of the cake) with a large dollop of ganache using a knife
  3. Place the second hemisphere on top of this
  4. Use the rest of the ganache to coat the surface
  5. Place the ready-roll icing “splat” on the top
  6. Add the berries and holly leaves (you may need a drop of water to help them stick)

I took this bake to my fortnightly university Baking Society meeting and I won the award for appearance! Although I’m pleased with it, I wish I had the holly leaves on there to complete the decoration!

As I said above, this is definitely a splash-out bake as it cost £5.70 (I shop at Morrisons) but as an occasion bake it certainly can be impressive! I can’t wait to use my tin more and more in the future.

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