Sunday, December 8, 2013

Baking a Chocolate Christmas Cake

Christmas is just a couple of weeks away and if you are someone who loves to eat chocolate cakes then baking a chocolate Christmas cake should be something of interest to you. But first, you should prepare the following ingredients:

100g or 4oz of sultanas as well as raisins
125g or 4 ½ oz of dried figs which are chopped into 1cm or ½ inches sized pieces
75ml or 3fl oz of port
150g or 5oz of dark chocolate which are broken into pieces
50g or 2oz of treacle
100g or 4oz of golden syrup
150g or 5oz of plain flour
½ teaspoon of mixed spice, ground cinnamon and baking powder
150g or 5oz of softened butter
125g or 4 ½ oz of soft dark brown sugar
3 large lightly beaten free-range eggs
If you plan to decorate it, you will need the following materials and ingredients:
454g pack ready-to-roll marzipan

Some sugar icing or dust

A few tablespoon of apricot jam, sieved, or Dr. Oetker Apricot Baking Glaze

You will also need a 20cm or 8inch, greased, round cake tin which is double-lined with a baking parchment, a cook’s blowtorch, a star cutter and or Dr.Oetker’s Gold Shimmer Spray.

Preparing it at first can be quite a challenge but if you are used to baking then you should not have any problems.

Step 1: Put all the dried fruit and port in a large bowl and then leave them to soak overnight.

Step 2: Once you are ready to bake your chocolate Christmas cake, pre-heat the oven up to 140 Celsius, or 120C fan, or 275 Fahrenheit, or put the gas mark to number 1. Now, get a medium saucepan and melt the chocolate with the treacle and syrup on it. Make sure that the heat you are using to heat the saucepan is just gentle enough so as not to burn the chocolate and to keep it from sticking on the saucepan’s surface. Now, on a separate bowl, stir and mix the flour, the mixed spices, the cinnamon and the baking powder.

Step 3: Gently stir the butter and the sugar in a large bowl until they appear light, pale and fluffy. Then beat the eggs and add 1 tablespoon of flour to prevent it from forming curdles. Afterwards, fold in the flour and the spice mix.

Step 4: Then, fold in the melted chocolate mix along with the soaked fruits. Smoothen the surface of the prepared tin using a spoon and then put it in the oven for two hours. Make sure that you put it on a low shelf inside the oven. You can also try putting a skewer through the center of the cake coming from the surface and if it comes out clean then it is already good.

Step 5: If you want to decorate it make sure that you have all the necessary decorations already prepared. Roll the marzipan on a work surface and lightly sprinkle it with sugar and put icing around 3mm or 1/8 inch thick and cut out a 20cm or 8inch circle. Afterwards, heat the jam in a pan and spread it over the surface of the cake and cover it with the marzipan. But perhaps the best method is to turn the cake upside down on the marzipan then just trim it enough for the cake to fit in. Just smoothen it using a spoon to remove any lump. Use the star cutter to cut out stars as you roll out marzipan trimmings then place the stars around the edge of the chocolate Christmas cake using jam to stick them on the edge of the cake. You can also use the blowtorch on the cake’s surface and the golden spray to make it more artistic.

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