This year’s Christmas cake takes its cue from a magical snowy mountain scene. Whether you’re a skier or not, follow our easy step-by- step guide and impress family and friends with this pretty Alpine cake.
Provided by: EasyRecipesCooking.com
Categories: Christmas,feed a crowd,food gift,winter,baking,dessert
Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 20 servings
|1 x20.5cm Christmas fruit cake (Find our Tropical Christmas cake)|
|3 tbsp. apricot jam|
|600 g natural marzipan|
|100 g granulated sugar|
|Green food colouring, we used Sugarflair Holly Green and Christmas Green|
|About 12 pretzel sticks|
|1 egg white, lightly beaten|
|Festive sugar sprinkles, optional|
|75 g butter|
|3 1/2 tbsp. golden syrup|
|60 g light soft brown sugar|
|175 g plain flour|
|1/4 tsp. bicarbonate of soda|
|2 tsp. ground ginger|
|4 large egg whites|
|3 tsp. lemon juice|
|3 tsp. glycerine|
|1 kg icing sugar|
|A 25.5cm cake board|
|Piping bags, and plain nozzles in 5mm and 2mm|
- Place the cake on a 25.5 cm(10inch) cake board. Make a single cut into the cake as if you were cutting the first slice. 90 degrees from the first cut, using a sharp or serrated knife, make a cut diagonally downwards, keeping the point of the knife in the middle of the cake, slice at a 45 degree angle downwards to meet the base of the cake.
- Remove the wedge of cake, turn upside down and place on top of the cake, aligning the straight cut edges. This way you should have a small platform at the top, a slope downwards to the main section of cake, and a slope downwards to the cake board.
- Gently warm the apricot jam in a small pan with 1tbsp water to loosen. Pass through a sieve and brush all over the cake, using it to stick the two layers of cake together too. Lightly dust a work surface with icing sugar, shape 500g marzipan into a round disc and roll out to a rough oval shape about 30-35cm, this should be large enough to cover cake. Set aside remaining 100g marzipan to make the trees later, cover with clingfim to prevent from drying out.
- Lift on to cake and with your hands, gently smooth and mould into position, trimming excess where necessary – reserve any leftover for the marzipan trees. Leave overnight at room temperature for the marzipan to harden slightly.
- To make the marzipan trees, divide the remaining marzipan ( and reserved trimmings) into balls weighing between 10-20g so that they vary in size. Roll into cones, and press a pretzel stick into the base of each, to make the trunk.
- Divide the granulated sugar between two shallow bowls. Using a fork, mix a different green food colouring with each of the granulated sugars until evenly coloured – start with just a few drops on the tip of the fork, and add more until you reach the desired colour. Lightly brush each tree with a little egg white, and roll in the green sugar to cover. Set aside on a sheet of baking paper to set.
- To make the gingerbread dough, add butter, golden syrup and light brown sugar to a pan. Stir on a low heat until sugar has dissolved. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and a pinh of salt into a mixing bowl then stir together. Make a well in the centre and pour in the sugar and butter mixture. Stir together to form a dough, then shape into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Preheat oven to 190 (170 fan) mark 5. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Roll the dough out to £1 coin thickness. Using the template ( see GH tip), cut out the shapes to make three mini Gingerbread houses and transfer to prepared baking sheet – use the leftover gingerbread to make additional houses or other festive shapes. Chill for 20 mins, then bake for 10-12 mins until golden (the chimneys will take 8-10 mins so do remove these when ready to prevent them from burning]. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays.
- To make the royal icing, put the egg whites in a large bowl and whisk until frothy: there should be just a layer of bubbles across the top. Add the lemon juice, glycerine and 2tbsp of icing sugar and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the rest of the sugar, a little at a time, until the mixture is smooth and thick, and forms soft peaks.
- Transfer 1/3 of the icing to a piping bag fitted with a 5mm (1/4inch) nozzle. Use the icing to stick together the gingerbread houses, first by connecting the 4 wall pieces and allowing to set, before securing the roof pieces. Spread icing as ‘snow’ on the rooves and add the chimney. Using a smaller nozzle pipe windows onto the biscuits and add some festive sugar sprinkles, if you like. Allow to set completely – about 1hour.
- Using a palette knife, smooth half the icing over the top and sides of the cake, then repeat using the remaining icing to cover. Run the knife around the sides to neaten, then use the tip to make peaks all over the top. Arrange the gingerbread houses on the sides and top of the cake to create an alpine village scene. Press the marzipan trees into the cake around the chalets. Leave to set in a cool place for at least 8 hours before serving.
Forget the boxed version you grew up with. This yellow cake recipe gets a rich dark-chocolate frosting with a touch of tang thanks to sour cream.
Provided by: EasyRecipesCooking.com
Yield: 12 to 16 Servings
|Nonstick vegetable oil spray|
|4 cups cake flour|
|2 teaspoon baking powder|
|1½ teaspoon baking soda|
|1½ teaspoon kosher salt|
|1½ cups buttermilk|
|½ cup vegetable oil|
|2 teaspoon vanilla extract|
|2 cups sugar|
|1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature|
|½ cup (packed) light brown sugar|
|1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise|
|6 large egg yolks|
|3 large eggs|
|14 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped|
|¼ cup light corn syrup|
|2 cups sour cream|
|1½ teaspoon kosher salt|
|1½ teaspoon vanilla extract|
|2¾ cups powdered sugar|
|¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature|
- Three 9”-diameter cake pans with 2” sides
- Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Coat cake pans with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pans with parchment-paper rounds; coat paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl until no lumps remain. Combine buttermilk, oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl.
- Combine sugar, butter, and brown sugar in another large bowl. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. Using an electric mixer, beat butter mixture until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add yolks and eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl.
- Continue to beat mixture, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, until almost doubled in volume and very light, airy, and pale yellow, 5–6 minutes. It’s very important that no lumps remain at this stage. (Occasional scraping of the bowl, especially the bottom, helps prevent lumps.)
- With mixer on low, add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
- Divide batter evenly among prepared pans, about 3½ cups per pan. Smooth tops.
- Bake, rotating cakes from left to right and top to bottom halfway through, until cakes are light golden brown, the centers spring back when gently pressed, and a tester inserted into the centers comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 35–40 minutes.
- Transfer cakes to wire racks; let cool in pans for at least 30 minutes. Invert cakes onto racks, peel off parchment, and let cool completely.
- Using a long serrated knife, remove top dome and any bumps from each cake to create a flat surface. Slice each cake in half horizontally to make 6 layers total. Cakes can be baked 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.
- Stir chocolate and corn syrup in a large metal bowl set over a large saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth; remove from heat. Stir sour cream, salt, and vanilla in a medium metal bowl; set over same saucepan of simmering water. Stir until mixture is warm but not hot, about 2 minutes. Add sour cream mixture to chocolate mixture; stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat powdered sugar and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Slowly beat in chocolate mixture. Continue beating until no lumps remain, about 2 minutes. Frosting should be smooth and shiny. Cover and chill until slightly firmed up, about 30 minutes.
- Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand or large plate. Spoon ⅔ cup frosting over; using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, smooth frosting to edge of cake, creating an even layer. Place another cake layer on top. Repeat with frosting and remaining cake layers. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. DO AHEAD: Cake can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with a cake dome and store at room temperature.
I need a “Million Dollar” recipe because when I asked my DIL what I could bring for dinner, she joked “How about a million dollars?”!!! I found this on All Recipes where it got rave reviews. This suits my family’s tastes perfectly. Make the day before.
Total time: 55 minutes
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 1 cake, 12 serving(s)
|1 (18 1/4 ounce) package yellow cake mix|
|3 eggs (or as called for by your cake mix)|
|1/3 cup oil (or as called for by your cake mix)|
|1 1/3 cups water (or as called for by your cake mix)|
|8 ounces cream cheese|
|1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar|
|1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice|
|2 (8 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained|
|1 (3 1/2 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix|
|1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed|
- Mix and bake cake mix as per package instruction for two 8 or 9 inch round layers.
- Let layers cool, and then split each layer in half so as to have 4 layers.
- In a large bowl, whip cream cheese until soft, and then gradually mix in confectioners’ sugar.
- Stir in the pineapple with juice and the drained mandarin oranges, reserving about 5 mandarin orange slices to decorate the top of cake.
- Mix in the dry pudding mix.
- Fold in the whipped topping.
- Place one cake layer on a cake plate cut side up; spread with frosting.
- Place another layer cut side down on the first one, and top with more frosting.
- Repeat until all layers are used, spreading last bit of frosting on top and sides of cake.
- Decorate with reserved mandarin orange slices.
- Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Calories 521.2, FatContent 23.8, SaturatedFatContent 9.8, CholesterolContent 68.2, SodiumContent 488.4, CarbohydrateContent 74.1, FiberContent 1.5, SugarContent 56.9, ProteinContent 5.3