Christmas is the perfect time of year to start baking – it’s a sure way to impress family and friends (alongside a glass of mulled wine, of course), plus you get the joy of a whole home filled with the scent of freshly baked festive treats.
I’ve been baking a lot over the past few weeks, and I was surprised when I saw quite a number of the recipes I’d been following appeared on this year’s Great British Bake Off Christmas specials. I thought: Hey, if it’s good enough for the GBBO show, it’s worth telling the #AtHomeBaking community a bit more about how you can create these show-stopping sweet treats at home, with fun and ease.
The Surprise Cake
Let’s dive into the surprise cake (figuratively).
I first made one of these at Easter with a little chick hidden inside, but I figured it would work just as well with a Christmas tree. This style of cake is so simple to make, yet each piece looks incredible when sliced and served.
- Make a small chocolate sponge cake mixture in a shallow square tin.
- Bake this chocolate sponge cake and leave to cool.
- Once cool enough to slice without crumbling or sticking, use your chosen cutter to create as many little festive-shaped pieces of chocolate sponge cake as you can.
- Next up, create the plain sponge mix and put just a little in the bottom of a loaf tin.
- Place your chocolate sponge shapes on top, filling from end to end of the loaf tin.
- Carefully fill the loaf tin around the edge of your chocolate sponge shapes using the remaining cake mixture.
- Bake as normal, but be careful when you test it as the middle of the cake is, of course, already cooked.
- Once the plain sponge cake section has baked and cooled, cut through to reveal a very merry surprise for kids and grown-ups alike!
Alternative Christmas Pudding
For those that prefer a twist on the traditional Christmas pudding, this one’s a real showstopper to share with family on Christmas Day.
Even better – just like the surprise cake – it’s easy to bake and tastes absolutely great!
- Make a standard chocolate sponge cake using a hemisphere cake tin.
- Once baked, coat the cake in chocolate ganache.
- Next, cover the whole cake with Maltesers before drizzling with melted white chocolate.
- Top with a sweet take on the hollly and the ivy, and you’ve created a 21st century twist that won’t have the kids asked, ‘But why is there fruit in a dessert?’!
What are your go-to easy but impressive Christmas bakes at this time of year? Let us know in the comments below!