I'm not usually one for decorating cakes with icing and figures, but when these cute little Santa's Helpers from Lindt dropped through my door I couldn't wait to bake with them. Guessing it was too cruel to melt them down for brownies, I figured it best to make them a little gingerbread forest home. Albeit before reaching their inevitable end, because cakes are made for eating after all!
This chocolate gingerbread cake from Nigella is gloriously fudgy and squidgy. Topped with some chocolate gingerbread shaped into trees and chocolate elves. I'm thinking of making another one now with a giant chocolate santa and reindeers too!
Whilst my cake may not win any decoration prizes, the Lindt Christmas figures are great for decorations. And, who doesn't want to spend a Sunday afternoon decorating gingerbread and drinking mulled wine?
C H O C O L A T E G I N G E R B R E A D C A K E
(recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson's Feast)
Chocolate gingerbread cake:
175g unsalted butter
125g dark muscovado
2 tbsp caster sugar
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp warm water
250ml whole milk
275g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
110g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
170g icing sugar, sifted
55g cocoa powder
1-2 tbsp whole milk
- Heat the oven to 170 degrees and grease and line a 7 inch round cake tin.
- Over a low heat, melt the butter, sugars, golden syrup, treacle and spices in a large saucepan.
- Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in a cup with the warm water.
- Once melted, take the butter mix off the heat and beat in the eggs, milk and bicarbonate of soda.
- Gently fold in the flour and cocoa powder until just incorporated.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool fully.
- Whilst the cake is cooling, make the chocolate frosting. Beat the butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add a few drops if needed to help loosen the frosting.
C H O C O L A T E G I N G E R B R E A D T R E E S
65g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
75g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
60ml whole milk
150g plain flour
25g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees and line two oven trays with baking paper.
- Beat the butter a sugar together on a medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the spices, milk and egg and continue to beat, this time on a low speed.
- Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder and stir together until the mix forms a ball of dough.
- Wrap in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.
- Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough out to about the thickness of a pound coin.
- Using tree cutters, or any other shapes you have, cut out shapes and place on the oven trays with half an inch space between each.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Place on a wire cooling rack to cool and firm up.