Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas or Nearly New Years Cake!


Well I hope everyone is having a lovely Christmas and looking forward to 2012! I have been enjoying the festivities so much that I forgot to share my Christmas cake recipe. But since it's not a traditional Christmas cake, and you could really use it for any occasion,  I've decided its not too late to share! 

So if you are thinking of making a New Years cake this could be just  the one for you!


I previously mentioned my dislike for traditional Christmas cakes and puddings and all festive things that have fruit shoved into them. So, for this cake I went for something much more appealing; chocolate biscuit cake! And because I still wanted it to be Christmasy I made it a Baileys chocolate biscuit cake. Mmmm, doesn't that just sound like the most delicious combination ever?! Well, it kind of is! 




And because I'm not at all opposed to the aesthetics of the  traditional Christmas cake, I decided to cover it with marzipan and white icing. After all, they are the only  bits I usually eat from normal Christmas cake.  I will admit however that I did cheat when it came to the marzipan and icing. I had a quick read of various recipes on how to make home-made versions, but I decided that life is way too short for making those things from scratch. Luckily there were lots of lovely ready to roll packets on the supermarket shelves. Maybe someday when I'm an old and a more experienced baker I might try do it myself, but that wont be for quite a while. 

I made bits of this recipe up, but it was mainly based on a recipe I found  from Nessa's blog. It's actually Daithi O' Se's mothers recipe. 

Ingredients:

  • 300g digestive biscuits.
  • 100g flaked almonds, toasted(optional) ( I left these out because I didn't have any at home!)
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted
  • 300g dark chocolate
  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 30ml Baileys (I was a little bit more generous than that with the Baileys!)
  • I also added in a packet of Maltesers and some chocolate chip cookies. I would advise you to definitely add more biscuit bits. Mine still ended up being way more chocolate than biscuit. So next time I'll add in even more!

To Decorate:
  • Dr. Oetker royal icing (ready to roll)
  • Marzipan (I think it was that Shamrock brand)
  • Jam (Just a little bit - to go between the cake and marzipan)  
  • Dr. Oetker Icing Writing
  • A random Christmas decoration
  • Some ribbon

Method:

  • Roughly crush the digestive biscuits (and Maltesers and cookies) in a bowl. 
  • Stir in the flaked almonds (if you are using them)  and the melted butter.
  • Melt the chocolate in a large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, then stir in the condensed milk. 
  • Pour this chocolate mixture over the biscuits along with the Baileys and stir well to combine all the ingredients. 


  • Line a 8inch circular tin with parchment paper and spoon the mixture into it. 
  • Place the tin in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

 Icing 
  • When the cake is set and ready to be iced you need to put some jam on top of the biscuit cake before putting the marzipan on, so that it sticks. 

  • Then once the marzipan is on and before you put the icing on top you should brush some cooled boiled water on top of the marzipan.  I'm not exactly sure why but I just think you should. Its says so in lots of books and on the marzipan packet!



This was the first time I ever iced a cake and I am quite pleased with how it turned out. I know I couldn't have gone too wrong using the ready to roll stuff, but still, there is a bit of technique involved!

This cake  is really rich and tastes like Baileys and chocolate yumminess. But I do think it could have done with a lot more biscuits because there is so much chocolate to contend with. I also may have crushed the digestives too much. Well that's the theory my friend Angela came up with after she had a taste. Sometimes I get a bit carried away with the crushing. 

 
I realised when I was having some of the cake that I actually did taste Baileys chocolate biscuit cake before and it wasn't an idea I came up with myself,  it was actually a layer of my wedding cake. A cake which was so delicious that now I'm thinking  this Christmas cake wasn't very good at all in comparison! But I shouldn't compare my cakes with professionals, not just yet. It was an okay attempt, but like all the others I've made there is definitely room for improvement! So I'll just keep trying as we roll into 2012! 

Ooh, I also made some Christmas cookies, but don't think it'd be safe to share my recipe, they turned out to be teeth breakers. I think I'm better at decorating when it comes to cookies. 

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