merry christmas chocolate cakes!

dark chocolate butter cake with a chocolate ganache

To all of our readers, I want to wish you all a very merry christmas, happy Hanukkah, or whatever else you like to celebrate. Happy holidays!

We haven’t stopped eating since last night to tell you the truth. There were so many recipes flying around the place & too little time that the only thing documented from this whole holiday was the desserts.

This year, I served a dark chocolate butter cake with a rum icing, as well as an apple & olive oil cake with a maple icing. Tonight I’m going to share the chocolate cake since I decorated two of them, both in a festive manor!

dark chocolate butter cake with a rum icingIngredients, dark chocolate cake: serves 8 to 12
– 63g cacao
– 240g sour cream
– 3 eggs (150g)
– 2.75 tsp (9g) vanilla extract
– 234g flour
– 300g sugar
– 1.25 tsp (6g) baking powder
– 0.25 tsp (2.25g) baking soda
– 0.75 tsp salt
– 300g butter, room temp

Directions, dark chocolate cake: (this recipe is used for both designs of cake)
1. pre-heat the oven to 175°C (350°F), grease & line two 20 cm spring-form cake tins with baking parchment.
2. combine the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder & salt in a bowl & beat with a mixer for 30 seconds to combine & aerate.
3. in another bowl, combine the cocoa, sour cream, eggs & vanilla and beat until smooth.
4. pour half of the cocoa batter into the flour & add the butter. Beat until smooth and then continue beating for an additional 2 minutes.
5. add half of the remaining cocoa mixture to the flour batter & again beat until smooth. Add in the remaining cocoa mixture & beat until incorporated.
6. pour half of the batter into each tin & bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
7. remove from the oven & allow to cool completely before serving.

To make the christmas tree forest looking cake, follow the recipes & instructions below:

Ingredients, chocolate ganache:
– 400g dark chocolate, 53%
– 250g heavy cream
– 20g honey
– 40g butter

Directions, chocolate ganache:
1. heat the chocolate & cream together in a double boiler or microwave until melted.
2. once melted, stir in the honey & butter until melted & smooth. You may need to whisk the mixture to ensure in is thoroughly mixed & smooth.
3. allow it to set, this can take several hours.

Ingredients, buttercream christmas trees:
– 400g icing sugar
– 120g butter, room temp
– 30g milk
– green icing, tint to desired colour
– multi coloured ball sprinkles
– star sprinkles

Directions, buttercream christmas trees:
1. beat the sugar & butter together until fully incorporated. Pour in the milk & continue to beat until smooth, light & airy.
2. pour in the coloring, two drops at a time & beat until incorporated between each addition. Continue on this way until you’ve reached your desired shade.

To assemble the cake:
1. smooth on a third of the icing onto the top of one of the cakes & then place the other layer of cake on top of that.
2. put the rest of the ganache into a pipping back fitted with a 10mm circular piping tip & pipe vertical lines up the side of the cake. Continue until the whole side of the cake is covered.
3. Fit another pipping bag with a 10mm star tip & fill with the green butter cream.
4. to make the trees, hold the tip at a 90° angle to the cake & apply pressure. What you’re going to want to do is, apply more pressure at the beginning when the tip is about 2mm away from the cake & then slowly pull up and ease off on the pressure as you do. Continue to pipe trees until the whole top of the cake is covered.
5. place a star on the top of each tree & then sprinkle with the ball sprinkles.

To make the dark chocolate forest looking cake, follow the recipes & instructions below:

Ingredients, rum icing:
– 250g mascarpone
– 250g heavy cream
– 50g icing sugar
– 60g rum

Directions, rum icing:
1. beat the heavy cream until stiff.
2. sift in the icing sugar, add in the mascarpone & rum. Beat until smooth.
3. chill until ready to use.

Ingredients, dark chocolate trees:
– 100g dark chocolate 70%

Directions, dark chocolate trees:
1. melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.
2. pour into a piping bag fitted with a lining tip.
3. on a tray lined with baking parchment, pipe the trees. Try not to make them too tall as they will break from the weight at room temperature.
4. put the tray in the freezer until the trees harden.
(I’d like to thank ‘Desserts for Breakfast‘ for the design of this cake, I may not have used the recipe, but her images were an inspiration)

To assemble the cake.
1. spread a thick layer of icing onto one of the two cakes & then place the second layer on top.
2. continue to spread icing onto the rest of the cake until it is covered in a nice, smooth, thick layer.
3. delicately place the trees around the cake as desired.
4. refrigerate until ready to serve.

…for more recipes from us, check out our archives.

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