Sunday, 30 November 2014

Mincemeat Christmas Pudding Cake

When Waitrose got in touch recently asking me if I would like to take part in their Waitrose Christmas Desserts campaign they are running at this festive time of year my answer was immediately yes. Everybody knows how obsessed I am with baking and baking in the run up to Christmas seems all the more special somehow. I was thinking of Christmas recipes all the way back in the summer though I managed to wait until October to publish my first Christmassy recipe. I've since followed that up with this suet free mincemeat galette, this Speculaas shortbread and these vintage Tunis cupcakes. All of them delicious and all of which I had fun baking.
Mincemeat Christmas Pudding Cake - a fun combination of Christmas pudding and Madeira cake. So very easy.
Waitrose have found out that the top five desserts enjoyed by people at Christmas are Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, mince pies, chocolate Yule log and trifle. My task was to bake one of these things and put my own personal twist on it. Challenge accepted. My favourite thing to bake will always be cake but I'm saving my Christmas cake bakeathon until nearer the big day. I really enjoy making Christmas pudding but I'm not a huge fan of eating it. I've had an idea in my head for a while now to combine the two and this was the perfect chance to see if it would work. The result? Brilliant.
Mincemeat Christmas Pudding Cake - a fun combination of Christmas pudding and Madeira cake. So very easy.
I wanted to create something that as many people as possible could enjoy. First of, the recipe had to come together quickly because practicall everyone is pushed for time towards the end of the year. Easy peasy - just use and all in one mixture like these Tunis cupcakes. Don't like Christmas pudding? No worries, this is a cake disguised as a pudding. For those who prefer something plainer, the base of this is a Madeira cake. For the chocolate lovers there is a thick slathering of white chocolate ganache instead of the traditional brandy icing used on Christmas pudding.  For those who like mincemeat there is a generous helping stirred through the mixture and baked right inside. Multiple factors of Christmas baking rolled into one recipe. I was mighty pleased when I first took a bite. And then another. Aaaaaand several more. 
Mincemeat Christmas Pudding Cake - a fun combination of Christmas pudding and Madeira cake. So very easy.
The taste is that wonderful richness that comes with using ground almonds. Not too rich though, just enough to leave you feeling pleasingly indulgent. Almonds add to the silky osft crumb texture too, clinging onto every bit of moisture for days after. The whisky from the mincemeat warms you slowly from the inside complementing the sweet creaminess of the white chocolate ganache as only the slightly dark hints of distilled spirits can. The fruit dispersed throughout gives an extra little pop of flavour each time you catch some in every bite keeping you alert so you can enjoy every last morsel. Fancy another slice? Go on, it is Christmas after all.
Mincemeat Christmas Pudding Cake - a fun combination of Christmas pudding and Madeira cake. So very easy.
I baked my Christmas pudding cake in a Pyrex bowl. If you don't have one you can easily use a deep bowl as long as it is oven safe though I would highly recommend buying one because they are so useful. Alternatively, Lakeland do a hemisphere cake tin if you want to add another bit of kitchen kit to your collection. Or get creative and carve the dome shape from a deep circular cake. Whatever you do, have fun and enjoy eating your masterpiece. And maybe enter it into the Waitrose #BakeItForward campaign too. You never know what might happen.

Mincemeat Christmas Pudding Cake
Makes 1 large cake
Buttery madeira cake with whisky mincemeat baked inside and finished with a layer of white chocolate ganache. Add piped chocolate decorations and sprinkles for an extra special touch to this quick and easy alternative Christmas cake.










Ingredients
 For the cake:
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g very soft butter or buttery margarine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • Zest of one lemon or orange, finely grated
  • 100g plain flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 150-200g good quality mincemeat
To finish: 
  • 100g white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 25g dark chocolate, melted
Instructions
1. Set the oven to 170 C/150 C fan and grease a medium sized Pyrex bowl with butter, then dust with flour. Set on a baking tray.
2. Place all the cake ingredients into a bowl, apart from the baking powder and mix together with an electric mixer until just smooth. Sprinkle over the baking powder and mix again to evenly distribute. (if you think you'll forget it this way, just add with the other ingredients instead. It will still work fine.)
3. Transfer the mixture to the bowl, level off then create a shallow dip in the centre with the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, depending on your oven and the depth of your bowl,  untill  a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. If the top of the cake looks like it is getting too dark before it has finished cooking, gently place a disc of foil over the top of the cake to prevent it browing too much.
4. When the cake is cool, gently invert the bowl onto the wire rack and remove the cake. If it needs encouraging, carefully run a knif round the edge of the cake to loosen it.
5. For the ganache icing, place the white chocolate and milk in a bowl set over a pan of inch deep simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stire frequently until melted and smooth - it looks horrible at first but then comes together beautifully. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, stirring every so often so it doesn't set. Meanwhile, place the melted dark chocolate in a piping bag with a narrow hole in the end and pipe shapes onto some baking paper or a silicone mat. Leave to set fully.
6. Once the ganache has thickened to your desired consistnecy pour/spread over the cake and add sprinkles. Gently press the piped chocolate shapes into the top of the cake before the ganache completely sets.


Disclaimer: Waitrose sent me some goodies and a voucher to cover the cost of ingredients and my time. I was not required to write a positive view and all thoughts expressed are my own.

15 comments:

  1. This looks so festive- I love the chocolate holly decorations and I'm sure the cake itself must have tasted so gloriously Christmassy! PS: In my book, its never too early to start Christmas baking!

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    Replies
    1. Yay! I'm glad you agree. There's something about the autumn and especially winter, season which make me want to bake all the more. Maybe it is simply procrastibaking because I don't want to do my uni work!

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  2. Looks great, and I epecially like the chocolate holly on top. The cake would be a perfect alternative to traditional xmas pudding, though it would be a shame to drown this in brandy and set it alight.

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    1. Haha maybe serve it with a shot of brandy or whisky on the side instead?

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    1. Thank you, I'll have a look when I'm back on my computer.

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  4. What a great idea baking in the bowl. Looks lovely Laura!

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  5. Definitely better than a Christmas Pudding! Looks moist and delicious. Reckon a few injections of brandy might work in it too!

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    Replies
    1. I'm willing to give that a try! Maybe like a drizzle when it is dress out if the oven like you would with a lemon drizzle syrup =)

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  6. I could bake Christmas inspired treats all year long. This cake looks lovely. Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!!

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  7. This looks fantastic. So festive and Christmassy. I love the chocolate holly on top

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Katie! The piped holly was my favourite part I think =)

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