Chocolate Christmas Cake – Best Family Party Dinner Menu Dessert Recipe Ideas

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins.
  2. Place all of the cake ingredients, except the boiling water, into a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, or electric whisk, beat the mixture until smooth and well combined. Add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth. (The cake mixture will now be very liquid.)
  3. Divide the cake batter between the sandwich tins and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool completely, still in their tins, before icing.

To decor the cake:

  1. Dip the cranberries in the egg white, then roll in caster sugar a few times until well coated. Leave to set (or use glacé cherries instead, even easier and no need to frost with egg white). Brush just the top of the cake with a little jam. Roll out the marzipan to slightly larger than the top of the cake, lay on top of the cake, press down and trim flush to the edges of the cake.
  2. Mix a dribble of water at a time into the fondant icing sugar, until it’s a smooth, stiff consistency that won’t run. Pile on the top of the cake. Push to the edges with a palette knife so it eases down the sides a little. Make a wreath from the sage and bay, then add a few of the frosted cranberries (or glacé cherries if using instead).

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