It’s hard to believe that we are back into the Christmas season once again, seems to have been the quickest year ever but I seem to remember making the very same comment last year! We love Christmas in our house but tend not to decorate until December is well underway just so the sheen isn’t gone off all the lovely decorations by the time Christmas day rolls around. We always have Christmas at home and I enjoy having my mother and brother each year to help us celebrate the day. I adore the whole planning and preparation of the Christmas dinner and I especially love having a full table of family and food! My mother would not be in the least bit happy if there wasn’t a trifle produced for dessert so I always make one exactly as she has done for all of her married life, I always eat it but its not my most favourite dessert in the world. My husband however being a very food fickle man wouldn’t even contemplate a bowl of trifle so I always make a separate dessert for him and I think this year this cake will be it!
I bought a lovely book on Saturday called “The Mixing Bowl” which is a collection of recipes gathered from the residents of a care unit and hospice in Harolds Cross. It is such a lovely nostalgic read as each recipe comes with a little story about the resident. In a way it is nice to think that in keeping a blog all of our favourite recipes are catalogued for our children to dip into and see a snippet of what life was like when they were up to their eyes playing nintendos and squabbling! The cake I made today was a recipe from Margaret Linnane and I can see why it was a family favourite, it’s very rich so bear in mind that a small slice goes a long way.
175g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
110g plain chocolate
175g caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line/grease two sandwich tins
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth
Melt the chocolate and beat into the butter mixture
Beat in the egg yolks and milk
Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold in
Whisk the egg whites until stiff then fold in
Divide between the two tins and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean
Turn onto wire racks and allow to cool completely
175g icing sugar
75g caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
Melt the butter, caster sugar and water in a saucepan on a low heat until runny, stirring continuously
Pour this onto sieved icing sugar and cocoa powder and mix well
Spread onto the top of one of the cooled cake layers then place second layer on top and cover completely
Serve as it is, with some fresh cream or decorate as follows.
This is a very misleading way of decorating a cake as it looks so impressive but is actually hugely simple! All that is required is a little bit of patience and some personal restraint as it is so hard not to nibble on a kit kat finger or two or three or four while you are decorating! For the cake above you will need 8 bars of kit kat and a 300g bag of M&M’s. While the icing is still sticky stick individual kit kat fingers all around the outside of your cake and secure with a nice ribbon. Pour the sweets on top. Not very technical but so pretty looking! I was delighted to spot a bag of festive red and green M&M’s to use but really you could use anything your heart desires!
Remember though a little goes a long long way as it is rich and dense but oh so delicious. So now I am in the Christmas spirit I am off now to root out my favourite Christmas album, you can’t beat The Rat Pack! Anyone for eggnog? (Not quite sure what eggnog is and doesn’t sound even slightly appealing so please don’t say ‘yes’!)