Look, it’s the 28th November, okay? It’s basically the beginning of Christmas week’ isn’t it? We don’t generally do our decorations until the first weekend in December, but Christmas baking? I’m all over it. This weekend, it was time to bring out my favourite Christmas tree mould and create some new Christmassy treats in the shape of these little chocolate Christmas tree cakes. This is a fab, fun thing to do with the kids – basically smother the little sponge trees in melted chocolate and then go crazy with the decorations. Here’s how I did it:
I’ve got a silicone mould in the shape of little trees from John Lewis, but you could always just bake a normal sponge cake in a tin and cut out shapes with a cutter. Preheat the oven to 180/gas mark 4 and prepare your mould with a little smear of butter or a spray of cake release.
You will need:
115g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g self raising flour
Splash of milk
100g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate
Make the sponge in the normal way: beat the butter and sugar until really light and creamy, then beat in the eggs a dribble at a time and then the vanilla. Finally, stir in the sifted flour.
Spoon a dessertspoon of cake mixture into each ‘tree’ and smooth them out as best you can. Bake at for 10 – 15 minutes until just golden.
Allow the cakes to cool and then turn them out. If they’re a little rounded on the top, you might need to just cut off the very top (which will actually be the bottom, if you see what I mean) so they sit flat when you decorate them.
Now, melt the chocolate in a bowl over just-simmering water (that is unless you have this fabulous industrial chocolate melting pot, which is totally on my Christmas list and melts 8 litres at a time *swoon*) and smooth the chocolate over the little Christmas trees.
Now it’s time to get crafty. For the white chocolate trees, I snipped Waitrose jelly diamonds into four and stuck them onto the trees so that the look like strings of fairy lights (who says life it too short to stand for hours snipping tiny, sticky little jellies into even tinier, much stickier jellies that end up in your hair and on your clothes? Not me, that’s for sure).
For the dark ones, I smoothed over the dark melted chocolate then sprinkled them with this lovely, burnished bronze sugar, also from Waitrose, but you could pipe them, use smarties, whatever you like. If you do have a go, please feel free to send me any pictures of your creations!
Et voila, pretty, Christmassy, little treats that the whole family will love. Perfect with a hot chocolate after the very chilly Christmas tree shopping that I WILL be doing this weekend.
PS: This recipe also makes very delicious jaffa cake trees – just add a sliver of rindless orange jelly on top of the cakes before smothering in chocolate.