Last week I was lucky enough to attend Three UK’s Christmas party. It was excellent fun, full of wonderful cocktails and balloons, and a quite incredible smartie filled cake, created by Edd Kimber. Following research that discovered 76% of those born in December wish they were born in a different month (and who can blame them? All those ‘joint presents’ and everyone so focused on Christmas your birthday barely gets a mention?) Three asked the Great British Bake Off winner to create the Merry Birthday Pudding… a Christmas pud but with a wonderful surprise birthday filling!
Edd provided step by step instructions, and although it looks complicated, he assures us it’s quite simple, so I thought I’d give it a go! Here’s how I got on:
Edd Kimber’s Merry Birthday Pudding for Three UK
For the funfetti cake:
175g unsalted butter, very soft
175g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
175g self raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk
For the vanilla buttercream:
60g unsalted butter
120g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
1-2 tbsp milk
For the spiced chocolate ganache:
200g dark chocolate
175ml double cream
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
20g unsalted butter, softened
For the white chocolate glaze:
100g white chocolate
40ml double cream
Around 120g of Smarties, M&Ms or similar, and some holly
To make the funfetti batter place all of the ingredients, except the milk and the sprinkles into a large bowl and using an electric mixer beat together until smooth and combined. Add the milk and sprinkles and mix together briefly to incorporate evenly.
Place the batter into a 1 litre pudding basin that has been lightly greased and coated with flour and its base lined with parchment paper (here’s mine – I forgot the flour but it still came out okay):
Bake in an oven preheated to 180C (160C Fan) for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in the basin for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Whilst cooling make the buttercream by simply beating the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and milk and beat to combine.
Once cooled use a serrated to knife to cut the cake into four layers. Place the middle two on top of each other and use a cookie cutter to cut a hole in the middle of the layers. Use the buttercream as glue to stick the cake back together, but before you place the last layer on top fill the hole with the sweets, sealing in with the last piece of cake.
To make the ganache roughly chop the chocolate and place into a large bowl. In a small pan place the cream, sugar and the spices and bring to the boil, whisking to help dissolve. Once just come to a boil pour over the chocolate and leave for a few minutes before stirring to combine. Add the butter and stir to combine. Set the ganache aside until thickened then use to cover the cake, creating our mock Christmas pudding.
To finish the decoration place the cake into the fridge until the ganache is firm to the touch. Place the white chocolate and cream into a bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir together until smooth and melted. Remove from the heat and pour over the cake, teasing it over the edges. Finish by placing the holly and ivy decorations on top.
The verdict? Not as good as Edd’s (which you can see here) and I should have taken more time to find Smarties as the Peanut M&Ms I used were too big, but otherwise? Not bad at all!
Thanks to ThreeUK for their continued support, especially with Feel at Home, which enables me to use my internet on my many trips to Florida! Edd’s cake is one of the Three’s festive Merry Birthday films that can be seen here.