Winter wonderland cake
You can use a butter cream to ice this cake if you prefer, but this frosting is much whiter if you want a snowy effect.
SERVES 12 PREP 1 hr plus cooling COOK 35 mins EASY V G un-iced sponges and icing bagged separately only
175g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the tin
250g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
225 plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
50g crème fraîche
100g dark chocolate, melted and cooled a little
3 tbsp strawberry jam
8-10 candy canes, red and white mini white meringues and jelly sweets, to decorate for the angel frosting (see tip) 500g white caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp liquid glucose
2 egg whites
30 icing sugar, sifted
1 Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter and line three 18cm
(or two 20cm) cake tins. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, beating them in one at a time. Fold in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt, then fold in the crème fraîche and chocolate and 100ml boiling water.
2 Divide the cake mixture between the tins and level the tops of the batter. Bake for 25-30 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool for 10 mins in the tin, then tip out onto a cooling rack and peel off the parchment. Set aside to cool completely.
3 To make the angel frosting, put the sugar, vanilla and liquid glucose in a pan with 125ml water. Bring to the boil and cook until the sugar has melted – the syrup turns clear and the mixture hits 130C on a sugar thermometer (be very careful with hot sugar). Take off the heat. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until stiff then, while still beating, gradually pour in the hot sugar syrup in a steady stream. Keep beating until the mixture is fluffy and thick enough to spread – this might take a few mins as the mixture cools. Beat in the icing sugar.
4 Spread two of the sponges with jam and some of the icing mixture, then sandwich the cakes together with the plain one on top. Use a little of the frosting to ice the whole cake (don’t worry about crumbs at this stage). Use the remaining icing to ice the cake again, smoothing the side, and swirling it on top. Crush four of the candy canes and sprinkle over the cake, then add the remaining whole candy canes, meringues and sweets.
PER SERVING 596 kcals • fat 19g • saturates 11g • carbs 100g • sugars 84g • fibre 2g • protein 6g • salt 0.3g