Win­ter won­der­land cake

Easy Cook - - CHRISTMAS BAKING -

Serves 12 Prep 1 hr, plus cool­ing Cook 35 mins Q Q Q un-iced sponges and ic­ing bagged sep­a­rately 175g un­salted but­ter, soft­ened, plus ex­tra for the tin 250g golden caster su­gar 3 large eggs 225g plain flour 2 tsp bak­ing pow­der 50g crème fraîche 100g dark choco­late,

melted and cooled 3 tbsp straw­berry jam 8-10 candy canes mini white meringues and

jelly sweets, to dec­o­rate FOR THE FROST­ING 500g white caster su­gar 1 tsp vanilla ex­tract 1 tbsp liq­uid glu­cose 2 egg whites 30g ic­ing su­gar, sifted

1 Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. But­ter and line three 18cm round cake tins. Beat the but­ter and su­gar to­gether un­til light. Add the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour, bak­ing pow­der and crème fraîche, choco­late and 100ml boil­ing wa­ter.

2 Di­vide be­tween the tins and level the tops. 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 onto a cool­ing rack and peel off the parch­ment. Cool com­pletely.

3 For the frost­ing, put the su­gar, vanilla and glu­cose in a pan with 125ml wa­ter. Bring to the boil and cook un­til the syrup turns clear and the mix­ture hits 130C on a su­gar ther­mome­ter. Take off the heat. Beat the egg whites un­til stiff. While still beat­ing, pour in the syrup in a steady stream. Keep beat­ing un­til thick enough to spread. Beat in the ic­ing su­gar.

4 Spread two sponges with jam and some of the ic­ing, then sand­wich the cakes to­gether with the plain one on top. Use a lit­tle of the frost­ing to ice the whole cake. Use the re­main­ing ic­ing to ice the cake again, smooth­ing the side, and swirling it on top. Crush 4 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

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