Friday, November 14, 2014

Easy, Elegant Christmas Cakes


I absolutely love chocolate, don't you?  I think it is great any time of year.  Christmas for most means bread pudding, fruit cake; banana and pumpkin bread.  These are wonderful, but if you are like me you prefer chocolate year-round.  Adding simple garnishes with holiday flair can elevate a simple chocolate cake and make it something special your guests will enjoy.

To complete these recipes, you will need both a springform cake pan and a mini bundt cake pan.

My go-to for chocolate cake has always been the  "Chocolatetown Special Cake" recipe via the Hershey Company.  If you are in a time-crunch, a boxed cake will work just as well. 

Mini Bundt Cakes and Walnut torte:  

Spray your mini bundt cake pan and springform pan with cooking spray. Set aside.  

Hershey's Chocolatetown Special Cake

You will need:

1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1/2 cup boiling water
2/3 cup shortening
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups buttermilk or sour milk*
Paper baking cups

*To make sour milk:  mix 4 teaspoons vinegar plus milk to equal 1 1/3 cups.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Stir together cocoa and boiling water in a small bowl until smooth.  Set aside. Cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs; beat well. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a separate smaller bowl. Add alternatively with buttermilk to creamed mixture.  Blend in cocoa mixture.   Pour batter into your mini bundt pan leaving a 1/4 inch space for rising.  Pour the remaining batter into the springform pan.  It should be approximately one-inch thick if you use a small to medium pan.  Place mini bundt pan on a cookie sheet.  I used a double oven to bake both cakes at the same time.  Bake bundt cakes at 350 degrees approximately 20-25 minutes or until an inserted cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Cool ten minutes.  Remove from pan. Cool completely. Set aside. 

For the torte, bake approximately ten minutes, or just as edges begin to bubble.  Remove from oven.
Add approximately 1/4 cup chopped walnuts onto the batter followed by 2-3 tablespoons of sugar.

Continue baking at 350 another 10-15 minutes, or until cake tester/toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven.  Allow cake to cool before removing from the springform pan.

Making Your Presentation Shine

Presentation is everything when entertaining.  To give my mini bundt cakes a little Christmas charm, I added candy melt snowflakes, cranberries, powdered sugar, and sprigs of rosemary as garnish.  Powered sugar is an excellent garish to use when replicating snow, just as rosemary sprigs are similar in appearance to pine needles.  Adding these simple items truly make your cake stand out, and it will impress your guests!

To make the candy melt snowflakes, I simply used this snowflake mold.

Melt white candy melts down in a double boiler (or on very low heat).  Spoon into the mold, and allow to cool via refrigeration completely before removing.  To see these treats featured in my Christmas Desert and Tea Tablescape, you may do so by visiting the post on my other blog Parsimonious Décor Darling by clicking here.

Here is a closeup of the torte.

Closeup of the bundts and candy snowflakes. 

Have a wonderful holiday season!!

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  1. Your table looks lovely, and the cake is a beauty! Thanks for stopping by to visit. Merry Christmas!