Posted in Baking Day, Christmas, Recipes

White Christmas Biscuit Cake- Recipe 12 of 12 from Enjoy!

White Christmas Biscuit Cake

Food photography Marta Miklinska, Food Styling by Jette Virdi (from cookbook Enjoy!)
Food photography Marta Miklinska, Food Styling by Jette Virdi (from cookbook Enjoy!)

Ta Dah! Recipe 12 of 12.  So I set myself the task of sharing 12 recipes from ‘Enjoy!’ over 12 weeks until Christmas and here we are!!!! It really does just sneak up in the end.  I love it.  I love the lights.  I love the buzz.  I love the frenzy in town and even the panicky feeling that you’ve forgotten something.  I did tweet during the week about something that bugs me though, the idea of the ‘PERFECT’ Christmas, that’s absurd.  We’re being sold perfection as something achievable and desirable and if it does exist then it would imply that there is just one version, the ‘perfect’ version of Christmas.  But Christmas is a unique experience to us all, the things that make us buzz, the movies that we want to watch, the rituals of gift-opening etc.. they vary in every household.  I’m wishing you all a unique and real Christmas.
In light of uniqueness here’s a recipe for a Biscuit Cake instead of traditional fruit Christmas Cake.  There’s still plenty of time and if you’ve kids they’ll love getting involved in the decoration.
Note:
A ‘springform tin’ is one used for cheesecakes that has a spring release on the side so that you can remove it easily.
White Christmas Biscuit Cake
You will need:
For the biscuit cake:
110g unsalted butter, softened
110g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
110g caster sugar
225g McVitie’s Rich Tea biscuits
Assortment of finger biscuits and sweets, to decorate
For the topping:
5 x 58g Mars bars
3 x 100g bars of white chocolate
Method:
Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper . Place the ring of a springform tin on the paper – you aren’t using a cake tin, just the ring with the base removed to shape the cake.
Beat the butter until it’s smooth, then beat in the caster sugar.
In a separate bowl, break the biscuits into almond-sized pieces.
Melt the dark chocolate (I use the microwave) and gradually beat it into the butter mixture until smooth. Add the broken biscuits and stir well to cover with the cake mix.
Spoon the chocolate biscuit mix into the cake ring. Press it down and out to the sides with the back of the spoon until it’s even. Place the cake in the fridge to set overnight.
The next day, remove the cake ring from the set cake. Turn the biscuit cake upside down and place it on a wire rack – the bottom will be smoother, and it will now be the top. Put some parchment paper underneath the wire rack to catch the drips from the melted chocolate.
Cut the Mars bars into small pieces and melt them in a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water, mixing well to form a smooth topping. Pour the melted Mars bar topping onto the biscuit cake and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour. You can keep the piece of parchment paper to use it again for the next layer of melted chocolate.
Break the white chocolate bars into small pieces and melt them in a bowl in the microwave. Remove the cake from the fridge and set the rack back over the piece of parchment paper. Pour the melted white chocolate over the chilled biscuit cake, then carefully transfer the cake from the wire rack onto a cake stand or serving plate.
Have fun decorating with Christmas-themed sweets on top and white chocolate finger biscuits around the side.
Enjoy!
& Have a wonderfully unique Christmas!! Sheila.

Posted in Baking Day

White Christmas Biscuit Cake

‘When can we have some, when can we have some?’…is what I’m being implored since I iced up this Christmas cake.
White Chocolate Christmas Biscuit Cake
This time last year we would have been admiring a royal icing decorated traditional Christmas Cake which looked equally as beautiful but there’s not much point in admiring something and saying it looks wonderful if nobody is going to eat it.  It’s a fact that lots of children do not have a love of dried fruit and it naturally follows that they are not going to be huge fans of fruit cake and that’s why this year I’m giving them what I know they will eat.  Chocolate!
The recipe for this biscuit cake is more or less the same as the one I did earlier in the year for the Royal Wedding. I’ve taken the egg out as it binds fine without it and I don’t want to take any food safety chances.  To cover the cake I used three 100g bars of white chocolate and this is layered over a melted mars bar topped biscuit cake base.
Chocolate Biscuit Cake in ring
Chocolate Biscuit Cake covered in melted mars

You will need (for the cake):
110g dark chocolate (I used 70% Aine )
110g caster sugar
110g unsalted butter (softened)
225g McVitie’s Rich Tea biscuits
Cake ring – springform release preferably.
Method:
Line a baking tray with some parchment paper.
Place the cake ring on the parchment paper – you are not using a cake tin, just the ring of a cake tin with base removed to shape the cake.
Beat the unsalted butter until smooth and then beat in the caster sugar.
In a separate bowl break the biscuits into almond sized pieces.
Melt the dark chocolate and gradually beat it into the butter mixture until smooth.
Add in the broken biscuits and stir well to cover with the cake mix.
Spoon the chocolate biscuit mix into the cake ring and press it down and out to the sides with the back of the spoon.
Place the cake in the fridge to set overnight.
You will need (for the topping):
5 x 58g Mars bars
3 x 100g White Chocolate
Assortment of finger biscuits and sweets to decorate.
Method:
Remove the ring from the cake and turn the biscuit cake upside down (as the bottom is smoother – this will now be the top) and place it on a wire cake rack. (Put some parchment paper underneath to catch dripping melted mars & chocolate!)
Cut the Mars bars into small pieces and melt them in a saucepan with a couple of tbsps of water – mixing well to form a smooth topping.
Pour the melted Mars topping onto the biscuit cake and chill it for an hour.
Break the white chocolate bars into small pieces and melt them in a bowl in the microwave.
Pour the melted chocolate over the chilled Mars topped biscuit cake and then carefully move the cake from the wire rack onto a cake display/plate.
Have fun decorating with sweets and finger biscuits.
Enjoy.
White Chocolate Christmas Biscuit Cake
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, Sheila

Posted in Baking Day

Christmas Cake!!!

It has been at least 10 years since I have baked a Christmas Cake which means that my kids have never helped to ice and decorate one.  (The oldest two may have but would’ve been too young to remember.)  This morning i rooted out my ‘McDonnells second Good Food Cook Book’ which has love heart doodles on some of the pages as it was a book that we used in Home Economics class in secondary school.  This is the only Christmas Cake recipe that I have ever tried and as I still have it here we go again.  As I write, the cake is slowly baking in the oven and will be ready to emerge after about 4 hours.  I’ll be letting it cool, wrapping it up and then storing it away until December.

Making a Christmas Cake sounds like a big ordeal but it isn’t really.  The tricky bit is lining the tin with greaseproof paper and grating the lemon and orange rind and yes I did grate my thumb!  I was in town (aka Cork City) yesterday and stopped off in M&S on the way to the carpark to pick up a few bits.  They only had whole nutmeg so I felt very Jamie Oliver as I grated that into the cake today.  As well as lining the tin with a double layer of greaseproof paper I also used a double layer of brown paper and tied that on the outside of the tin with string.  It doesn’t say to do this in the book but I have some recollection of doing this in my Home Economics class, maybe that was for something else but I think it was so that the outside of the cake doesn’t get burned or something…
Sheila must pay attention in class and not doodle in her recipe book.
Sheila must pay attention in class and not doodle in her recipe book.
Sheila must pay attention in class and not doodle in her recipe book.
Sheila must pay attention in class and not doodle in her recipe book.
Sheila must pay attention in class and not doodle in her recipe book……

You will need:
575g currants
375g sultanas
200g raisins
150g glace cherries
150g chopped almonds
150g mixed cut peel
2 lemons – rind
1 orange – rind
4 tbsp whiskey
400g plain flour
1 and half tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
100g ground almonds
300g unsalted butter (book uses Stork Margarine)
350g dark brown sugar
7 large eggs
Tin: Deep 10 inch round or 9 inch square (I used a 9 inch round!)
Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 140C, Gas Mark 1
Line the tin with double layer of greaseproof paper on the bottom and sides and cut the paper so that it is higher than the sides of the tin. 
(Use melted butter to stick the paper.)
Chop the glace cherries into quarters.
Grate the rind of the orange and the lemons.
Sieve the flour and spices together.
Beat everything together in a bowl for 3 -4 minutes
Put the mixture in the tin and smooth the top with the back of a wet spoon.
Wrap a double layer of brown paper around the outside of the tin and tie with string.
Bake for up to 4  to 4 and a half hours.
Start testing the cake every so often after 3 hours with a skewer, when it comes out clean the cake is done.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin. 
Remove all the paper and then wrap in double greaseproof paper and in tin foil and store in cool dry place.

The picture above shows the cake before it went into the oven and I’ll put up a picture of the finished article in December.  Getting in the mood I also bought a star for the top of the tree but the napkin rings and nibbles bowls are from last year.


I have just found out that ‘Taste of Christmas’ and ‘Food & Wine Magazine Christmas Show’ are both on in Dublin over the same weekend 26-28 November.  First of all I thought this was bad planning but perhaps it’s intentional.  I hope to go to one on the Saturday and one on the Sunday but will they be child friendly I wonder?!  By the way I’ve just realised that I left the ground almonds out of the cake, but sure it will be grand!
Til next time, Sheila.