With Christmas just around the corner, Juliet has the perfect festive centrepiece that's such to get everyone in the festive spirit! Her Chocolate and peppermint Christmas tree cake starts with a deliciously rich and dense peppermint brownie that's topped with silky buttercream icing and shaped into an adorable tree. For an extra magical touch, why not try making your own little decorations out of sugar paste!
Preheat the oven to 160c fan
In a large mixing bowl, melt the butter, 320g dark chocolate and sugars until combined in the microwave for 30-second blasts, stirring in between until all amalgamated. Alternatively use a large non-stick pan on very low heat. Don’t allow it to get too hot, you just want the chocolate to melt and everything to be liquid. Place in the Chef Baker bowl.
Attach the K-beater and gradually mix the milk and vanilla into the melted chocolate mix at a low speed.
In another large bowl, dry whisk the plain flour, cocoa and salt together to distribute the powders, then fold this into the mix in increments of 2 on a low speed.
Fold in the extra chocolate chips at a low speed, pour the mixture into the tin.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until just baked, it should be set around the edge but slightly underbaked and fudgy in the middle. Remember it will firm as it cools.
While the cake is baking – make the decorations and buttercream
Using the in bowl weighing feature add 1/3 of the icing sugar and butter to the Chef Baker bowl. Attach the K-beater and mix at a low speed until all the sugar is combined into the butter, add the flavouring. Increase to a medium speed for a minute or so until smooth.
Add the remaining sugar in two parts in the same way. Beat until pale and fluffy, add in food colouring if using.
Once ready load into the piping bag
To make the tree, cut out a 3” square from each corner at the bottom, creating a tree base. Using a large bread knife, cut from the bottom corner to the centre of the top of the bake on each side, to create the pointed tree shape (the offcuts you can eat, share, or even use to make mini trees)
Spread a thin amount of green buttercream on the tree base, so you can stick it on chocolate to look like a wooden bucket.
Pipe over the whole tree in 2cm blobs, keeping as neat as you can to create the tree, then adorn with choco balls for lights, metallic sprinkles, candy canes and top with a star.
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