This Christmas it felt only right to invite back once again the baker I know best in my life to bring us a festive recipe: my sister from baking kitchen Ella Rose Cakes.
After the success of her courgette cake in the summer I tasked Ella with making The Flourishing Pantry a Christmas centre piece, with lots of lovely spices and a little less sugar than her more typical bakes might include!
Handing over to Ella to tell us more about her love of Christmas and to take us through her recipe:
I love Christmas. I love everything about it; the shopping, the trees, the card writing, the carols, and of course, the food. When The Flourishing Pantry asked me to do a December recipe, how could I pass up the opportunity to bake something warm, festive and delicious?
What I’ve learnt during this recipe development is that the Bundt Cake tin I own is really quite large. It's 10.5" diameter which I think is excessively big! I tried a few recipes before creating this one and none really rose properly – sometimes due to the ingredient mixes, but some because of the vast cavum that is my cake tin. In fact, the cake you see in the photos is actually upside-down, as turning it out to see the pretty top meant it was sitting completely unevenly and looked a mess. This way round looked perfectly rustic for the season.
If you have the same issue and own a giant size bundt cake tin then you could try doubling this recipe and increasing the bake time to see if you get a good result.
Just like I learned in my last feature – the raw/sugar free/dairy free/gluten free/fun free cakes don’t bake in the same way I expect 'normal' cakes to! I've learnt we are much better off taking a standard recipe and adjusting the ingredients to dietary needs.
To ensure this cake can feature rightfully alongside the beautiful bakes in the Flourishing Pantry’s stash, I’ve created something with no refined sugar; I substituted standard white sugar from an original recipe with a much smaller amount of organic coconut sugar and used Christmassy flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg bring the sweetness instead.
I’ve also provided some gluten free alternatives/edits in the recipe below and used milk/gluten/wheat free chocolate for the topping – so again you can find a sugar free version and swap in to make this better suited to your dietary requirements.
I’ve done my best to make the ingredients list clear as to where you can substitute but if you have any questions, you can find me on my Instagram page!
This delicious ring of Christmas has passed the taste test with my husband, father in law and neighbours alike so I’ll be recreating this as a centrepiece dessert on Christmas day, warmed and served with a dollop of ice-cream!
180g butter (or dairy free substitute) + a little extra for greasing
150g coconut sugar - I used the Groovy Food Company Organic one
Capful of vanilla (or almond) extract
1 dessert spoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs – I’m not convinced an egg substitute would work as this recipe uses them as a raising agent. Maybe using an egg substitute and self-raising flour might work (but not tested) - if you try and it works, let me know!
180g plain flour (gluten free if you so wish)
100g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder (add an extra tsp if using gluten free flour)
1 dessert spoon mixed spice
1 tbs ground ginger
2 tbsp milk (I used Arla lactose free because it’s what I had in my fridge) – if you want a dairy free version then nut or olive oil would suffice
3tbs cocoa powder mixed with 4 tbs warm water
Crushed fresh ginger - I found Ginger Puree and Ginger Paste in the supermarket, but you could grate fresh ginger just as easily)
85g Chocolate – I used Tesco Free From Chocolate Bar (milk/wheat/gluten free) but you can find sugar free chocolate that would be just as good.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Melt a small amount of butter and brush the bunt cake tin to grease
3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer (or by hand if you have the arm power and time)
4. Add the cinnamon and vanilla extract and combine with a few seconds more of the mixer
5. Add the eggs, one at a time to avoid curdling, mix continuously
6. In a separate bowl mix the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, mixed spice, and ground ginger
7. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter/sugar/egg mix and stir until combined
8. In a separate bowl combine with cocoa powder and warm water to make a ganache looking paste
9. Add just under half of the cake batter to the chocolate mixture and stir until it’s all chocolatey
10. Blob in both mixtures sporadically around the greased tin and use the back of a spoon to flatten and get it to the edges
11. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30mins (oven dependent). CONFESSION: I actually didn’t’ hear my timer go off so I’m not entirely sure how much longer it had in the oven but thankfully it wasn’t burnt when I took it out. As long as the skewer comes out clean it’s baked!
12. Leave to cool in the tin for a short amount of time whilst you break up the chocolate in a microwavable container
13. Melt chocolate – slowly! In 10 second blasts with stirring in between melt the chocolate slowly so it doesn’t scorch. If you feel safer using warm water in a bowl over a pan then go ahead
14. Stir in as much ginger as you’d like – I used half tsp of the ginger paste and it gave it a real kick so keep tasting it! Drizzle the ginger chocolate over using a tsp and the flick of the wrist
15. Dust with a couple of shakes of ground ginger and serve warm or cold