Winter Wonderland Cake
If, like me, you’d rather opt for something a little less traditional than the typical fruitcake offering around the festive season, then this cake is perfect for you.
I’ve been dreaming up this recipe for a few weeks, and really wanted to make a chocolate cake decorated in coconut snow, and topped with snowflake meringues, but I wasn’t entirely sure how the snowflakes would turn out, or if they would even work at all...
Chocolate and coconut is one of my favourite flavour combinations - just like a 'Bounty' (which happens to be one of my favourite chocolates in the Celebrations tin - controversial though, I’m sure)!
I used the sponge cake that I first made for my chocolate and blackberry cake, but upped the quantities to make this a tall layer cake - and I love it. The sponge is rich and bold in chocolate flavour, whilst still being light and (dare I say it) moist! The coffee helps to intensify the flavour in the cocoa powder - so don’t let this put you off if you’re not a coffee drinker, it just adds an extra kick to the chocolate flavour.
As predicted, the meringues were tricky to get right. The first time around they ended up breaking; as I didn’t pipe the stars close enough together, and they weren’t as sturdy. You need to make sure you squash each little star right up close to each other so the snowflakes hold their shape. Once you remove them from the oven you’ll need to handle them really carefully as they’re still very fragile, but once secured on the cake with buttercream they’ll be fine.
Note! Be warned, no matter how careful you are - when you decorate the cake you’ll end up with desiccated coconut e-v-e-r-y-where!