December is finally here! I’ll admit, I have been listening to christmas playlists and munching on gingerbread since September, but now everyone else is catching up… I’ve already been to my first christmas party and I’m sure you have many of those coming up, so I thought what better to make this month than a cake you can bring to all occasions. Because let’s be honest, we all get a little tired of the classic sugar cookies by the end of the month…
Chocolate Cinnamon Sponges
225g dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
140g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of salt
What to do:
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Melt 200g of chocolate with the butter in a small pan, while stirring regularly. Let the mixture cool down a little. Chop the rest of the chocolate into little chunks.
Mix the sugar, vanilla extract and eggs until foamy, then fold in the molten chocolate. Sift the dry ingredients in bit by bit and mix carefully. Finally fold in the chocolate chunks.
Divide the mixture into two 20 cm diametre baking pans, but make sure you have greased them properly so the sponges will come out without breaking.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Let the sponges cool down on a cooling rack if you have one, otherwise a plate will do. If you want to decorate them with any kind of frosting, make sure they are completely cool, otherwise the frosting will melt.
In this case I added some dark chocolate flakes on top of the sponges before baking, just because I had them at home and you can never have too much chocolate in a cake…
What you need:
100g butter, softened
100g powdered sugar
300g cream cheese
3-4 tbsp gingerbread spice mix (store bought, or make it yourself with cinnamon, star anise, ginger, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg and coriander)
What to do:
First, you want to beat the softened butter with the sugar until it’s soft and much lighter, probably about 3-4 minutes. Then mix in the other ingredients and combine until it’s a smooth texture. Now you need to tasteit to find out if you like it. Some cream cheese might be more sour, so you’ll need to add more sugar. If you want your frosting to be super strong, add more gingerbread spice mix. If you want it to be dark and chocolate-y, add cacao powder or molten chocolate. It’s really all about what you like, so go wild!
When frosting a cake, I like to cut a sheet of baking paper into four strips and lay them under the edges of the cake. Then you can frost without worrying to mess up your plate and really get the frosting everywhere around the cake. When you’re done, simply slide out the parchment paper (be careful though) and voilá, perfectly frosted cake and clean plate!
When it comes to decorating, there are no limits! I used some store bought cinnamon stars and copper sprinkles I had at home, but if you’re super motivated, you could even bake your own gingerbread stars or maybe some christmas trees or a little house.
I’m sure I will be doing that sometime this christmas, but for this cake, I just didn’t have the time.
I’d love to know what you guys make at christmas time. Do you have any family classics? What puts you in the christmas spirit?
Happy baking and enjoy the christmas time!