Christmas pudding piñata cake
This surprise inside chocolate cake makes a suitably showstopping centrepiece at festive parties, and as a great alternative to Christmas cake for those who aren't so keen on fruit cake.
- Preheat oven to 170°C/150°F/Gas 3.Lightly grease and dust two 8-inch hemispherical cake tins with flour. Create a cross in each with 4 strips of baking parchment, ensuring the strips overhang the edges slightly.
- Sift flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a large mixing bowl. Pour in the sugars to create a fine, sandy texture.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the milk and lemon juice and set aside for 5 minutes. Add butter, eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and fold in the wet mixture.
- Divide between the tins and bake for 60 – 75 minutes. Leave to cool completely before decorating.
- Cut circles into the flat sides of each hemispherical cake with a 9 - 10cm pastry cutter, about two inches into the cake.
- To make the buttercream, melt the chocolate and allow to cool to room temperature. Beat the butter until softened and add half the icing sugar. Beat again, then add the remaining icing sugar and cocoa powder. Beat until very light and fluffy, then pour in vanilla and the cooled chocolate and beat again.
- To assemble the cake, cut the top off one rounded side to create a flat base. Spoon a dollop of buttercream onto a dish and place the trimmed cake, flat base down, on this. Fill the hole with the sweets, then dollop 4-5 tablespoons of icing on the cake around the sweets and use a palette knife to smooth, being careful not to get any icing on the sweets. Top with the other cake to create a perfect sphere.
- Smooth the remaining icing over the cake then drizzle over the white chocolate to replicate cream over a Christmas pudding. Put in the fridge for ten minutes.
- Mix fondant with red and green icing. Make holly leaves with the green and berries with the red.
- Remove the cake from the fridge and top with the holly and berries.