Ok, after my head start last week on Christmas baking, things stalled for a few days while we were busy with other things. One of these things involved a fantastic cake made by the husband!
This is the Blackcurrant cake from Sweet by Helen Goh and Yotam Ottolenghi. The cake is made in a big sheet pan and then cut into strips.
The strips are spread with buttercream and then rolled up into one big spiral. The result is a small, tall, and incredibly cute cake.
Here’s what it looks like when you cut it open.
Isn’t it fun? And it was tasty as well. We did not have blackcurrants, so we used some strawberry peach jam instead. The jam made it extra sweet, so next time I would try to pick something that has more tart than sweet flavors. A lemon curd would be yummy or, better yet, passionfruit!
After we polished off that cake (It didn’t take long; the cake is only 5.5 inches in diameter), I continued my Christmas baking with a new bread recipe from the Bake from Scratch magazine. Have you heard of this magazine? I first came across it a couple of years ago and was taken in by the great photos and feature articles. The current issue has an article about Christmas wreath breads, and you know how much I love sweet bread recipes! That, and the fact that a few of them are Scandinavian inspired, just compelled me to buy the issue just to try them. The first one is a twist on a Norwegian Julekake. It has a cranberry jam swirl that is made by prepping the dough cinnamon bun style. Then you slice it in half lengthwise and twist it to make this pretty shape.
The recipe called for candied lemon peel, but we thought that chocolate would go well with the cranberry. From what I understand, a Julekake is usually made in a boule shape and is studded with dried and candied fruits and peels, so this is quite a “twist” on that traditional bread!
The dough was wonderful to work with and gave me no trouble at all. I doubled the recipe and made three loaves. The bread is beautiful once baked, and is wonderfully scented with cardamom. Sadly, two of the loaves are a little over baked. After a year and a half, I still feel like I am getting to know my oven. This time, I learned that I can’t bake two large loaves side by side in the oven or else the edges will burn. This is actually probably true of most ovens. If you don’t leave enough room for air to circulate around your pans, you get uneven baking (sad face).
Anyway, the bread is supposed to get an icing, which I will do when I serve it to a larger group, but for now, it is perfect with a cup of tea or coffee at breakfast! That’s all the baking for now, but I have done some prep work for future baking. I had to make a new batch of candied orange peel because a batch I made earlier had gone moldy (another sad face here). Also, I was able to find a really nice buddha’s hand citron over the weekend, so I made some candied citron as well.
Some of you may remember that I usually do a giveaway this time of year with a 12 days of Christmas theme with 12 posts. I’m not sure that I can do 12 posts this year because of our crazy school and sports schedule, but I still plan to do a giveaway. More details soon, so stay tuned!