One of my favourite parts about Christmas, is putting up the Christmas tree. While the rest of my family seems to be totally over the novelty, my sister and I still keep up the tradition. Our tree isn't just any old plastic jobby though, since my parents live on a farm, we make a mission into the pine forest to pick the perfect tree - which often involves heated debates on what exactly the 'perfect' tree is, but always involves us bringing home one that is WAY too big (hey, they look a lot smaller in a forest, okay!). I always end up covered in tree gum, my mom always moans about the pine needles that fall everywhere, finding a pot big enough to put the darn thing in is impossible and of course, by the time you string the fairy lights up, you realise that in the past year they've stopped working. But all of that is completely forgotten when my favourite moment arrives and I get to climb up on a ladder and put the angel right on the tippy top of the tree.
|Recipe and Image Originally Created for Food & Home Entertaining Magazine|
So, if an angel can make a plain old tree special, just imagine what it can do on top of a cake! I decided to appropriately put this angel on top of a spiced angel food cake, which is really light, airy and not very sweet - basically the opposite of traditional fruit cake - but of course, this idea would look equally as gorgeous on whatever cake you decide to serve this year. Just make sure that when you serve it, you dust the snow globe with icing sugar at the table - then just wait for everyone to go 'oooooooh!'
Of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without surprises so I stuffed some pretty gold-wrapped chocolate balls in the middle (come on, I had to find a way of incorporating chocolate somehow!) so that when you slice the cake open, they tumble out and your guests are wow'ed again and go 'aaaaaaaah!'
Angel Snow Globe Cake with Brandy Butter Frosting
12 egg whites, at room temperature
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g cake flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp mixed spice
BRANDY BUTTER ICING
170g butter, softened
255g Natura Demerara Icing Sugar, sifted plus extra for dusting
4 tbsp brandy
Gold-wrapped chocolate balls or other sweets, for filling
Angel and glass dome, to decorate
Chiffon cake tin
Preheat the oven to 180C. Do not grease or line the chiffon cake tin - this helps the cake stay light and fluffy (I promise the cake won't stick!)
Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in an electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks form. Gradually add half of the sugar and all the vanilla and whisk until glossy and thick. Sift together the flour, spices and remaining sugar twice and then gently fold through. Spoon into the ungreased chiffon cake tin and smooth the top with a palette knife. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake comes away from the sides and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Turn the cake upside down onto a cooling rack and allow to cool for 1 hour. Remove the cake from the tin and set aside.
Make the frosting by whipping the butter, icing sugar and brandy together until light and fluffy.
To assemble the cake, place it on a cake stand then fill the middle with the chocolate balls or sweets. Frost the top with the brandy butter icing then dust liberally with icing sugar. Place an angel decoration in the centre and cover with a glass dome.
TIP: You're wondering about the dome though, aren't you? They are so easy to find! Most decor shops or florists have them (the one's with the hole in the front which you can hang up are perfect for placing over the angel!). But if you have a beautiful glass dome, or an upturned round tumbler it will have the same effect.