CHRISTMAS SMASH CAKE
Prep 30 mins (+ freezing time)
¼ tsp vegetable oil
290 g dark chocolate melts
2 x 269 g pack Ferrero Collection gold and white pearl cachous
1 egg white
1½ cups (240 g) pure icing sugar
4 drops lemon juice
1. Brush the inside of a 22-cm diameter (12-cup capacity) domeshaped stainless steel bowl or pudding basin with the oil, and place in the freezer for 10 mins.
2. Place chocolate melts in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1½ mins, stirring every 30 secs, or until melted.
3. Pour the chocolate into the bowl and turn to coat the bowl evenly. Spread it to the top edge of the bowl with the back of a spoon to create an even layer. Place bowl in the freezer for 30 mins.
4. ROYAL ICING Meanwhile, beat the egg white in a small bowl with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually beat in sifted icing sugar. Stir in enough lemon juice to give a piping consistency.
5. Gently slide the chocolate shell out of the bowl. Fill the shell with Ferrero chocolates. Place a serving plate or board on top and gently turn it over.
6. Spoon Royal Icing into a piping bag fitted with a small writing tube. Pipe Royal Icing in a decorative pattern over the dome. Press on cachous before icing sets. Crack with the back of a heavy spoon, meat mallet or rolling pan to smash open.
The smash cake can be made up to 3 days ahead; store in an airtight container in a cool dry place or keep refrigerated in hot weather. If the dome cracks, re-melt the chocolate gently and try again.
Frangelico is a hazelnut liqueur; you can use your favourite liqueur or leave it out, if you prefer. For a large Christmas pudding shape, line a 2-litre (8-cup) mould or bowl with two large pieces of plastic wrap, extending the plastic 10 cm over side. Log can be made to the end of step 3, up to 2 weeks ahead.
ICE-CREAM PUDDING LOG
Prep and cook 30 mins (+ standing and freezing time) | Serves 8
300 g purchased dark fruit cake or Christmas pudding, chopped coarsely
2 tbsps Frangelico liqueur (see Chef’s Tip)
2 litres (8 cups) vanilla ice-cream, softened slightly
White Ice Magic (white chocolate flavoured ice-cream coating), to decorate
16 mixed Ferrero Rondnoir, Rocher and Raffaello, to serve
1 cup (140 g) hazelnuts
1 cup (220 g) caster sugar
½ cup (125 ml) water
(MAKE THIS RECIPE A DAY AHEAD)
1. HAZELNUT PRALINE Preheat the oven to 180 C. Place nuts on oven tray; roast for 5 to 8 mins or until browned. Place nuts in a tea towel; rub to remove skins. Chop nuts coarsely. Scatter nuts on a lightly oiled oven tray. Meanwhile, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan; stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil; boil, without stirring, for 8 mins or until golden. Pour toffee over nuts; cool. Chop into rough crumbs.
2. Line a 13 cm x 24 cm loaf pan (2-litre/8-cup capacity) with two layers of baking paper, extending the paper 5 cm over the sides.
3. Combine the cake and liqueur in a large bowl; stand until absorbed. Working quickly, add ice-cream and two-thirds of the Hazelnut Praline to the bowl; stir until just combined.
4. Spoon ice-cream mixture into the pan; smooth top. Cover, freeze overnight or until firm.
5. Just before serving, turn loaf out onto board or platter, remove paper. Drizzle with Ice Magic; decorate with chocolates and remaining praline. Serve immediately.
If you have a coffee machine, make 180 ml of espresso (black coffee) instead of using instant. If mascarpone is thick in the tub, beat until just combined as over-beating can cause it to split (curdle). If it is runny in the tub, it can be beaten until soft peaks form, much like cream. Choose a sweet variety of marsala when using in desserts.
CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY TIRAMISU TRIFLE
Prep and cook 50 mins (+ refrigeration time) | serves 10-12
2 tbsps instant coffee (see Chef’s tip)
¾ cup (180 ml) boiling water
⅔ cup (160 ml) marsala
¼ cup (60 ml) Kahlua (coffee liqueur)
3 eggs, separated
¾ cup (165 g) caster sugar
500 g mascarpone (see Chef’s Tip)
2 tbsps marsala, extra
⅓ cup (80 ml) thickened cream
300 g small sponge-finger biscuits, halved
½ cup (135 g) Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread
375 g fresh raspberries
1 cup (250 ml) thickened cream, extra, whipped
12 Ferrero Rocher chocolates, unwrapped
(MAKE THIS RECIPE A DAY AHEAD)
1. Combine coffee and boiling water in a shallow bowl. Stir in marsala and Kahlua. Beat egg yolks and ½ cup of the caster sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer for 5 mins or until creamy.
2. Add mascarpone and extra marsala. Beat on medium speed until softly whipped. Beat egg whites and remaining sugar in a clean small bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg white mixture into the mascarpone mixture then fold in the unwhipped cream.
3. Dip one-quarter of the biscuit halves, one at a time, for 1-2 secs only, into the coffee mixture. Arrange the biscuits in a single layer, trimming to fit where needed, to cover the base of a 3-litre (12-cup capacity) glass serving dish.
4. Spread one-quarter of the mascarpone mixture over the biscuits. Place Nutella in a small bowl, microwave on HIGH for 30 secs. Drop one-third of the Nutella in teaspoonfuls over the mixture, swirl slightly. Lightly press in 80 g of the raspberries. Repeat layers twice.
5. Top with remaining biscuits then mascarpone mixture. Cover, refrigerate overnight to allow biscuits to soften.
6. Just before serving, top with extra whipped cream, Ferrero Rocher chocolates and remaining raspberries.
PHOTOS: JOHN PAUL URIZAR / BAUERSYNDICATION.COM.AU