Monday, 23 December 2013

Chocolate Christmas Cracker Cake with Brandy Cream

The Advent Calendar is almost empty, the gifts are wrapped under the twinkling tree and the telly guide is covered in big circles.

The fridge is bursting, the 'Big Day' recipes marked and satsumas are stuffed into the bottom of stockings. 

The Queen is learning her lines, choirboys are perfecting their carols and Father Christmas is somewhere over Norway. 

The trains are packed with people and presents, a White Christmas is apparently possible (yay!) and two hundred thousand emergency service, media, health and hospitality workers will be heading to work tomorrow to ensure the country keeps ticking over while the rest of us push ten thousand unwanted Brussel Sprouts around our plates.  

Midnight mass goers are wrapping up warm, hardy charity Boxing Day swimmers are dressed in their togs and family, friends and loved ones are gathering together. 

It's Christmas! 

I do hope you have a very, very Merry Christmas. However, wherever and with whomever you are celebrating.

Chocolate Christmas Cracker Cake with Brandy Cream

For the cake:

4 large free-range eggs
100g caster sugar
65g self-raising flour
40g best quality cocoa powder

For the cream and decoration:
250ml thick double cream
1 tbsp brandy
30g caster sugar 
100g dark chocolate, chopped into gravel sized pieces 

50g fondant icing
Icing sugar for dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Lightly grease and line a 33x23cm/13x9in Swiss roll tin
2. Beat together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale, light and frothy. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold gently together using a spatula, until fully incorporated 
3. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and spread evenly. Bake for 8–10 minutes, or until risen, firm on touch and the sides are shrinking away from the edges
4. Carefully invert the cake onto a large piece of baking paper that has been dusted with icing sugar. Remove the bottom lining of paper.
5. Score 2.5cm/1in in along one of the longer edges. Starting with this edge, tightly roll up the sponge using the paper to assist. Roll with the paper on the inside and once rolled, set aside to completely cool
6. To make the brandy cream, beat together the cream, brandy and sugar. Once the cake has completely cooled, carefully unravel the roll. Spread with the thick brandy cream, leaving a 2cm cake 'border' and sprinkle over the chocolate pieces 
7. Re-Roll the cake tightly. Use a knife or scissors to carefully cut the cake into a cracker as in the image above. Use alphabet cutters to cut out the letters from the fondant icing to spell 'Merry Christmas' and finally dust with icing sugar

Baker's notes...

  • The key to a light Swiss roll is to ensure no air is removed from the mixture when folding in the cocoa powder and flour. The basic Swiss Roll recipe is from Mary Berry. 
  • Many large supermarkets sell ready made brandy cream 
  • With this boozy festive offering, having a very 'merry' Christmas is a definite!


  1. Merry Christmas and look forward to following your blog in 2014

  2. Such a brilliant idea! I love it and am bookmarking for next year. Happy Christmas!! xx

  3. Happy Christmas Kate! Love the idea of cutting the edges into a frilly cracker shape. Simple but so effective

  4. Happy Christmas

    Very cool presentation -love it!


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