Christmas with Tala: Making a Centrepiece Christmas Cake

Oh my goodness can you guys believe it's nearly Christmas? 

To celebrate the season, the lovely folks from Tala sent me a fabulous Christmas Cake decorating set along with one of their beautiful festive red stoneware bowls. I have quite a lot of Tala in my house, including piping sets and cutters! So Tala was not new to me, but baking a Christmas Cake was! The leaflet in my Christmas Cake Decorating Kit gave me a cake recipe and some handy pointers on how to use everything, making it super simple. So as I was ready I just had to think about what kind of cake I wanted to make.

I finally had an idea, I wanted to create a Christmas cake which could be a centrepiece for a candlelight vintage Christmas Eve tea. So friends or family could sit down in the evening, share some cake by candlelight and enjoy the Christmas spirit before the big Christmas Day. 

I'm a firm believer in jumping in with both feet so I grabbed my piping bag and nozzles and started by making some meringue kisses, while waiting for them to bake I started rolling my fondant to get my snowflake and holly punches in action!

Snow kisses for my teacups

I cut my fondant shapes and left them to dry overnight so they could harden. 
One hardened I started by painting some edible gold onto my holly leaves to define the detail. My plan was to make a golden holly garland around the bottom of my cake.

The snowflakes had a very specific technique, the guide helped by giving you the best way to do it. Don't press and punch, rather use the punch to release and press, that took me a few goes to perfect, they're really delicate but once you get it they're perfect!

Using the recipe in the Tala leaflet I made my fruit Christmas cake, it was actually really simple, very much a 'throw everything in' kind of recipe. I made three small cakes so adjusted the recipe to half for each. 

When cool I stacked my cake to create the candle shape and added my marzipan and fondant. I smoothed it out and took my time because I always end up with tears if I don't.

I added my edible gold cake paint to the outside once the fondant was smooth, sank my tealight into the top of my candle and grabbed my decorations. Mixing a batch of royal icing I had to make it thick enough to pipe around the top but ensure it didn't separate on the drizzle (crucial). Once everything was smoothed it was time to make my holly wreath. I piped along the base and started to position my golden holly leaves. My goal was to try and make them look a little more wild and bushy. 

I piped little circles onto my candle cake and stuck my snowflakes on to make it look extra candle-like!

I decided to set the table for my little Christmas Eve tea, a cluster of candles, including my cake which of course lights! So some acorns, tartan, candles and sparkles and I was ready to go!

As there's no point in making a cake if you can't share it, I sliced it open so we could have a cuppa and some festive cake to get us in the mood! You can see my layered cakes and how well the Tala recipe baked!

So what do you guys think? Will you try your own version of the candle cake?

Much Love and thanks to Tala

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