The Great British Bake Off Christmas Special- Mary Berry’s Tunis Cake.

As I type, it’s now December 30th. the rain is lashing against the windows and it feels decidedly un- Christmassy. I’m catching up on all the blog posts and getting up to date.  It’s been great to veg out at home and I’m now feeling totally relaxed.  I won’t be saying that this time next week when I’m back at work and the kids are back at school.  My hubby has had some time off over Christmas but he has been nipping into work to see things tick over.  So, for me it’s time to catch up on the blog.

One of my favourite bakes this year just has to be this gorgeous Tunis Cake which Mary Berry baked on the Great British Bake Off Christmas Special from a couple of weeks back.  Not only did it look simple to make, it looked pretty impressive and would be a fantastic pudding or cake for someone who doesn’t like lots of dried fruit.  My children don’t like fruit cake or Christmas pudding so it would be perfect for them.  I had never heard of a Tunis Cake before so it was great to try something new to me, although it is said they originate from Edwardian times according to Wikipedia!

Here is a link to the original recipe on the Great British Bake Off website.  http://thegreatbritishbakeoff.co.uk/mary-berrys-tunis-cake/

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All the ingredients were chucked together in the KitchenAid; flour, butter, sugar, eggs and ground almonds.

The Tunis cake followed an all in one method and included ground almonds which gave the cake a lovely moist texture.  It took no time at all to prepare in my trusty KitchenAid.  I like cakes that do this, saves a great deal of time not faffing about!

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Mixing all the ingredients together.
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My large springform cake tin was greased and lined.
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The mixture was put in the tin and then went straight into the oven for about 45 minutes.
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Meanwhile I heated up some double cream to make the ganache. When the cream had heated up and I’d taken it off the heat I added some plain chocolate.

For the ganache you needed 400g plain chocolate. I used some 70% cocoa solids Swiss chocolate from Tesco which was the cheapest good quality chocolate I could find.  I’ve used it in lots of different recipes before and it always works out well.

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Making some holly sugarpaste leaves. I added the veining in by using my mini wheel, Scoring the paste with a small knife works well, too.

In the recipe Mary uses marzipan coloured with food colouring for her holly leaves but I couldn’t be bothered to get my food colourings out and mess about with the marzipan.  I needed to keep some back for using in stollen (which in the end I never got round to making, but that’s another story).  I had a special Christmas Cake Decorating pack from Renshaw Icing which contained five different coloured packs of their Christmas colours.  The green one was perfect for the holly leaves so out it came!  The red berries were made from some leftover icing (also Renshaw but coloured the previous week) when I was baking Christmas cookies with the children I work with in school.

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The finished cake.

The cake turned out completely different to the way it looked on the programme.  My cake looked a lot wider and shallower and I obviously in a rush had baked the cake in the wrong tin.  Also, being as Mary’s cake was a lot deeper, she made the ganache go halfway down the side of the cake.  As my cake was a lot shallower I couldn’t do that without making a mess so I just put the ganache on the top of it.  The holly leaves were put on a bit haphazardly but I thought the cake still turned out well.

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Next time I think I’ll use smaller holly leaves as these swamped the cake a bit. It would have been nicer if they had looked like they were in a wreath.
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A slice cut for Sunday lunch dessert. Great with a dollop of cream after our Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding.

All of my family really enjoyed the cake and it didn’t last long enough til Christmas Day. I had to make another Christmas Pudding alternative instead.

I was so glad that Mary featured this recipe on the Great British Bake Off.  Looking through Facebook and Twitter just after the programme was on, it seemed like lots of us cake bakers were keen to try the Tunis Cake.  If you baked it, what did you think?  I’d love to know.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

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