I was sent a really cool cake pan to review by CakeMart (which trades in Germany as Mein Cupcake) - a Wilton Christmas tree silicon cake mould. It has nine cavities which create mini Christmas tree shaped cakes complete with a ridged effect on the sides. I'm a big fan of the Wilton brand and also of silicon bakeware as it's easy to clean and takes up so much less room to store!
I couldn't wait to try these out and decided to make chocolate cake following this BBC recipe, but I also wanted to put a fresh twist on it.
I had some mincemeat left over from making this mincemeat tart so decided to see what the cakes would turn out like if I baked a spoonful of mincemeat into each one. So I sprayed the cake pan with Cake Release and half filled each cavity with chocolate cake mixture, then a spoonful of mincemeat, then the rest of the chocolate mixture.
I baked them in the oven for about 20 minutes, checking with a skewer to make sure they were done, and when cooled eased them out of the pan. They came out easily and definitely looked Christmas tree shaped!
They needed decorating of course and I decided to try two methods, buttercream and candy melts. I mixed some butter and icing sugar to make buttercream, added green food colouring and filled a large piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. I went around each cake from the bottom piping a small blob and pulling the tip away, moving upwards a layer at a time, in the hope that these would resemble the pine needles. I decorated the trees with different coloured dragees (balls) which I thought gave the effect of fairy lights on the tree.
For the other tree I took a bag of green Wilton candy melts and melted them in a mug in the microwave. Then I stirred in a little vegetable oil to thin the mixture. I tried holding a tree cake upside down and dipping it into the candy melts but found it easier to use a spoon to cover them. I decorated these with little gold balls - which do you think looks best?
I was really pleased by how the cakes tasted as well with the combination of chocolate and mincemeat so do give this a try!
I'm sending my festive tree cakes to Alphabakes, the blog challenge I co-host with Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker.
I'm also sending them to the Food Year Linkup, hosted by Charlotte's Lively Kitchen.
Plus Treat Petite, hosted by Stuart at Cakeyboi and Kat the Baking Explorer, as their theme is red and green or Christmas.
And finally I'm sending this to Love Cake, hosted by Ness at JibberJabber UK as the theme is festive fun.