Making this impressive Igloo smash cake is so much easier than it looks. Starting with a simple mincemeat and glacé cherry Christmas cake base and crafting spectacular white chocolate and fondant icing decorations gives a showstopping, smashing Christmas cake that everyone's sure to adore. Remember to screenshot the ingredients list at the bottom of the page before you go shopping.
Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C. Grease a 20cm round, deep cake tin with butter, then line with nonstick baking paper.
In a bowl, beat together 140g salted butter, 140g light muscovado sugar, 225g self-raising our and 2 large eggs until pale and creamy. Fold in a 411g jar mincemeat and 200g halved glacé cherries with a metal spoon. Pour into the tin, level, then bake for 1¾ hrs until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Brush the warm cake with 2 tbsp amaretto, if you like, and cool in the tin on a wire rack. Remove from the tin when cool and peel off the baking paper. The cake will keep for 1 week in an airtight container.
Melt 150g white cooking chocolate in a bowl in the microwave in short bursts until just melted. Stir until smooth, then set aside to cool and thicken for at least 15 mins. Inflate the balloon to about 17cm in diameter and tie it up.
Cover a plate with nonstick baking paper. Dip the top of the balloon in the cooled chocolate. Use a spoon to coat the balloon about halfway, spreading evenly on all sides.
Don't worry if the chocolate is thin in places. Put the balloon, knotted-side up, on the covered plate. Chill until set.
Make the polar bear. On a sheet of nonstick baking paper, using 50g ready-to-roll white fondant icing take a piece and roll into an oval shape, about 4 x 3cm, for a body. Roll out a smaller 2cm ball for a head. Make a flattened circle for the mouth area, 4 sausage- shaped legs, and 3 small balls for the ears and tail. Use a toothpick to indent a mouth and paws. Using 5g ready-to-roll black fondant icing, roll 2 small balls of black icing for eyes and a larger flattened circle for a nose.
Brush the pieces with water and attach to the body, using tweezers if they are tricky to handle. Leave to set for 10 mins.
Check the chocolate balloon for areas that are very thin in chocolate. Gently reheat the leftover white chocolate, cool for 15 mins, then use a pastry brush to smooth over any patches. Chill for 30 mins. Set aside the leftover melted chocolate.
Meanwhile, put the cake upside down on a cake stand or board and press down lightly to secure. Taking 300g tub of ready-to-use vanilla flavour frosting, spread a very thin crumb coat layer of frosting over the cake. Chill for 30 mins, then smooth over the remaining frosting.
Arrange the polar bear lying down in the centre of the cake and scatter with 40g mini white marshmallows (reserving 12) and 25g white chocolate stars.
Remove the dome from the fridge and use a pin to pop the balloon at the knotted end; discard. Invert the dome over the polar bear. Take the 2 white chocolate writing icing tubes and pipe bricks around the dome, leaving a space to make a door. Reheat the leftover white chocolate and use to fix the reserved marshmallows into a door shape. Chill in the fridge for at least 12 hrs or until set hard.
Dust with icing sugar just before smashing the dome open to reveal the polar bear. The smashed cake will keep for 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Here's a handy shopping list so you can easily get everything you need to make this impressive Christmas cake.
For the cakebutter, for greasing140g salted butter140g light muscovado sugar225g self-raising flour2 large eggs411g jar mincemeat200g glace cherres, halved2 tbsp amaretto
For the decoration150g white cooking chocolate50g ready-to-roll white fondant icing5g ready-to-roll black fondant icing300g ready-to-use vanilla flavour frosting40g mini white marshmallows25g white chocolate stars2 white chocolate writing icing tubesicing sugar, for dusting
You will needBalloon, toothpick, fine brush, pair of tweezers, pastry brush, cake stand or board, palette knife, pin
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