Dessert Christmas Wreath with Fruity Christmas Cake

A wreath traditionally graces the front door during the holidays as a warm welcome to visitors. Taking its inspiration from the Christmas wreath, this dessert platter is just as inviting, albeit for guests to dig into!  The central attraction of Christmas cake (Stollen or Panetonne are great alternatives) is encircled by leaves, caramel popcorn, chocolates, nuts and festive cherries.

RECIPE INFO

Serves 6

Preparation Time
min

Cook time
min

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INGREDIENTS

  • 4 – 6 branches with leaves of your choice, to create wreath with
  • 100g fresh cherries
  • 100g almonds

For the fruit cake

  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 110g butter
  • 110g castor sugar
  • 150g mixed dried fruit
  • 50g almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 90ml milk
  • 15ml mixed spice
  • Icing sugar for dusting

For the cinnamon popcorn

  • 100ml canola oil
  • 100g popcorn pips
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 20ml ground cinnamon

For the shimmery chocolate balls

  • 200g chocolate balls
  • Gold dust

For the chocolate pretzels

  • 80g milk chocolate
  • 200g pretzel rings

METHOD

To make the fruit cake, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour, to resemble breadcrumbs. Add the castor sugar, mixed fruit and toasted almonds.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir well. Pour the batter into a small, greased loaf tin and place in a preheated oven of 160ºC for 40 – 50 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Dust liberally with icing sugar and slice.

Make the cinnamon popcorn, by heating the canola oil and popcorn pips in a large, heavy-based pot. Cover securely with a lid. As soon as they start to pop, shake the pot from side to side every 30 seconds, until the popping has ceased.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and season the hot popcorn.

Add the chocolate balls and gold dust in a bowl and swirl around to cover the chocolate in gold. Set aside.

Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave by choosing the defrost function, checking every 30 seconds for 3 minutes. Add the pretzels to the bowl of melted chocolate and cover. Place in the fridge for 10 minutes, to allow the chocolate to set.

Create the wreath by placing the branches on the platter in a circular shape, so that it resembles a wreath.

Arrange all the ingredients around the branches, including slices of the Christmas cake, piled in the centre of the platter.

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