This delicious cake would make the perfect centre piece for any birthday or dinner party you're throwing - it tastes as good as it looks!
- 250g (9oz) unsalted butter
- 250g (9oz) dark muscovado sugar
- 250g (9oz) black treacle
- 5 pieces stem ginger in syrup, roughly chopped
- 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 250g (9oz) plain flour, sifted
- 1½tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1½tbsp ground ginger
- 1½tsp ground cinnamon
- 300ml (½pt) natural yogurt
- for the praline (you'll have leftovers)
- 100g (4oz) pecans
- 400g (14oz) caster sugar
- for the icing
- 300g (10oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 400g (14oz) full-fat Philadelphia
- 450g (1lb) icing sugar, sifted
- 3tbsp white rum
- you will need
- 2 loose-based 20cm (8in) cake tins, greased and bottom-lined
Heat the oven to 180 C, 160 C fan, 350 F, gas 4. Heat the butter, sugar and treacle in a saucepan, until the butter has melted. Stir in the stem ginger and eggs. Put the flour, bicarbonate and spices in a large bowl, then stir in the butter mix. Mix well, then add the yogurt and stir until combined – the batter will be runny. Divide between the tins. Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 30 minutes, then turn out and cool.
Meanwhile, make the praline. Scatter the pecans over a lightly greased baking sheet. Put the caster sugar in a shallow pan, heat it very gently until it melts, then bubble until a deep golden caramel – don’t let it get too dark or it will be bitter. Immediately pour the caramel evenly over the nuts then leave the tray to cool completely. Then whizz two-thirds in a food processor until you have a texture that resembles rough sand.
Break the remaining caramel into shards and store both in airtight containers until ready to use – they will keep for up to 2 weeks and the leftovers are great sprinkled over ice cream or used to coat chocolate truffles.
For the icing, beat the butter and Philadelphia until smooth, then add the icing sugar slowly and then the rum. Chill. Slice both cakes in half horizontally and place one of the top halves on a platter with the cut side up. Spread with a generous layer of icing, place the second half on top cut side down, spread with more icing, then repeat with the second cake. Spread the rest of the icing all over the top and sides, swirling the top with a palette knife.
Carefully press the praline up the sides using a palette knife. Pile the caramel shards on the top of the cake, then scatter with edible glitter, if you like, and serve. The cake will keep iced in the fridge for up to 3 days, or the un-iced sponge can be frozen for up to a month.
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