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Black Forest Christmas Tree

The perfect dessert for a family Christmas dinner. This sparkly Christmas tree will wow all at the table. The new interpretation of the black forest cake in a mousse cake form with a hint of cinnamon combines the perfect wintery flavours.




 

Special material requirements


  • Silicone Christmas tree mould

  • Silicone baba/cone mould (SF019)

  • Round cutter 5cm diameter

  • Square cake tin 18x18cm or round cake tin 20cm diameter

  • Spray gun & compressor or green velvet spray

 

Recipe


Yield: 8 pastries | Difficulty: hard


Ingredients


Chocolate sponge

135g whole milk

110g brown sugar

85g all purpose flour

30g dark chocolate

30g butter

30g neutral oil

20g cocoa powder

1 medium egg

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt


Cherry compote

110g sour cherry puree (10% sugar)

100g frozen sour cherries

1 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 gelatine leaves


Mascarpone mousse

125g heavy cream

90g mascarpone

43g powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla paste


Decoration

70g white chocolate

70g green cocoa butter

Crispy pearls (different colours)

Sugar stars

 

Directions


Chocolate sponge

  1. Preheat the oven to 165°C fan and butter the cake tin.

  2. Place butter and chocolate in a bowl and microwave in impulses until all is melted, set aside.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk brown sugar and the egg until you have a light and fluffy mixture.

  4. Add the melted chocolate-butter mix and whisk again.

  5. In a separate bowl, sieve all dry ingredients and add half of the combined dry ingredients to your egg mix and whisk.

  6. Add the milk and oil and whisk until well combined followed by the remaining half of the dry ingredients.

  7. Transfer the sponge batter to the cake tin and bake for 18-20min, until the toothpick comes out clean.

  8. Let it cool and then cut the top of the cake so that you are left with a sponge that is approx. 1.5cm thick.

  9. Use your round cookie cutter to cut out 8 circles and then place them in the freezer.


Cherry compote

  1. Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl with cold water and let them soak.

  2. Place all other ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

  3. As soon as it boils, remove from heat. Squeeze out excess water from the gelatine leaves and add them to the cherry compote and stir until all gelatine is dissolved.

  4. Fill 8 baba/cone mould cavities with the cherry compote and cover with cling film to touch.

  5. Let it cool to room temperature and then place it in the freezer until firm.


Mascarpone mousse

  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until you have soft peaks.

  2. Transfer to a piping bag.


Assembly

  1. Fill the cavities of the Christmas tree mould halfway with mascarpone mousse.

  2. Spread the mousse along the walls of the mould to avoid air bubbles.

  3. Add a little mousse in the centre and press down the cherry compote.

  4. Next, press down the chocolate sponge until it is level with the mould.

  5. Scrape off any excess mousse and place the mould in the freezer until completely frozen.


Decoration

  1. Gently remove the pastries from the silicone mould and place on a plate and put them back in the freezer until further use.

  2. Combine your white chocolate and cocoa butter and heat it up to 50°C. You can either do this in a chocolate melting machine or in the microwave in impulses.

  3. Add the chocolate-cocoa butter mixture to your spray gun, take the pastries out of the freezer and spray them until they are fully covered. I would spray half of the pastries at the time while the others are still in the freezer.

  4. Glue the coloured crispy pearls onto the tree and place the sugar star on top. You can use edible glue or leftover chocolate to attach the pearls.

  5. Let it defrost overnight in the fridge.

 

Notes

  • Cherry compote: you can also use semi-sphere or sphere moulds to replace the baba/cone mould. I would go up to 4cm in diameter on the spheres. However, the recipe may not be exact anymore since it was not measured for sphere proportions.

  • Decoration: while you prepare the velvet spray mixture, place the spray gun in the oven at 40°C. This will prevent the velvet mixture to crystallise in the spray gun too soon.

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