We talk to Great British Bake Off winner Edd Kimber about his Christmas traditions and he shows us to make his festive Baileys chocolate cake.
Edd Kimber shot to fame when he won the first ever series of the Great British Bake Off back in 2010. In the 10 years since, he's become a successful food writer and published author. We caught up with him to get the low-down on his festive baking traditions and to learn how to make his Christmas Baileys chocolate cake.
What have you been up to since the Great British Bake Off?
Well it's been a crazy nine years that's for sure. I was very lucky that the show gave me a platform to start a career I love. I have been able to carve a path as a baking writer, helping budding home bakers feel confident in the kitchen through recipes and inspiring bakers to get out the butter and sugar. I have written three cookbooks, I teach baking in the UK and around the world and I write for food magazines in the UK and in the US. In the end, the one thing I wanted from the show was to make baking my career - it might not have been what I expected but I love my job and I’m so proud of what I have achieved over the last nine years.
Do you have any food traditions for over the festive period?
What I do love about Christmas is lazy morning brunches and each year I choose something special to make for my family on Boxing Day. This year I’m thinking homemade croissants used to make Christmas leftover breakfast sandwiches. Think a New York bacon, egg and cheese but with turkey and stuffing. I can't think of a better brunch for Christmas.
What can novice bakers do to turn their bakes into something extra special for Christmas?
Gold makes anything fancier. If I need a quick and simple way to make something more festive a little dusting of edible gold powder or a few pieces of edible gold leaf always makes a bake look more special - I added a glittery gold touch to my Baileys Reindeer Cake for that real festive feel.
How do different dietary requirements affect how you approach your Christmas baking?
Gluten-free baking is something I have always tried to incorporate, although I could of course do more. In the last year there has been a much bigger demand for vegan bakes, so over the next year it is one of the things I plan on exploring more and more - possibly with the addition of Baileys Almande - it’s deliciously dairy-free and indulgently light in taste!
Tell us a little bit about your Baileys reindeer cake recipe..
At last year’s pop-up Baileys Treat Bar, the Baileys team launched the chocolate Reindeer and people loved them! Due to popular demand, the Baileys team made them available to the masses through a retailer exclusive this Christmas, giving people the chance to make their own Reindeer creations at home. You chop off the antlers and add a measure of delicious Baileys Original Irish Cream to the Reindeer, topping with whipped cream and indulgent treats like chocolate curls.
To celebrate the return of the Baileys Reindeer this Christmas, the Baileys team wanted to collaborate with a baker that loved the product (big check from me there!) to create the ultimate Christmas centrepiece. It had to be a deliciously indulgent bake to wow guests and put the Reindeers at the heart of a new Christmas tradition. They turned to me and so I created my Baileys Reindeer Showstopper. The cake has festive flavours of eggnog, so it’s rich with nutmeg and uses creamy Baileys Original Irish Cream to give it that classic festive flavour. To make it a little more extravagant the cake is decorated with a white chocolate golden glaze, chocolate trees, and topped with Baileys Reindeer to create the ultimate indulgent festive dessert.
Edd's Baileys reindeer cake
For the chocolate cake:
- 110g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 100g dark chocolate
- 280ml hot coffee
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 140ml buttermilk
- 280g plain flour
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 340g light brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
Baileys Eggnog buttercream:
- 3 large egg whites
- 165g caster sugar
- 75g light brown sugar
- 360g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4-1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 100ml Baileys Original Irish Cream
White chocolate Baileys drips:
- 100g white chocolate
- 50ml Baileys Original Irish Cream
- Edible gold lustre powder
- 2 Baileys reindeer
- 50g dark chocolate
For the chocolate cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC Fan) and lightly grease 3x20cm round cake tins, lining the bases with parchment paper.
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl and set aside to cool. In another bowl, whisk the coffee and cocoa powder, then add the buttermilk and whisk to combine. Set both aside.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy (approx 5 minutes). Beat in the eggs one by one. Once combined, pour in the cooled chocolate and mix until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Add this in three additions to the wet ingredients, alternating with the buttermilk mixture so you start and finish with the flour mixture.
- Divide the cake batter evenly between the tins and spread into an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10 minutes in their tins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the Baileys Eggnog buttercream:
- Combine the egg whites and sugars in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk until the sugar has dissolved (you should no longer be able to feel the sugar grains when rubbing some mixture between your fingers).
- Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk with an electric mixer on high speed for 7-10 minutes, or until the meringue is stiff and glossy and at room temperature.
- With the mixer still running, add the butter a little at a time until combined and the buttercream is smooth.
- Add the ground nutmeg and Baileys Original Irish Cream, then mix gently until combined.
- Place one cake layer onto a serving plate and spread with a thin layer of buttercream. Repeat with the rest of the layers, smoothing most of the remaining buttercream over the top and side of the cake once the final layer is stacked.
- Place the iced cake in the fridge for 20 minutes until the buttercream is cold and firm.
- To make the white chocolate Baileys drips, heat the white chocolate and Baileys Original Irish Cream together until the chocolate has melted. Stir the resulting ganache until smooth and silky.
- Once the iced cake is firm, pour the ganache on top, spreading evenly out to the edges and teasing it over the sides to encourage it to drip. Return the cake to the fridge to set the ganache.
- Mix two teaspoons of gold powder with two teaspoons of a clear vodka to make a paint-like consistency. Carefully paint the white chocolate with the gold mixture.
- Melt the dark chocolate and pour into a piping bag. Line a baking tray with parchment and use the piping bag to draw simple tree shapes. Put these into the fridge to set fully.
- Chop the antlers off two Baileys reindeers. Fill with 50ml of Baileys and top with the remaining buttercream. Arrange on top of the cake.
- Using the rest of the buttercream, pipe a few peaks around the reindeer. Remove the set chocolate trees from the fridge and carefully remove from the parchment, nestling them around the reindeer into the buttercream peaks.
- Slice and enjoy!
Top tip: If you don’t have a piping bag to pipe the dark chocolate trees, simply create your own at home by using baking paper and rolling the sheet to create the perfect nozzle. It’s an easy but effective way to create the delicious decorations.
Let us know if you make Edd's cake recipe for Christmas this year! Tweet us @goodhomesmag, post a comment on our Facebook page or post your cakes on Instagram using the hashtag #ThisGoodHome