Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Welcome the Christmas Season at Thanksgiving!

After we enjoy our Thanksgiving feast, our family likes to welcome the Christmas Season with a Christmas cake.   We serve the cake along with our traditional Thanksgiving pies.  This tradition is similar to a King's Cake or to an Argentine wedding cake.  It offers a fun way to get excited for Christmas.    Everyone can participate in pulling a ribbon from the cake to see who will receive the "first gift of Christmas".  We use the recipe below for a (Southern Living) Black Forest Pound Cake but you can use any family favorite.  Cakes that do not need to be fully frosted are easiest such as bundt cakes or pound cakes. 

Bake your cake as directed and allow to cool. 

Once cooled completely, cut the cake in half

Frost the bottom half with your frosting or whatever filling you choose-I used whipping cream.  Cut strips of ribbon all the same length and place them evenly around the cake.  Make sure you have at least one ribbon for  each of your guests; however,  a couple extra adds to the fun!  At the end of one of the ribbons, tie a flat ornament.  I am using a Santa ornament here but you can use whatever one you choose - just make sure that it is flat and is safe to place in food!

Place the other half of your cake on top and decorate and frost accordingly.  The Black Forest Pound Cake I use has a cherry sauce to pour over and some more whipping cream.  I top with chocolate shavings and chocolate waffers.  Now it is ready for the fun!  Allow each guest at your Thanksgiving table a chance to pull a ribbon.  We like to go from youngest to oldest. 

Keep pulling until you find your winner!  It is really so exciting!

Our winner usually gets a large chocolate Santa, but you can use any gift you like.  We also give all the children who participate a chocolate countdown calendar - a fun way to make everyone a winner and to start counting down the days to Christmas!   These countdown calendars are super cheap (around $2) and can be found at World Market or most grocery stores. 

Black Forest Pound Cake
By:  Southern Living

2/3 Cup Butter, softened
1 1/3 Cups Granulated Sugar
2/3 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
4 Large Eggs
1 1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract, divided
1 1/2 Cups Cake Flour
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
3/4 Cup Sour Cream
Cherry Sauce (recipe follows)
Whipping Cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Beat butter until creamy.  Gradually add sugar and dark brown sugar-beating until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla.   In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda.   Add flour mixture to butter mixture a little at a time and alternating with adding your sour cream.  Pour batter into a 10 inch pan and bake for around 1 hour.   Once cooled, pour cherry sauce over and top with whip cream.  Sprinkle with chocolate shavings if you like.  Enjoy!

Cherry Sauce

2 packages frozen cherries
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Cold Water
3 tsp. Cornstarch
2 tsp. Cherry liqueur or cherry syrup
Pinch of Salt

Stir first 4 ingredients together in a saucepan.  Cook over medium low heat for 12 minutes, stirring often until thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in cherry syrup and pinch of salt.  Allow to cool before pouring over cake.  Also delicious over ice cream, crepes,  or other desserts!

You can print this recipe and the tradition tips {here}

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