Set oven to 90 °C (194 °F). Line the base of a baking tray with parchment paper.
Prepare a piping bag fitted with a piping nozzle, similarly to the nozzle used for decorating cupcakes. Note: In case you do not own a piping nozzle, you can use a simple plastic bag and pipe the meringue by cutting off one corner of the bag.
Assemble the Assistant with the beater bowl and balloon whisks.
Whisk the egg white on medium speed until stiff peaks. Continue to beat the egg white and add the sugar in, one tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat the mixture on high speed until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. Note: The meringue is done when rubbing a little between your fingers does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth.
Add the green food colouring adding a small amount at one time just until combined. Transfer the meringue into the pastry bag fitted with the piping nozzle and pipe small Christmas tree shapes on the parchment paper. Bake in the centre of the pre-heated oven for about 90 minutes.
Once the Christmas tree meringues are baked, open the door of the oven slightly and let them cool and dry in the oven slowly (min. 1-2h or possible overnight) in order to avoid cracking
Set oven to 180 °C (356 °F). Line the base of an approx. 32x25 cm baking tray with parchment paper.
Assemble the Assistant with the beater bowl and balloon whisks. Whisk the room temperature butter and icing sugar together until pale and fluffy. Whisk the eggs in one at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition.
Add the green food colouring by starting with a small amount and adding more if needed to reach a Christmas tree colour.
Shift the dry ingredients; flour, almond flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt together. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
Spread the batter into the baking tray and smooth out the top. Bake in the centre of the pre-heated oven for about 17 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Take the baking tray out of the oven and allow the almond sponge to cool completely on a wire rack. Using a Christmas tree cookie cutter, cut Christmas tree shapes out of the almond sponge. Note: The cookie cutter should be the same high or lower than the high of your loaf tin.
Arrange the Christmas tree shapes tightly after each other. Wrap them together in foil and freeze them for at least an hour. Note: The length of the Christmas tree pattern should be 2cm shorter than the length of your loaf tin.
Set oven to 175 °C (347 °F). Assemble the Assistant with the beater bowl and balloon whisks.
Whisk the room temperature butter, brown sugar and caster sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time. Add the orange zest and pure vanilla extract.
Add the finely chopped walnut and finely chopped dried fruit in and mix until just combined.
Shift the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
Assemble the Christmas loaf before baking: Take the Christmas tree pattern out of the freezer and place it in the centre of the greased loaf tin.
Pour the loaf batter around the central Christmas tree pattern. Make sure that the level of the batter is the same on all 4 sides of the pattern. Note: The loaf batter won´t cover the Christmas tree pattern at this point but it will rise in the oven.
Bake in the centre of the pre-heated oven for about 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean. Take the loaf tin out of the oven and allow the loaf to cool completely on a wire rack.
Place the finely chopped chocolates into a heatproof bowl. Note: The finer you chop the chocolate, the quicker it melts later. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Note: Do not boil the cream as it can burn the chocolate.
After 2-3 minutes start to stir the mixture until it is smooth and shiny.
Assemble the Assistant with the whisk attachment once the chocolate ganache cools to room temperature (1-2 hours).
Whisk it on medium-high speed until light in colour and fluffy in texture, about 2-3 minutes, do not overbeat which can lead to grainy texture.
Once the loaf completely cooled pour the chocolate ganache on top with the help of a spoon or spatula. Decorate with the Christmas tree meringues and dust with icing sugar for the snow effect.
Follow these steps
Start with the Christmas tree meringues
Continue with the Christmas tree almond sponge
Then assemble the Christmas loaf and bake it
Make the whipped chocolate ganache
Meringue Christmas trees
- 1 st egg white
- 50 g super fine caster sugar
- Green food colouring
Christmas tree almond sponge
- 120 gram butter
- 120 gram almond flour
- 40 gram flour
- 120 gram icing sugar
- 3 st eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Green food colouring
- pinch salt
- 225 gram butter
- 225 gram almond flour
- 2552 gram brown sugar
- 50 gram caster sugar
- 4 st eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 st orange zest
- 100 gram finely chopped nut, example walnut, pecan
- 100 gram finely chopped dried fruit, example apricot, cranberry
- 1.5 tsp ginger powder
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
Whipped chocolate ganache
- 75 mg good quality dark chocolate
- 75 mg good quality milk chocolate
- 200 ml heavy whipped cream (min. 35% fat content)