Christmas Cake- My “Pavlobuche”

Yields: 8 Servings Difficulty: Medium Prep Time: 1 Hr 35 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 2 Hr 5 Mins

Hello Foodies around the world and Merry Christmas,

This is my new idea right and it is on time for Christmas. This Christmas cake is the reflection of my colliding cultural knowledge in baking. It reflects my childhood spent in France and my adulthood living in Australia.

This is my new idea right and it is on time for Christmas. This Christmas cake is the reflection of my colliding cultural knowledge in baking. The cake is totally “gluten free”. it is made of an almond success sponge that I will use as a Swiss roll, a lemon and ginger curd, Chantilly cream and a raspberry jelly centre. I finished the cake with an Italian meringue, and fresh raspberries.

This cake takes sometimes to prepare and a lot of freezing time, so plan ahead over a period of 1 to 2 days to be ready on Christmas day. However, the reward is immense and your family and friends will be grateful forever.

This recipe is written in a way to organise yourself and the production of the cake to be as efficient as possible.

Step by step approach:

1-make the raspberry jelly center and freeze for 6 hours or overnight.

2- once the raspberry jelly is set hard, Make the almond success sponge

3-while the sponge is baking and cooling down, make the lemon and ginger curd

4- whilst the curd is cooling down make the Chantilly cream.

5- Build the cake and freeze it for 6 hours or overnight.

6-make the Italian meringue, trim the cake and decorate.

Let’s get Baking….


0/30 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
    Raspberry jelly center
  • Almond success sponge-Gluten free
  • Lemon & ginger curd
  • Chantilly cream
  • Italian meringue
  • Decoration


0/116 Instructions
    Making the Raspberry jelly center
  • I hope you like a bit of craft, because we are creating our own mould for this tube. Gather all the tools. Scissor, rubber band, ramekin, plastic sheet cover, plastic wrap and sticky tape.
  • Cut 5 pieces of sticky tape and place them on the edge of the ramekin.
  • Roll the plastic sheet on itself to have a 3 to 4 cm diameter.
  • Tape the roll on top edge of the sheet, at the bottom edge, in the middle and anywhere in between to keep it secure.
  • Cut a bit of plastic wrap and fold it 4 times.
  • Place the plastic wrap on one end of the pipe.
  • Secure it with 2 rubber band to keep the plastic tight to the pipe.
  • Place the pipe in the ramekin or anything you have.
  • Gather your ingredients for the jelly.
  • Using a small sauce pan, mix the sugar and water together. Break your gelatin sheet and add COLD water to cover it. This will soften but not melt the gelatin.
  • Bring it to the boil.
  • Boil for 4 minutes.
  • Add your raspberries.
  • During that time, your gelatin should have bloom and soften.
  • Drain the gelatin.
  • Transfer the warm raspberry syrup into a clean bowl and add the drain gelatin.
  • Mix well, very well.
  • Check that all the gelatin as melted. If not you can put everything back in the sauce pan and gently warm up until it is melted.
  • Cool down for 5 minutes and transfer the raspberry jelly into a jug.
  • Verify that your pipe is well secured.
  • Start gently filling up the pipe.
  • Fill up the pipe to 1 or 2 cm of the top end of the pipe. Place it in a deep freezer and freeze until it is totally hard solid ( 4 to 6 hours). If you do not have a deep freezer create two smaller tube by cutting the sheet in half.
  • Making the Almond success sponge_Gluten free
  • Gather all the ingredients.... REMEMBER. i am starting this steps because my jelly is set hard in the freezer. This recipe is filling a 40 X 30 cm tray. Pre-heat your oven at 200°C
  • Sieve all the dry ingredients together, icing sugar, almond meal and cornflour.
  • Mix well and keep it in a bowl.
  • Place the egg white in a mixing bowl.. Hopefully you have a machine or a beater.
  • Whisk the egg white at full speed.
  • Once you start to see the traces of the whisk in the egg white prepare yourself to add some sugar.
  • Add a third of sugar at a time wait 30 seconds
  • Add another third wait 30 sec.
  • Add the last third and keep whisking for 30 sec.
  • Your meringue is ready.
  • And fold gently.
  • Here we try to keep some volume. Therefore, we use a spatula and go from the side of the bowl to the center and fold everything together.
  • Add another third and keep folding. Keep folding gently and turning your bowl until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Keep folding gently and turning your bowl until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
  • Your batter should still look like and aerated.
  • Grab your tray and spray some oil. this will allow the baking paper to stick to it and ease the spreading process.
  • Place some Baking paper onto the tray.
  • Deposit all your Almond success batter.
  • Start spreading gently (do not push too hard).
  • Aim to one corner at first.
  • Then move the tray to aim for the other corner.. It will make the spreading faster and easier.
  • Turn the tray again and repeat until you have reach all corners.
  • Bake at 200°C for 8 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and cool down for 5 minutes.
  • Cut the edge of the almond sponge.
  • Meanwhile it is cooling down, Prepare another piece of baking paper and spread a bit of sugar... That will prevent the sponge to stick to the paper as we roll it.
  • Put the almond success upside down on the sugar paper.
  • Lifting the edge of the paper, remove it gently and put your hands on the sponge to hold it.. Be very gentle. This almond sponge is very fragile.
  • Now that you have remove the sponge, take the edge of the baking paper and roll the sponge with the paper.. My grand ma used to do it with a clean tea towel.
  • Making the Lemon & Ginger curd
  • Gather your ingredients.. use a good scale and hopefully you kept your egg yolks from the previous almond success sponge.
  • Peel your ginger and get the rind of one lemon.
  • Juice your lemons to obtain 125 ml.
  • Chop the ginger. The ginger should be chopped very finely.
  • Pour the lemon juice into the sauce pan.
  • Add the sugar.
  • Add the lemon rind and ginger puree
  • add the egg yolks
  • Add the whole eggs
  • Mix everything together.
  • Mix very well for 1 minute.
  • Take the sauce pan to a low heat. and whisk gently continuously.
  • after 3 minutes, add some butter and mix as it is melting.
  • Add more butter and keep mixing.
  • Add the remaining butter and keep whisking
  • As the temperature raise the mixture should start to thicken. Keep whisking.
  • Once you see the first bubble pop as boiling will do. remove the pan from the heat.
  • Transfer the curd to a clean bowl and refrigerate to cool down. Keep in the fridge until needed.
  • Making the Chantilly Cream
  • Use whipping cream or thickened cream for this recipe.
  • Add the cream to the mixing bowl.
  • Add the sugar.
  • I am using vanilla paste today.
  • Add about a tea spoon of the vanilla paste.
  • Start to whisk at low speed to avoid splashing everywhere. For about 2 minutes.
  • Then whisk faster and keep focus as you start to see the traces of the whisk in the cream , it means it is soon ready.
  • 10 seconds later the cream is ready.
  • This was whipped to a maximum hard peak to have a texture that is firm.. 10 seconds more and that will have been a nice sweet butter. Make sure you keep an eye on the cream as you whisk it.
  • Building the cake
  • Now that we have all our ingredients ready and our jelly in the freezer, it is time to build the cake. I strongly recommend that you keep the paper under the sponge.. i did not at the time and i struggle a bit to move the cake back on some paper.
  • Place the Curd on the almond success.
  • Spread it nicely and gently.. 2 mm thin.
  • Spread the Chantilly cream over the curd using a spatula.
  • The cream should be about 5 mm to 1 cm thick.
  • Grab the raspberry jelly.
  • Remove the tape and plastics.
  • Place the jelly in the middle of the cake.
  • Roll the sponge keeping the jelly in the middle... Here is the importance of keeping the paper to help you roll the cake. In the video, you will see my struggle without paper.. However, i managed. to roll some paper over the cake and make an even log.
  • Lay some plastic wrap on your bench 1.5 longer than the cake itself.
  • place the cake on top of the plastic and roll it tight.
  • holding both ends. roll the cake tight. Place the cake in the Freezer for 6 to 8 hours. this will help to have everything holding together and not falling apart when we want to decorate it.
  • The cake is set so let's make the Italian meringue
  • All you need is sugar, water, egg whites and a good sugar thermometer.
  • Place the sugar in a small sauce pan.. it is important as the thermometer should reach the syrup.
  • Add the water and mix it in.
  • Bring the sugar to a boil. Make sure the flame do not reach the side of the pan.
  • with a brush and a bit of clean water , clean the inside of the sauce pan.. that will reduce the risk of your sugar to be spoiled.
  • Place your egg white in your mixing bowl.
  • Add the thermometer in the sugar.
  • When the sugar reach the temperature of 110°C. start the whisking of your egg white at full speed.
  • By the tame the sugar reaches 118°C your egg white should have raised to stiff peak.
  • Remove the thermometer and your sugar from the heat.
  • By the time you do that your sugar will have reach 121°C and ready to be slowly poured into the egg white.
  • Pour gently the sugar syrup on the side of the bowl and not on the whisk.
  • Take about a minute to do so. Slowly but surely.
  • Pour everything into it.
  • Whisk until the mixture feel cold or colder to the palm of your hand.
  • Voila the Italian meringue is ready.
  • Decorating the cake
  • Remove the cake from the freezer.
  • Remove the plastic and paper. Trim the edges Nibble on the edges to taste it .. yum
  • Check if you like the look of the inside ..... I like it a lot.
  • Prepare a piping bad with a small plain nozzle.
  • take a bit of the meringue and with a spatula spread or mask roughly the cake. This gives more support for the meringue to hold onto.
  • From the left to the right (right to the left) and starting at the bottom of the cake, pipe straight lines of meringue. Keep going to the top, turn the cake and do the same on the other side.
  • Using a blow torch, give a bit of caramelisation to the meringue. A nice golden colour.
  • I am so excited about this one
  • Add few fresh berries, few leaves from the garden (wash them please). sprinkle a bit of icing sugar for the "snow" look.
  • Enjoy and Merry Christmas Everyone... If you feel that was long reading ... Imagine typing it ahahahahaah I hope you love it as much as i do .... See you next time for another recipe