Been awhile since I posted anything seasonal on here for Christmas, usually it’s because I am so busy at work with mince pies, yule logs and other stuff to make Santa fatter… if that is at all possible.. I don’t have a frame of reference for his size to be honest, been awhile since a large jolly man has come down my chimney I have to say.
While typing this its been snowing here in East Dulwich, so adding to the festive feel of this post (in my head). And our two cats, Juno the kitten and Macy-Edith are staring out the window, this is Junos first snow being only 5 months old, Macy on the other hand, being nearly 11 yrs old, is wise to the stuff and a lot less impressed
The above paragraph has nothing to do with this recipe, I just like to find ways to shoe-horn something about my cats in ….they’re super cute (when not fighting)
I have been asked a few times to put up a Christmas cake recipe, but at the moment I can’t put up the recipe I use the most, as it will be published in march in the new Biscuiteers book ! which is exciting as I have never had a recipe published in print before, but promise to share a link to it when it’s out and will replicate it here next year after publication… don’t want any spoilers do we ? (side ways glance to boss)
This recipe is a version of a flourless chocolate cake recipe I use a lot, I have adjusted it and added fruit soaked in Guinness, and chopped Brazil nuts… It reminds me of a dark cocoa version of a Cadbury fruit and nut bar, but a tad more alcoholic of course, it’s based on the chocolate almond cakes from Italy, so is by chance gluten-free, not developed to be (I don’t know why but I deemed this to this to be an important distinction 😏)
It’s quite dense and gooey like a brownie in away, but packed with ground almonds, it’s also about the same consistency as a normal fruit cake, but I think all the more enjoyable with the chocolate inside + plus a ganache topping to finish off.
I have decorated with sugared rosemary and cranberries, with sprayed gold bay leaves.. almost like a Christmas wreath, I actually took this cake to our friend & Neighbour Helen Lederers Christmas party, where someone suggested I hang it on the door 😶
(My husband insisted I mentioned the party as it would be camp… in fact the party was fab and camp and we managed to slice the cake up in small enough pieces to pass around…. coming home at 3.30 am however meant the next day was a little hazy 🎉🍷🍾)
So anyhow I’ve gone off on all sorts of tangents here, so if you’ve managed to hang in there on this post, here’s the recipe, I’ve added notes on replacements if you do not want to have alcohol, and of course how its decorated is entirely up to you, mine is just a suggestion.
Have a fabulous Christmas where ever you are… and a an amazing 2018 !
YOU WILL NEED:
8″ round tinned, greased and lined with parchment.. (on this occasion a loose bottom is preferred)
Some gold food spray, clear spray or egg white, some sprigs of rosemary
Fresh cranberries and a few bay leaves for decoration (all optional)
230g Dark chocolate
150g unsalted butter
Melt the above over hot water
100g dried cranberries
80g chopped dried figs
80g chopped dried apricots
1tablespoon orange zest
soak in 200ml Guinness over night or a few hours before.
(for non alcoholic soak fruit in juice of 2 oranges)
100g chopped brazil nuts
5 eggs separated
115g caster sugar
3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
2 teaspoons orange zest
1tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Fold sugar into chocolate/butter mix, then fold in egg yolks.
Add almonds zest and spices & cocoa powder
Fold in soaked fruit, and then chopped nuts.
Whisk egg whites on machine and fold in.
Divide between 1 x 8 “ lined round tin.
Bake at 155c for 55 mins.
125g Dark chocolate.
50g unsalted butter.
1 tablespoon of golden syrup.
1 tablespoon of rum (or orange juice if non alcoholic)
Either melt the chocolate, syrup and butter together in a microwave in stages, or
Melt together over hot water, add the rum or juice.
When cake is cooled spread over ganache, let it set a little then decorate.
Too make sugared rosemary either spray with clear confectioners glaze and roll in sugar, or brush with egg white and sugar and leave on a tray in a warm one for 10 minutes (about 110c) Do the same with the cranberries
I sprayed some bay leaves from my garden with a bronze food spray.
I am sure you creative bakers out there can come up with your own fabulous designs though 🤗
Follow the step by step gallery below, click on any picture to enlarge.