Make number 50 already! I can’t believe the year has gone so fast.
This week I’ve made Italian Nut and Chocolate Christmas Cake. I don’t remember where the recipe came from originally but I’ve been making this version for at least 10 years.
It serves 10-12 and you will need a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin. (Or as I’ve done this year, 2 x 20cm regular cake tins)
- 450g of nuts (I use hazelnuts and walnuts. This year I didn’t have quite enough so made up the balance with pecans)
- 225g dark chocolate
- 5 drops of vanilla essence
- 65ml brandy
- 1 level teaspoon cinnamon
- 25g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 200g caster sugar
- 5 large eggs, separated
- Finely chopped zest of 1 large orange
- Unsalted butter and breadcrumbs to prepare the tin/s.
Preheat the oven to 180/350/gas 4. Line the cake tin with greaseproof or baking parchment, then lightly grease this with a little unsalted butter. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Whiz nuts and chocolate in a food processor or liquidiser until they are finely chopped but not ground. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in vanilla, brandy, cinnamon, butter and sugar.
Beat the egg yolks with a fork and then blend them in a little at a time to the mixture.
Add the finely chopped orange zest.
Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff peaks and then fold these into the mixture gently a little at a time.
Pour mixture into one or two already prepared cake tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 45 mins for two tins or around 75 mins for one tin. Test the cake by sticking a cocktail stick in the centre. If it comes out without cake mix on it, the cakes are ready. (It will likely have melted chocolate on it, that is ok).
Rest the cakes for a five minutes in the tins, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
You can either store the well wrapped cakes in the fridge for 2 weeks or freeze them.
Dust with icing sugar and its ready.