A Christmas cake with a difference, it is a chocolate Christmas cake, and one of my favourite recipes from the Nigella’s Christmas book. Even though it has prunes in it, you do not taste them, but they do give it that soft texture. It is just so easy to make, you just more or less melt everything in a saucepan and then pour the mixture into your tin and bake. What could be easier?
To be well prepared for Christmas you can make this cake two weeks before Christmas as it keeps in a tin, wrapped in greaseproof paper and foil. You can even make it three months in advance and freeze it. I often make it the day before Christmas eve, any sooner and it is gone before Christmas Day.
- • 350g chopped prunes
- • 175g currants
- • 250g raisins
- • 175g soft butter
- • 175g dark brown sugar
- • 175ml honey
- • 125ml Tia Maria
- • 1 tsp mixed spice
- • 2 oranges, zest and juice
- • 2 tbsp good cocoa powder
- • 3 eggs, beaten
- • ½ tsp baking powder
- • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- • 75g ground almond
- • 150g plain flour
- Start by preheating the oven to gas mark 2, 150°C or 300°F. Use a round 20cm/8in loose-bottomed cake tin, line the insides and bottom with a double layer of greaseproof paper.
- Wrap the outside of the cake tin with brown parcel paper, making it slightly higher than the sides, and tie it in place with kitchen twine.
- To make the cake, put all the fruit, butter, sugar, runny honey, Tia Maria, orange zest and juice, mixed spice and cocoa powder into a large saucepan and bring the mixture gently to the boil, continually stirring until the butter as melted.
- Leave to simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes. Now remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool; it will take approximately 30 minutes.
- Once cool stir in the beaten eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, combined everything.
- Now the fruit cake mixture can be poured into your prepared cake tin and placed in the middle of the oven and left to bake for 105 –120 minutes. Using a cake tester you will find the centre of the cake it will still be a little gooey and the top of the cake will have a shiny and sticky appearance but should be firm to touch.
- Once cool remove from the cake tin, decorate and it is ready for your Christmas buffet table.
- You can make the cake in advance of Christmas, to keep it moist wrap it in greaseproof paper and a layer of foil and place in an airtight tin or you can freeze it.