Italian Chocolate Nut Christmas Cake
Liberally dusted with icing sugar, this chocolate cake from Italian cookery writer Anna del Conte, is delicious at teatime, or even after supper with a glass of sweet wine.
Makes one 8 inch (20 cm) round cake
|8 oz (225 g) dark chocolate (minimum 70-75% cocoa solids), broken up into small pieces|
|1 oz (25 g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus a little extra for the tin|
|2 rounded tablespoons fine breadcrumbs, for the tin|
|8 oz (225 g) whole blanched hazelnuts|
|8 oz (225 g) walnut pieces|
|5 drops vanilla extract|
|21/2 fl oz (65 ml) brandy|
|1 teaspoon ground cinnamon|
|7 oz (200 g) golden caster sugar|
|5 large eggs, separated|
|1 large orange, scrubbed under warm water and the peel (without the pith) removed with a potato peeler and very finely chopped|
|1 oz (25 g) icing sugar, for dusting|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350F, 180C.|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need an 8 inch (20 cm) loose-based round cake tin.|
This recipe is from Delia's Happy Christmas
Begin by buttering the cake tin generously, then sprinkle the inside with the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Put the hazelnuts and walnut pieces in a food processor, then break the chocolate into small pieces and add it to the nuts. Pulse the machine on and off until the mixture is of a grainy consistency, but not finely ground.
If you don't have a food processor, you can chop the ingredients by hand using a sharp knife.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the vanilla extract, brandy, cinnamon, melted butter and sugar, mixing thoroughly. Now gradually add the egg yolks, mixing them in very well, and, finally, add the orange peel. Next, whisk the egg whites to the stiff-peak stage but not so thick that they become dry.
Gently fold them into the chocolate mixture with a large metal spoon, a few tablespoons at a time, cutting through the mixture with a high movement to incorporate plenty of air.
When all the egg whites have been folded in, spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the oven on the centre shelf for about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes.
Cover the cake loosely with baking parchment for the last 10 minutes if it's becoming too brown.The cake is ready when a cocktail stick inserted in the middle come out dry.
Then leave it to rest in the tin for a couple of minutes, before turning out on to a wire rack to cool.
Store in the fridge, wrapped in foil, and eat within 2 weeks.
The cake will also freeze well, again wrapped in foil.
Return to Homepage
Visit the Delia Online Cookery School with Waitrose
Click here to go to Waitrose.com
Copyright © 2009 Delia Smith/New Crane Internet Limited, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Light and lovely, this chocolate chestnut log would make a great centrepiece at a Christmas party.
Originally from the Caribbean, it does involve quite a lot of booze and a week’s pre-soaking...
A flavour of Christmas here - a chocolate log with a wonderful filling of chocolate mousse and prunes in Armagnac. It would also make the most impressive dessert - minus the holly! - at any time of the year.
Those who find a traditional fruit cake too heavy might enjoy Stollen which, although it still contains dried fruit, it altogether lighter. And, of course, the sweet-toothed will love the seam of marzipan running through the middle!
Most Popular recipes
Autumn apple recipes
02 Oct 2014 03:49
Eggs - in fridge or not?
02 Oct 2014 09:25
|Food and travel||
Short break ideas
13 Jul 2014 08:31
Naina ~ Gateaux de Yaourt
13 Aug 2014 15:12
|Can Anyone Help?||
01 Oct 2014 08:53
The Rainbow King
19 Sep 2014 08:29
Delia Online Salt and Pepper mills
05 Sep 2014 12:30
12 Sep 2014 00:01