How long does it take to make a tradition? Some Christmas traditions come to us through our parents and grandparents, some probably from the idealised versions we see on T.V. (do families really decorate the tree together while humming carols and sipping hot chocolate - or is the general experience more like mine, where I whine about doing it, hint for help but get told that I'm the "artistic one"!!!!!! Baah Humbug) but what about the traditions we make ourselves? I reckon that Nigella's Chocolate Christmas Cake is fast becoming a tradition here in Brownieville - Christmas wouldn't be quite the same without it sitting under the dome on the cake stand. Regular Christmas visitors have been known to ask for it (they don't know about the puddings!!!!!!).
It is really easy to throw together, being what my mother would call a boiled cake - most of the ingredients are heated together in a pot (which means there is no need to soak the fruit) then you add a few more and bake. I will admit that there is all the faffing about having to line the tin, but other that that is's "wham bam thank you mam"
The cake has a beautifully moist texture, the chocolate and orange flavours are subtle and actually add to the Christmassyness (!) of the cake. It should be eaten within 2 weeks (no problem I promise!!) so is prefect for the last minute merchants amongst us!! Please don't worry about all the prunes in there, nobody will notice, and think of all the good it will be doing to their tummies after the Christmas stodge!!
When I saw that Choclette has challenged us to include orange to a chocolate bake for this month's We Should Cocoa, it was a shoe in for this cake!
Chocolate Christmas Cake
adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe
350g stoned prunes, chopped
175g dark sugar
75ml coffee liqueur
50ml hazelnut liqueur
1 orange, juiced and zested
3 mandarin orange, juiced and zested (if large just use 2)
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp cocoa powder (sifted)
3 eggs, beaten
75g ground hazelnuts (or almonds)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bread (bicarbonate of) soda
Double line and butter a 20cm x 9cm deep round cake tin. When filled I also tie a couple of layers of newspapers around the outside - belt and braces!!
Put the flour, ground nuts, baking powder and bread (bicarbonate of) soda in a bowl and set aside.
Put the remaining ingredients (except the eggs) in a large saucepan and gently bring to boiling point, stirring regularly.
Allow to simmer for 10 minutes and set aside for 30 (or longer if it's handier)
While it's cooling I prepare the tin.
Add the beaten egg and the dry ingredients, combine well.
Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for approx 2 hours.
You want a texture less gooey than a brownie but more so than a normal cake.
Put the cake tin on a wire rack and allow to cool.
Eat immediately if you wish, but it will keep for about 2 weeks, depending on your will power!!!
You couldn't have picked a better cake to become a 'Tradition' - I loved this when I made it, but it would be too big for this year, when we have no visitors.
I think this sounds delicious, I am writing a list of things to try next year, and will be including this yummy cake. Merry Christmas! Jude x
Throw me a slice or two of that yummy-looking cake ! :D I'll bet it wouldn't last for few days ;D
Happy Christmas Brownieville Girl! The cake looks wonderful.
As soon as I read the title I knew- Nigella! Yes the Christmas decorations are a 'chore' here too- one nobody wants to do/have time for etc.
You can't go wrong making anything chocolate a tradition. Your family will be licking their lips for this one. Merry Christmas and many blessing for the coming year.
I've created my own traditions and love them. My home-made xmas cake, puddings and mincemeat are a big part of that tradition. Your cake looks gorgeous and so yummy!
Happy Christmas to you and yours.
Ooh, it sounds wonderful, what a lovely idea for a Christmas cake. Haven't got my act together this year. I was planning on making a figgy Christmas cake, but hey ho! This looks to be an excellent entry to WSC - thank you.
Do hope you all have a good Christmas.
I've made this cake before and you are right, it is easy to make and tastes fantastic!
Beautiful Christmas cake!!!
Wish you and your family Merry Christmas xoxoxo
Chocolate Christmas cake? Now that is exciting! The prunes don't bother me either, I quite like them! Hope you have a lovely Christmas!
Lovely cake - great colour. Have a really good Christmas.
Dear BVG, thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. Lots of emotions going on this holiday season. Please know your families, especially the children are in my "prayer pot."
Your cake looks delicious! Traditions are fun, but they can be a pain sometimes too! LOL!!! We have to have the "baked beans" at all our gatherings. Something mom used to make. Thankfully mine are "almost" as good as hers!
This cake is great for a tradition. It looks and sounds delicious! A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!
I love visiting your blog because I always find something new to me. This looks wonderful. Hope you have a wonderful holiday, I know it will be tasty!
Yum! Anything chocolate has to be good! I bet it's wonderful.
What a lovely idea. Am sure it must have been delicious. I think next year I will be trying this out x
I have been tempted to make this many times! It really looks scrummy. Best wishes to you and your family!
Merry Christmas ~ I have been away since yesterday morning, just got back!
Building your own traditions upon those of your parents is what life is all about. The Viking and I have many Christmas ones. Some silly. Some not so. But most of them are food related!!
It looks gorgeous - really moist and luscious. I bet my mum and brother would love it - they are both big fans of prunes!
I'm the one in the kitchen not getting to eat much lol! This cake sounds divine!!! I definitely will try next Christmas! Hope you had a great one!
es un pastel exquisito luce absolutamente prefecto,abrazos y felices fiestas.
I have always wanted to have a go at this cake but I was never quite sure if it would be recieved well with my lot and then I'd end up having an entire cake to eat by myself ... hand on a minute - why haven't I made this before???
hehe If I like something we do one year I decide it's a tradition just so I can do it again! Fab cake! x
this looks so delicious! perfect for the holidays!
This is my favourite Christmas cake ever! I can't imagine not making it over the festive season. Everyone seems to love it too xx
would love to try this - am a big fan of chocolate fruitcake but have found that my family are not keen on chunks of chocolate in the cake - want to love eating it all myself but I do love sharing too - and yours looks wonderfully dark
by the way - we do decorate the tree as a family but there is a lot of whinging in the process
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