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Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Christmas Cake

Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Christmas Cake


350g dried soft prunes, chopped
250g raisins
125g currants
175g unsalted butter, softened
175g dark brown sugar
175ml honey
125ml Kahlua (I have also used Grand Marnier or strong black coffee if I don’t have Kahlua)
2 oranges, juice and zest only
1 tsp mixed spice2 tbsp good quality cocoa
3 free-range eggs, beaten
150g plain flour
75g ground almonds
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda


Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Line the sides and bottom of a 20cm/8in, 9cm/3½in deep, round cake tin with a layer of baking paper. When lining the tin with baking paper, cut the material into strips that are twice as high as the tin itself (it’s easier to use two shorter strips of baking paper, than one long strip); the height of the strips protects
the cake from catching on the outside of the cake tin.

Place the fruit, butter, sugar, honey, coffee liqueur, orange juice and zest, mixed spice and cocoa into a large wide saucepan. Heat the mixture until it reaches a gentle boil, stirring the mixture as the butter melts. Let the mixture simmer for ten minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, the mixture will have cooled a little. Add the eggs, flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate soda, and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients have combined.

Carefully pour the fruit cake mixture into the bake-o-glide lined cake tin. Transfer the cake tin to the oven and bake for 1¾-2 hours, or until the top of the cake is firm but has a shiny and sticky look. At this point, if you insert a cake tester into the middle of the cake, the cake should still be a little uncooked in the middle.

Place the cake on a cooling rack. Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin.

To decorate, Nigella suggests that you place chocolate covered coffee beans in the centre of the cake and arrange gold stars around the perimeter of the top of the cake, then sprinkle some gold mini-balls over the whole of the cake. Sprinkle Disco Gold Hologram Glitter over the top of the cake.

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