For years, mum and I have ogled over those beautiful Italian Panforte cakes, in specialty shops and the like.
Not content with ‘just another Christmas pudding,’ we’ve trialled a rather boozy Sticky date only pud-hybrid, for previous Christmas days.
Along with the ubiquitous ice cream medley & plum pudding mash up, that we Aussies love here, on (30C degree Christmas days no less…)
… & last but not least, the family has previously forgone Christmas cooking altogether, to spend it quite merrily at an exceptional buffet in a posh hotel. (As a restauranteur family, on occasion we all agree it’s lovely to have someone else do the cooking & clean up for a change!)
This year with bub on the way, my immediate family will be spending Christmas separately. Half of the family overseas in China, my sister & I here.
Given that I’ll be easing into the 3rd trimester by end of this year. I wasn’t too tempted by the thought of an overnight flight for 14 hrs, stomach cramps and nausea.
Generally speaking though, my sweetheart & I have spent Christmas with our own families. There’s no doubt, that having a little one is going to change all that next year (& the year after that & the year after that!)
Hence Christmas will be a little low key this year.
It’s the last Christmas where it will be just a few of us, but it will be no less delicious this year.
So here’s my take, on a different kind of Christmas cake. I’ve chosen to use dried dates (in place) of the more tradition dried figs, alongside the addition of cranberries and eggs in my recipe.
It’s elegant enough to grace your table during the festive season & bonus, this recipe makes enough for you and a gift for your friend/loved one!
Speaking of Christmas giving, the kind folk at Bookworld have offered a giveaway of two wonderful Cookbook titles. Please note, this is comp is available for Australian residents only.
Read on for entry details after the recipe.
Panforte Christmas Cake:
This Recipe makes 2 cakes, (one for you & one for a very lucky friend) in the lead up to Christmas!
100g mixed peel
250g chopped dates
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tsp dried ginger
1/2 tsp ground gloves
1/2 nutmeg grated
1 & 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup Cocoa powder
1/4 tsp of salt
2 whole eggs
200g dark chocolate
1 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
Icing sugar to dust before serving,
Line 2 x (20-25cm) baking tins with baking paper, set aside. Preheat oven to 180C/356F
Toast the hazelnuts & almonds in a pan, until fragrant.
In a large bowl, add the toasted nuts.
Sift flour, spices, salt and cocoa powder into the bowl & mix thoroughly.
Add the dried fruit & stir.
In a medium sized pot, melt the butter over a gentle heat with the dark chocolate
Add the honey & brown sugar, stir until mixture has melted. It should take 3-5 minutes and look smooth & silky.
Set aside to cool.
Whisk two whole eggs in a small cup.
Add the honey mixture into the large bowl, being sure to stir thoroughly & incorporate the flour.
Gently add the egg, stir until mixture is glossy.
Divide batter between the two prepared cake tin’s. Bake in a moderate oven for 30-35 mins until slightly firm.
Cool completely before dusting with icing sugar to serve.
A huge thank you to Bookworld for this wonderful giveaway. If you’re the kind of reader, who could do with more cookbooks in life then read on!
Simply post a comment on the blog, to be in the running to win these two titles below.
If you’re feeling extra generous, then don’t forget to share the comp with your friends and pass on the good luck.
Entries close 16.12.14
This giveaway is supported by Bookworld. Further details regarding this blog’s disclosure policy, can be found here.