Are you making Christmas Cake?
A Christmas Cake you'll want to make AND save for yourself
Yes, the time has come, we are officially getting ready for the holidays! In our series of letters to you over the next several weeks, we will highlight all that we love about this time of year - straight from the kitchen! In this first holiday installment, notes from my 'pre-holiday prep' interview with Cookery's Chef Jess. This is the week when she would have been starting Christmas Cake preparations...
The Christmas Cake, aka the Fruit Cake: this traditional British holiday dessert is one of the few ‘love-hate’ aspects of Christmas!
The Lovers: it's warm, sweet, fruity, boozy, tastes and smells like the holidays! If you make it, you love to make it, you research for the perfect recipe and you start the preparations months before the actual holidays! (hence the November timing of this note!)
The Haters: it’s dry, it’s full of ridiculously fluorescent-coloured fruit that you're not sure is actually fruit, it’s weighs as much as a brick, it’s the only holiday dessert to avoid.
The Christmas Cake or 'CC' from here on out DOESN'T deserve its reputation and Chef Jess is out to prove there IS one you can love.
Every year, Chef Jess and her mum search for one they like. They look for one heavy in fruit and soaked in boozy goodness. It can't be stodgy or too sweet. The dried fruit needs to be fresh and of great quality – and dare we say ‘real’! They bake a new one in hopes of the perfect CC to make year upon year. This year, they may have found ‘the one’. And the secret? Chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better - including Christmas Cake.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson's recipe, it doesn't need to be made weeks in advance - so although it takes a little effort, it's far easier than the regular CC you may have tried in the past. If you are a Christmas Cake devotee, we think you should add this one to your repertoire. If you’ve never tried to make CC, give this one a try, it’s sure to please.
Cookery has all the baking accessories you need to make the perfect Chocolate Christmas Cake. Baking pans. Parchment paper. Measuring cups. Utensils. Spices. It's time to get baking. Turn on the Christmas tunes and get that oven going with the smells of the holidays.
Take a deep breath, enjoy every moment, the holidays are coming!
Alison & the team at Cookery
Chef Jess' Chocolate Christmas Cake
Yield: 10 slices
- 1¾ cups seedless raisins
- 1 cup currants
- 3 cups pitted Medjool dates
- 1/4 cup candied peel
- 3/4 cup soft unsalted butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- ⅔ cup honey
- ½ cup Ruby Port
- 2 large Navel oranges, zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1 teaspoon mixed spice- recipe below)
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
- 3 large eggs (beaten)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup almond meal
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda