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
Mixed Spice Recipe
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2/3 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/3 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/3 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/3 teaspoon ground ginger
- Blend all spices together and store in a sealed jar.
- Position oven rack to centre. Preheat oven to 300 F. Grease 9” spring form pan with 3” sides lightly with butter. Line cake pan with double layer of parchment paper with a circle covering the bottom and the sides coming up twice as high as the pan. Wrap the pan with a double layer of parchment paper with sides matching inside layers of parchment paper and tie it in place with kitchen twine.
- In large saucepan, put dried fruits, butter, brown sugar, honey, port, orange juice and zest, spice and cocoa and bring to gentle boil, stirring as butter melts. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes.
- To saucepan, add beaten eggs, flour, almond meal, baking powder and baking soda and stir with spatula or wooden spoon to combine.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Place in oven and bake for 1 3/4-2 hours. Top should be firm but will have a shiny, sticky look. A cake tester inserted with still be a little gooey.
- Place on cooling rack and cool completely. Unmold. If not eating immediately, wrap in parchment paper and then foil and place in an air-tight container.
NOTE: Cake can be make 2 weeks ahead and wrapped in double layer of parchment and then foil in an air-tight container. To freeze: wrap in double layer of plastic wrap and then foil for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight.
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