This should really be called the “how not to panic that you forgot to make the Christmas cake back in September now what can I do instead that will make it look deliberate” cake. But that seemed like too long a title.
If you aren’t a fan of dark fruit cake then this may be a good alternative for you too.
This recipe is really just a modified version of my regular chocolate mudcake. I have upped the brandy and cut out the coffee, and added my favourite dried fruits (optional).
Topping it off with cranberries and pistachios adds in traditional red and green colours, but you can choose what you like!
- 300g self raising flour
- 45g cocoa powder
- 90g caster sugar
- 90g dark muscavado sugar
- 250g block of butter
- 140g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
- 300ml water
- 150ml brandy
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or Vanilla bean paste)
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 3 handfuls of assorted dried fruit – I used cranberries, prunes (chopped) and sultanas (Optional)
- You could also add chopped nuts such as pistachios or hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 180° C. Put the chocolate, water, brandy, vanilla extract, sugar, and butter into a large pan. Stir over a low heat until everything is melted and dissolved and smells lovely. Then turn the heat off and stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. This will look pretty lumpy- use a whisk to make it smooth but don’t worry about it being perfectly lump free. It should be a bit cooler by now, so it is safe to add in the beaten eggs without scrambling them- mix well. Finally stir in the dried fruit (and nuts if you like).
Pour the batter into an 8inch round greased tin (lining the top is a good idea but it seems to turn out ok if you grease really well). Bake for around 50mins. Test it in the middle with a skewer- it doesn’t have to come out perfectly clean, just not runny as it will keep cooking as it cools down. Cool in the tin and turn out onto your serving plate.
Melt 3 tbsp of golden syrup in the microwave for 20seconds and stir in 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder, and just pour it over the top so its all sticky and good. Sprinkle over some dried cranberries and pistachios, and tie on a festive ribbon, or decorate however you prefer.
What festive treats will you be indulging in this year?