Monday, January 2, 2012

Nigellas Chocolate Fruit Christmas Cake

Christmas 2011

This year I'm sticking to what I know best. More Chocolate and less fruit.

I added walnuts to this years cake, and added more chocolate.

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2010

This is a cake I've made 3 times now. The first (in 2009), I soaked the fruit for 3 days in Wild Turkey Bourbon. Very strong and overpowering. The second (also in 2009) soaked in Tia Maria for 3 days and the result was much more edible. So my third attempt was to stick with the Tia Maria, and soak the fruit for only 1 day. And Yes "the best Christmas cake Ive had this Christmas" (as quoted by a good friend Agostino).

So Thanks to Nigella's Christmas recipe, this Chocolate Christmas Fruit Cake is a Success.

The recipe below is directly out from her Christmas Book. My only variation is that I added some extra cocoa, and reduced the amount of sultanas (as not many people I know like too many sultanas).


  •  - 350 grams dried soft prunes, chopped
  • 250 grams raisins
  • 125 grams currants
  • 175 grams unsalted butter, softened
  • 175 grams dark brown sugar
  • 175 ml honey
  • 125 ml  coffee liqueur ( I used Tia Maria)
  • 2 oranges, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2 tablespoons good quality cocoa
  • free-range eggs, beaten
  • 150 grams plain flour
  •  75 grams ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For decoration:

  • 25 grams dark chocolate-covered coffee beans
  • Edible glitter
  • Gold mini balls
  • About 10 edible gold stars
  • Or just dust the cake with icing sugar and cut out rolled icing with Christmas shapes 
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Line the sides and bottom of an 8 by 3 1/2-inch deep, round loose-bottomed cake tin with a layer of reusable silicon baking parchment. When lining the tin with the parchment, cut the material into strips that are twice as high as the tin itself (it is easier to use two shorter strips of parchment, 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 zest and juice, 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 10 minutes. 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 baking soda, and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients have combined.
Carefully pour the fruitcake mixture into the lined cake tin. Transfer the cake tin to the oven and bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, or until the top of the cake is firm but will has a shiny and sticky look. At this point, if you insert a sharp knife 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, place the chocolate-covered coffee beans in the centre of the cake and arrange the gold stars around the perimeter of the top of the cake. Then sprinkle some gold mini-balls over the whole cake and sprinkle the top with edible glitter.
 I dusted some icing sugar on top, and decorated with fondant or rolled icing cut into star shapes. 


  1. Tia maria in a fruit cake! YUM!

    Yes copha is vegetable shortening. It took me alot of time wandering around the grocery store to find that out.

  2. Thanks. Im about to make a new batch with Copha. Watch this space.

  3. I've heard great things about her Chocolate Christmas Cake. Must try that variation this Christmas (particularly with Tia Maria!).

    Very glad I found your blog! I maintain a list of Australian Baking Blogs and would love to add yours to the site. Happy baking,

    The Cake Mistress

  4. Ok the cake was yummy. We just finished off our second cake with some friends. They loved the chocolate and prefered the Tia Maria rather than the strong Bourbon or whisky alternative.

  5. Here I go. Working late night baking this years Cristmas cake. Chocolate with walnuts.and yes using Tia Maria again.

  6. Just served my 2011 Christmas Choc cake. Best cake to date. The extra choc worked a treat.

    Happy new year.

  7. Congratulations on your cake. It does look great. A challenging idea for next year could be to make individual serve Christmas cakes (similar to these). They would make great gifts packaged nicely. It's sometimes hard to appreciate a nice cake after a filling Christmas meal.

  8. Thanks stray cat. I will Xplore the individual cakes this year.

  9. Can I also suggest an alternative to chocolate coffee beans - dark chocolate coated raspberry jelly balls. You'll have them fighting over the cake decoration.