Tuscan Christmas Cake

This decadent Tuscan Christmas cake dusted with icing sugar is the perfect Christmas treat for the whole family
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Serves 14
Prep Time: 50 mins
Cook Time: 1 1/2 hrs

* 115g hazelnuts
* 115g almonds
* 85g chopped mixed peel
* 55g ready-to-eat dried apricots, finely chopped
* 55g candied pineapple, finely chopped
* grated rind of 1 orange
* 55g plain flour
* 2 tbsp cocoa powder
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp ground coriander
* 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
* 1/4 tsp ground cloves
* 115g caster sugar
* 175g clear honey

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line a 20cm/8-inch round loose-based cake tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Spread out the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Tip them onto a tea towel and rub off the skins.

3. Meanwhile, spread out the almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes, until golden. Watch carefully as they can burn easily.

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 2. Chop all the nuts and place in a large bowl. Add the mixed peel, apricots, pineapple and orange rind to the nuts and mix well.

5. Sift the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg and cloves into the bowl and mix well.

6. Put the caster sugar and honey into a saucepan and set over a low heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for five minutes, until thickened and beginning to darken

7. Stir the nut mixture into the saucepan and remove from the heat.

8. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface. Bake in the oven for one hour, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. When cold, carefully remove from the tin and peel off the greaseproof paper.


Recipe adapted from A Year Full Of Recipes, £25. Visit www.parragon.com/lovefood

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