Italian Christmas Cake
Rich and delicious, is an "Italian" only in the sense that I am in gingerbread base, the Italian Christmas sweets. I wanted to make a cake with the flavors of gingerbread (spices, zest and nuts) and chocolate. It 'nice, with a strong espresso and if you decide not to ice cream, whipped cream with a few tablespoons of Marsala moved into it. It can be adult or children, depending on how you finish it.
For the cake:
a. 100g (3 ½ oz) mixed dried vines produce fruit
b. 75 ml (2 ¾ fl oz) Marsala, sweet or dry
c. 175g (6oz) unsalted butter
d. 175g (6oz) golden caster sugar
e. 325g (11 ½ oz) good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
f. 75g (2 ¾ oz) walnut half
g. 75g (2 ¾ oz) peeled hazelnuts
h. 50g (1 ¾ oz) blanched almonds
i. 5 large eggs, separated
j. grated zest of 1 large orange
k. ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
l. generous grating of nutmeg a
m. pinch of ground cloves
n. 25g (1 oz) chopped candied peel
o. 50g (1 ¾ oz) ground almonds
p. icing sugar or cocoa powder for dusting (or ganache below)
For the ganache (optional):
a. 100 g (3 ½ oz) of good quality plain chocolate, broken into small pieces
b. 75 ml (2 ¾ fl oz) double cream
c. 2 tablespoons Marsala wine or brandy
d. chopped toasted hazelnuts for decoration
Preheat oven to 180 ° C/350 ° F / gas mark 4.
Put the dried fruit in a saucepan with the Marsala. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat. Allow the fruit plump for at least 30 minutes, almost all the liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and sugar in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Add chocolate, stir to dissolve. Remove the bowl and let cool a little. '
Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, being careful not to burn it, then chop coarsely (you want some good big shots of the cake). Add the egg yolks to the chocolate with the peel, spices, candied fruit, dried fruit (more soaking liquid) and chopped walnuts.
Beat the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry. Add a large spoon of the whites into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, then fold the rest in the ground almonds. Stir gently so as not to knock all the air out of the protein. Pour into a greased and base-lined 23 cm (9in) loose bottom pan and bake for 45 minutes. The cake will be heard in the center, but the spit test does not really work, because it is very humid in the middle until it has cooled down.
Remove from oven and leave in the pan for about 20 minutes, then carefully remove the surround. Once completely cooled, remove the base of the cake - it will be fragile in the midst of so handle with care. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar or cocoa powder, or if you want a ganache chocolate ganacItalian Christmas Cakehe ingredients (minus the nuts) in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and allow it to dissolve, stirring a little. ' Remove from heat, allow to cool and thicken, then spread on top of the cake with a spatula. Sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts, or the whole pie or a border around the edge.
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