About this recipe:This is a dense, Italian-style flat chocolate fruitcake with an abundance of dried fruit and nuts. It can be made well ahead of when you need it so it's perfect over Christmas with black coffee or liqueurs. Cut into thin slices or small wedges as a little goes a long way!
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:1hr › Ready in:1hr30min
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / Gas mark 4. Lightly grease and line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.
Spread the chopped nuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until just golden in colour. Remove and set them aside to cool down. Lower the oven to 150 degrees C / Gas mark 2 for the cake.
Mix the candied peel, coriander, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a bowl. Stir in the flour and cooled nuts.
In a small heavy pan, heat the syrup and sugar together until it comes to the boil. Pour it over the nut and candied peel mixture and mix well. Stir in the warm melted chocolate and spoon into the lined cake tin. Dip a spoon into hot water and use this warm spoon to press the cake mixture down into the sides of the tin.
Bake for one hour. Remove and leave to cool - the cake will still feel soft but it will harden slightly over time. Serve dusted with icing sugar or store in an airtight tin for up to 2 weeks.
The usually unloved and overlooked supermarket tub of candied peel really comes into its own here. I always use honey (feels more Italian than golden syrup), and throw in absolutely loads of spice. I leave out the cinnamon and stick to sharper spices (the Waitrose mixed spice blend is a good one for this - coriander, cassia, ginger, nutmeg, caraway and cloves). Thanks so much for posting this recipe, I've made it so many times and it's always popular!
(It does harden over time, but it can be softened up in the microwave in a few seconds) - 12 Jan 2014