You're in for a real treat when you get into this choc chocolate almond cake. An intensely flavoured cake, filling with dried fruits and topping with rich chocolate glaze.
For the Cake
powdered (icing) sugar, for dusting
110g butter, softened
110g (½ cup) brown sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds
150g (1 cup) flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp finely grated nutmeg
100g dark chocolate (65% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
100g dried cherries
100g dried muscatels
50g dried currants
50g candied orange peel, coarsely chopped
For the Glaze
90 ml whipping cream
125g dark chocolate (65% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 140°C (285°F). Knead marzipan on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar until smooth and pliable. Halve and roll out each piece to 4mm-thick. Cut an 18cm-diameter circle from each, place on a tray lined with baking paper and set aside. Butter and flour a 18 cm (6-in) a cake pan.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and vanilla seeds until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Gently fold in flour using a rubber spatula. Add spices and a pinch of salt, chocolate, dried fruit and candied peel. Stir to combine.
3. Spoon half the batter into a prepared cake pan. Smooth top, place one marzipan circle on top, then spoon over remaining cake batter. Smooth top and bake for (1-1¼ hours) or until an inserted skewer withdraws clean. Cool in cake pan, then turn out onto a wire rack.
4. Place remaining marzipan circle on top of cake, set aside.
MAKE THE GLAZE
5. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring cream just to the boil. Add chocolate, remove from heat, stir until smooth. Add butter and stir to combine. Pour over cake, allowing chocolate to spill down sides.
6. Arrange almonds on top, stand until set (1-1½ hours). Dust with cocoa
''If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien