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NIGELLA’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS PUDDING CAKE

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2 Days
| Servings: 12 - 14 Slices

NIGELLA’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS PUDDING CAKE

  • approx. 625 grams panettone (or pandoro)
  • 6 tablespoons tuaca liqueur
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 500 g mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 250 ml double cream, at room temperature
  • 125 ml marsala
  • 75 g marrons glacés, pieces
  • 125 g mini chocolate chips, or regular chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate
  • 100 g shelled pistachios, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Using a serrated knife, cut the panettone roughly into 1 cm / ½ inch slices, then use about a third of these to line the bottom of a 22 or 23 cm / 9 inch springform cake tin. Tear off pieces to fit so that there are no gaps; panettone is fabulously soft and mouldable, so this isn’t a hard job. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the Tuaca (or other liqueur of choice) over it so that the panettone lining is dampened. It looks like a beautiful golden patchwork made out of cake.

Now get on with the luscious filling. Whisk – using a freestanding electric mixer for ease – the eggs and sugar until very frothy and increased in volume and lightness.
More slowly, whisk in the mascarpone and double cream, then gradually whisk in the Marsala and carry on whisking until the mixture is thick and spreadable. Remove 250 ml / a good cupful to a bowl or other container, cover and put in the fridge; this is for the top layer, which is not added until you serve the cake.

Crumble the marrons glacés into the big bowl of mascarpone cream mixture, followed by 100g / ¾ of the chocolate chips and 75g / ¾ of the chopped pistachios, and fold in. Use half of this creamy filling to top the panettone layer that is lining the cake tin.
Use another third (approx.) of the panettone slices to cover the cream filling, again leaving no holes for the cream to escape through. Dampen with another 2 tablespoons of liqueur.
Spoon on the other half of the cream mixture and spread it evenly. Then top with a third and final layer of panettone, covering the cream as before, and drizzle over it the last 2 tablespoons of liqueur.

Cover tightly with clingfilm, pressing down on the top a little, and put in the fridge overnight or for up to 2 days.

When you are ready to serve, take the cake out of the fridge, unmould and sit it on a flat plate or cake stand, then spread with the reserved mascarpone mixture. Don’t try to lift the cake off the base, as the panettone slices at the bottom are too delectably damp.

Scatter the top – and all around the cake, if wished – with the remaining chocolate chips and chopped pistachios and your pomegranate “jewels”. These sprinklings also provide beauteous camouflage for any less than aesthetically uplifting edges of the springform base which may be visible.

Recipe posted by and photo: Claudia Huth

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