Christmas Whiskey Figgy Chocolate Walnut Cake - Gluten Free


Every year my sister makes the best traditional Christmas cake on the planet, and always topped with a luscious whiskey butter cream frosting. I have tried for many, many years to extract the recipe from her, but she is always delightfully vague, and encourages me to Google the details. Even if I could find the recipe, I couldn't actually share it with you any way as it is  written by another New Zealand cook (not the one I used to work for) and I don't go in for plagiarism. However, I do have this alternative for you, which is not only delicious, it is chocolatey, walnutty, whiskey-ey and gluten-free! The cake is loaded with dark chocolate and whiskey soaked figs blended with walnut crumbs and topped with a chocolate whiskey icing. To gild the lily completely (and almost literally) it is then sprinkled with crystallised ginger, dried figs and a little praline. Serve this with a little whiskey spiked whipped cream, and a very Merry Christmas will be yours :) (Just a wee extra note here the cake is a tiny bit crumbly due to the walnut/no flour base, but still moist and delicious - promise!)


 1 cup finely chopped dried figs, stems removed
1/2 cup whiskey
250g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200g butter, roughly chopped
3/4 cup raw sugar
6 eggs, separated
3 cups finely ground walnuts (I whizzed my in the food processor)

150ml cream
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
60 ml whiskey
3/4 cup roughly chopped dried figs
1/4 cup chopped crystallised ginger
1 tbsp praline (optional)

Soak figs in whiskey overnight then whiz (with soaking liquid) to a squishy paste. Preheat the oven to 170˚C (325˚F) and grease and line (with baking paper) a 26cm round baking tin. Put chocolate and butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat on medium for 30 second bursts until the chocolate is starting to melt and you can whisk it to a smooth consistency. Add sugar, egg yolks, fig mixture and ground walnuts and stir together. In a separate bowl whisk egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add a third of the egg whites to the walnut mixture and whisk to loosen. Fold through the remaining egg whites and pour into the prepared tin. Bake for 45-50 minutes until cooked through. For the ganache, heat cream and chocolate in the microwave in 30 second bursts until melted. Add whiskey and whisk until smooth. Cool until a spreadable consistency (might take up to a couple of hours, or pop in the fridge and check every 10 minutes or so). Spoon onto cake and spread out, then top with figs, ginger and optional praline. Serve with softly whipped cream sweetened with a little icing sugar and spiked with a little whiskey.

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