Christmas pudding surprise cake

Christmas pudding surprise cake
Impress your guests with this clever mash-up of festive flavours
Serves 12  / 
Prep 30 Mins  / 
Cook 75 Mins

Ingredients

175g Co-op unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
50g glace cherries
40g Co-op 70% cocoa dark chocolate
125g Co-op self raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice
15g cocoa powder
35g ground almonds
175g golden caster sugar
3 large Co-op British eggs
Zest and juice of 1 orange
50g chopped nuts (optional)
For the icing, 100g white chocolate, broken into squares
3 tbsp Co-op double cream
Few drops almond essence

Method

Preheat the oven to180C/fan 160C/Gas 4.

Grease and line a 1 litre ovenproof bowl.

Chop up the glace cherries, leaving 3 whole for later.

Melt half the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl isn't touching the water.

Chop up the remaining chocolate.

Sift the flour, spice and cocoa into a large bowl.

Add the ground almonds, butter, sugar, eggs and orange zest. Whisk together until smooth and creamy.

Mix in 2 tbsp orange juice.

Fold in the chopped cherries, the melted and chopped chocolate, and nuts if using, then spoon into the ovenproof bowl. Level the surface.

Bake for 30 mins, then cover with greaseproof paper and bake for another 45 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the sponge.

Leave to cool for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing:
Place the white chocolate, cream and almond essence in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.

Heat gently until melted, then stir to combine.

Spoon the white chocolate icing over the cake

To decorate:
Place the 3 whole glace cherries on top of the cake and finish with a couple of holly leaves.