Honeyed Christmas nut cake by Giorgio Locatelli

Makes 1 large cake
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Although this cake is lovely and sweet, it's not too unhealthy, as it is made from lots of fruit and nuts.

When we were children, if there was any cake left over after Christmas, we used to take a little piece in our pockets to school for a tasty snack at break time.



For the sweet pastry
500g unbleached all-purpose flour
100g sugar
1/2tsp salt
230g unsalted butter
2 eggs
2tbsp white wine
1tbsp vanilla extract

Use a mixer with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, wine and vanilla, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Then add the flour and salt and mix until the dough becomes integrated but still remains soft. Be careful not to overmix – or you will end up with a tough pastry crust.



For the filling

80g raisins
80g pine nuts
80g candied orange rind
80g candied citron
200g toasted walnuts
2tbsp lightly toasted breadcrumbs
1/2tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp nutmeg
1 cup of honey
1 egg white, beaten (optional)
1 egg, beaten



Using a sharp oiled knife, chop the raisins, pine nuts, orange rind, citron, and walnuts. Mix them together in a large bowl and add the breadcrumbs and spices. Use a wooden spoon or your fingers to combine them well.

Melt the honey in a bain marie, then stir into the nut and spice mixture, mixing quickly to distribute it evenly. Set it aside while it cools.

Butter a deep 25cm pan. Divide the sweet pastry into 2 pieces, one slightly bigger than the other. Roll out the bigger half of the pastry to half a centimetre thick. Leave lots of excess so the dough drops over the pan.

Slip the dough into the pan. Place the filling on the dough. Collect the dough over the filling so that it covers almost two-thirds of the mixture. Roll out the other small half of the sweet pastry, again to half a centimetre thick, so that it fits exactly over the filling and comes to the edge of the pan.

Using a pastry brush, wash the exposed edge of the bottom dough with a little bit of water or egg white. Cover the bottom dough with the top disk of dough and press the edges firmly into place so that no seam shows.

Brush the top with the beaten egg and pierce it with a skewer to allow steam to escape. Bake at 200C/gas mark 6 for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180C/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 15 minutes. Remove, leave to cool and serve.

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