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Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Chocolate and hazelnut zuccotto


Zuccotto often has a whipped cream filling, but we've gone for a ricotta-based one instead. You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

You'll need

120 gm plain flour 30 gm Dutch-process cocoa, plus extra for dusting 1 tbsp cornflour 6 eggs 180 gm caster sugar 80 gm butter, melted and cooled 60 ml Cointreau, for brushing For dusting: pure icing sugar   Ricotta filling 50 gm hazelnuts, coarsely chopped 100 gm pure icing sugar, sieved 450 gm ricotta Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean 40 gm candied orange peel, diced   Chocolate ricotta filling 180 gm dark chocolate (65% cocoa solids), finely chopped 400 gm ricotta 40 gm pure icing sugar, sieved

Method

  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Sift flour, cocoa and cornflour into a bowl and set aside. Whisk eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until thick and pale (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat, sift in half the flour mixture and fold in with a large metal spoon. Fold in melted butter, then sift in remaining flour mixture and fold to combine. Spread half the mixture into a 30cm-diameter circle, on a greased baking tray lined with baking paper, smooth and then repeat on a separate tray with remaining mixture. Bake, swapping trays halfway through cooking, until centres spring back when lightly pressed (7-8 minutes). Cool on trays, then invert each onto a piece of baking paper and peel off backing.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for ricotta filling, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat, add hazelnuts, dust with 40gm icing sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally with an oiled fork, until caramelised (2-3 minutes), transfer to an oiled heatproof tray. Cool completely, coarsely chop and set aside. Process ricotta, vanilla seeds and remaining icing sugar in a food processor until very smooth, transfer to a bowl, stir through candied orange peel and caramelised nuts. Refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, for chocolate ricotta filling, melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Process ricotta and icing sugar in a food processor until very smooth, add chocolate, process to combine.
  • 04
  • Line a 1.75-litre pudding mould or bowl with strips of baking paper. Cut one cake half into a circle large enough to fit top of pudding bowl and set aside. Cut remaining cake half into eight even wedges and line sides of pudding mould, using cake scraps to fill any gaps. Brush generously with Cointreau, then spoon in ricotta filling, spreading evenly up sides. Fill with chocolate ricotta filling, smooth top and place remaining cake round on top. Brush with Cointreau, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove zuccotto from mould, using baking paper strips to ease it onto a serving plate, dust with icing sugar and cocoa. Zuccotto will keep refrigerated for 3 days.

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Featured in

May 2010

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