July 17, 2015

With a combination like this, it makes a perfect gift or special occasion cake, I love to make smaller cakes and decorating them with festive fruits rich in colour for that wow factor. This makes a real treat for someone who is not a fan of the traditional Christmas cake. You can substitute the amaretto for cointreau or even Frangelico as they really work well with the pepper and the chocolate. This is quite a moist cake and will freeze well although I feel that once you make them you will be tempted to dress them up and share them amongst your friend and family.


Makes 1 large 22cm cake Serving 12-16 or Makes 4 smaller 10cm individual round cake tins each serving 6-8

¾ cups raisins

190g unsalted butter

¾ cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp ground pepper

5 large eggs, separated

1 ½ cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

6 tblsp dutch (dark) cocoa

¼ cup Bertolli Gentile Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ cup Amaretto liqueur

80g dark chocolate, chopped


1. Pre heat the oven 170c

2. Soak the raisins in hot water for 30 minutes until plump, drain and set aside. Beat the butter with the sugar, salt and pepper until creamy and pale, then beat in the egg yolks one at a time until combined.

3. Sift the flour with the baking powder and cocoa and then toss a tablespoon of the flour mix with the raisins adding the rest of the flour mix into the batter in ¼ cup increments mixing in the combined Bertolli Gentile Extra Virgin Olive Oil and amaretto alternately finishing with the flour.

4. Stir in the chopped chocolate and the floured raisins.

5. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks. Stir one quarter of the egg whites into the batter and then fold in the rest until combined.

6. Pour the mix into the greased and or lined tins. Bake for 30 minutes for the smaller tins and about 50 minutes for the larger until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Allow the cakes to cool then garnish as desired either with a dusting of icing sugar, chocolate icing or as I have as per the recipe below.

For the garnish (Chocolate ganache):

1. Combine the chocolate and the cream in a saucepan over a low temperate and stir to combine the mix as the chocolate melts.

2. Remove the mix from the heat and allow to cool, stirring the mix so that it is smooth and shiny.

3. Spread this over the cakes, and press the crushed amaretti onto the sides of the cake garnishing the top with the shards of brittle and candied fruit.