Christmas cake (Created by Beverley Dunkley - Head of CHOCOLATE ACADEMY™ centre United Kingdom)

Cake

Ingredients Preparation
175 ml rum
125 g raisins
70 g currants
50 g chopped dates
50 g candied peel (citrus fruits)
50 g dried sour cherries
Place all the ingredients in a bowl and leave to soak for at least one hour.
75 g whole walnuts
75 g flaked almonds
50 g whole hazelnuts
Set the oven to 140°C. Gently roast all the nuts until light brown.
125 g unsalted butter
50 g castor sugar
Cream the butter and sugar.
100 g plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
Sieve together onto the creamed butter and sugar.
3 large eggs Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, blending all ingredients into a smooth dough.
175 g ground almonds
Zest of 1 lemon
Stir in and add the marinated fruit and roasted nuts.
450 g clear honey
300 g melted dark chocolate Callebaut Select 811NV
1 tablespoon black treacle
Stir in.
Line a 23 cm round cake tin with greaseproof paper. Pour the cake dough into the tin and bake for 2 to 2 ½ hours. Cool in the tin. Store wrapped in aluminium foil.

Chocolate roll-out fondant

Ingredients Preparation
1 gelatine sheet (3.18 g) Soak the gelatine in cold water for 20 minutes.
40 ml water Dissolve the gelatine in the water over a gentle heat.
80 g glucose
30 g white vegetable fat
1 dessert spoon of glycerine
Add and dissolve gently together without overheating.
1 teaspoon of vanilla Add.
340 g icing sugar
190 g cocoa powder Callebaut CP
Sieve together. Add a little bit at a time to the cooled liquids.
Use straight away or store wrapped in cling film in an airtight container. Knead well before use.

Finishing and presentation

Cover the cake with marzipan.

Coat the cake with the chocolate roll-out fondant.

In advance make some chocolate leaves: pre-crystallise plain, milk and white chocolate, mould leaves and before they are set sprinkle with chopped dried fruits and nuts.
Mould a ribbon by pre-cutting a transfer into thin strips: Spread pre-crystallised chocolate onto the transfer strips and curl around a knife steel to create the curled ribbon. Place in the fridge for 5 minutes, remove from steel, carefully peel off transfer after 20 minutes. To create the bow spread pre-crystallised chocolate onto the strips one at a time and on setting fold together. Again place in the fridge for 5 minutes. After 20 minutes carefully peel off the transfer.
Arrange the chocolate leaves on the cake in a wheat sheaf design attaching with pre-crystallised chocolate.

Arrange ribbon and attach with pre-crystallised chocolate.