Love Audrey Bakes ~ Chocolate & Cranberry Cake {An Alternative for Christmas}

I was all set to begin this post with a lengthy spiel about my deep loathing of fruit cake and all its Christmas derivatives. Then I spent a day snaffling the crumbs of many a Cakeadoodledo Christmas cake while assisting at Taste earlier this month. My newfound enthusiasm for the booze laden, richly fruited, perfectly spiced baked good forced me to admit that perhaps my palate has evolved somewhat in recent years.

That said, given a choice, I’d still choose chocolate over candied peel and cloves. This is the cake I baked on Boxing Day last year, and I’ll be wheeling it out again next week when my parents drop by to help with leftovers on the 26th. It’s delicious, and the combination of dark chocolate and ruby red cranberries will lend a little decadence to the day’s proceedings.

You will need:

375g dark chocolate {70% cocoa solids}

150g unsalted butter, softened

150g golden caster sugar

200g ground almonds

50g plain flour

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

4 eggs, lightly beaten

170g low fat Greek yogurt

icing sugar, for dusting

{Cranberry Filling}

300g Cranberries

4 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar

5 tablespoons creme de cassis

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Begin by making the cranberry filling. Stir the cranberries, caster sugar and cassis over a medium heat until thick and jam-like. Add the vanilla extract and set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, break the chocolate pieces and melt gently in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water. Set aside to cool.

3. Line the base of a 25cm loose bottomed cake tin with greaseproof paper. {I used my 20cm tin and adjusted the cooking time accordingly.} Beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, then beat in the remaining ingredients. Fold in the cooled melted chocolate.

4. Tip half the batter into the tin, then top with the cranberry mixture, spreading it evenly and leaving a 3cm border. Top with the remaining batter and bake for 35-40 minutes until set. Leave to cool in the tin.

5. Serve warm or at room temperature. Remove the cake from its tin, dust with icing sugar and serve with double cream or vanilla ice cream, if liked.

Are you a Christmas cake purist, or can I tempt you with my chocolaty ways? What will you be baking over the festive period? Link me up to some delicious recipes please!

Love Audrey xxx

Original recipe via December 2011 Waitrose magazine

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