Easy Christmas cake recipe: Nigella's Italian Christmas pudding cake

This Italian Christmas pudding cake is one of Nigella Lawson's favourite Christmas cake recipes! It's a kind of rich, fruity tiramisu that uses panettone or pandoro instead of savoiardi biscuits. Still, this very Italian sounding treat is a signature Christmas cake recipe by Nigella, and a very easy one to make.


Ingredients and preparation

Incredibly easy to mak, this Christmas cake recipe Nigella will make a delightful dessert for your guests.

Italian Christmas pudding cake

- 625 grams panettone or pandoro

- ⅓ cup Tuaca, or other liqueur of choice

- 2 large eggs

- ⅓ cup caster sugar

- 2 cups mascarpone cheese

- 1 cup heavy cream

- ½ cup Marsala

- ⅓ cup marrons glacés, pieces

- ⅔ cup mini chocolate chips

- ⅔ cup shelled pistachios, chopped

- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Egg, mascarpone cheese and heavy cream should be at roomtemperature. You will also need a 23cm springform cake tin. An electric hand held mixer would be useful.

Slice the panettone or pandoro roughly into 1cm slices (you will need a good knife for this!). Use about a third of the slices to line the bottom of the tin. You may tear off smaller pieces to close any gaps. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the liqueur over the layer of panettone until is dampened. Wisk the eggs and sugar until very frothy and increased in volume and lightness.

Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and double cream, then gradually whisk in the Marsala. Carry on whisking until the mixture is thick and spreadable. Take a good cupful out and place it in separate container, close it and put in the fridge.

Back to the big bowl, crumble themarrons glacés into the mixture, followed by ¾ of the chocolate chips and ¾ of the chopped pistachios, then fold in. This will make the creamy filling to be added on top of the panettone layer. Use another third of the panettoneslices to cover the cream filling, again leaving no gaps, then repeat the dampening with another 2 tablespoons of liqueur.

Now spoon on and spread evenly the remaining half cream mixture. Cover the cream with the third and final layer of panettone, and drizzle the last 2 tablespoons of liqueur on the panettone. Cover tightly with cling film, pressing down slightly, put in the fridge and keep overnight (or for up to 2days).

Time to serve!

When it's time to serve, simply take the cake out of the fridge and out of its mould, sit it on a flat plate or a cake stand. Take out the reserved mascarpone mixture and spread it on top of the reversed cake, then spread also the remaining chocolate chips, chopped pistachios and pomegranate.

You may prefer to vary slightly this Christmas cake recipe by Nigella by removing the eggs: in that case, take out the caster sugar as well. Instead, whisk 50g of icing sugar into the mascarpone and double cream carrying on with therecipe as normal.

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