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Make this mulled wine and hazelnut loaf cake, then check out our Baileys cake, Christmas crumble and more Christmas baking recipes.

Ingredients

  • 75g whole blanched hazelnuts
  • 175g plain flour
  • 75g cocoa powder (the darker the better)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • ½tsp ground cinnamon
  • 225g unsalted butter softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 350g soft light brown sugar
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml mulled wine

Decorations

  • 250g unsalted butter softened
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 150g dark chocolate melted
  • 200g soft cheese (take it out of the fridge 20 mins before using)
  • fruits (fresh and dried), herbs, spices, chocolate and nuts to garnish

Method

  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter and line a 12cm x 22cm loaf tin. Put the hazelnuts in a small baking tray and roast for 5 mins or until golden but not deeply browned. Leave to cool, then blitz in a food processor or very finely chop.

  • STEP 2

    Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of salt into a bowl. Put the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, beat for 3-4 mins or until creamed. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

  • STEP 3

    Add the flour mixture and mulled wine in three parts each, alternating between the two. Make sure to incorporate well but not overmix. Fold in the hazelnuts. Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin and bake for 1 hr - to check if it is cooked, a toothpick poked through to the middle should could out clean. Leave the cake to cool in the tin.

  • STEP 4

    For the frosting, put the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a paddle attachment, beat for 2-3 mins or until light and fluffy. Beat in 100g of the melted dark chocolate. Fold in the soft cheese, being careful not to overmix as it can make a loose frosting.

  • STEP 5

    Once the cake is completely cooled, pile on the icing, then decorate lavishly with fruits, herbs, spices, chocolate and nuts. Top it off with a drizzle of the remaining melted chocolate. It's delicious on its own or served with cream.

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