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  • 100g hazelnuts
  • roughly chopped
  • 120g blanched almonds
  • roughly chopped
  • 120g pistachios
  • roughly chopped
  • (I used Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios & Macadamia nuts whole - Total weigh 320g)
  • 75g dried figs
  • roughly chopped
  • 120g dried dates
  • roughly chopped
  • (I used Figs
  • Dates & Candied Peel (not the pots of mixed peel) - Total weight 195g)
  • 70g plain flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Large pinch ground cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150g light soft brown sugar
  • 100g honey
  • 30g butter
  • Icing sugar
  • to dredge


servings 16
Level of difficulty Average
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 40mins
Cost Average budget


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2.

Grease a 20cm square tin and line the bottom with rice paper if you have it or non-stick baking parchment.

Heat a frying pan until hot then toast the nuts, tossing regularly until golden.

Tip into a large bowl with the fruit, flour, spices and salt and mix well.

Melt the sugar, honey and butter in a saucepan and boil gently until the mixture reaches 120°C (see tip). This should take about 3-5 minutes.

Pour the sugar mixture onto the dry ingredients and working quickly, mix well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and press down evenly.

Bake for 35 minutes (I turned oven up to 160°C for about the last ten minutes as my cake tine was quite deep and circular but if you want it a bit thinner then use a bigger tin and maybe cook all on 150°) then allow to cool in the tin.

Turn the cake out and dredge generously with icing sugar.

Wrap in foil whole or cut into small squares and wrap as one gift, or divide into several smaller gifts and pack into small gift bags or boxes.

Try this traditional Italian Christmas cake containing fruit, nuts and spices - it makes a quick, easy and elegant gift.
Makes 1 large gift, or several smaller ones.

The temperature can be measured using a sugar thermometer, or by dropping a little mixture into cold water. If it forms a soft ball, remove from the heat. Or, gently heat the sugar mix until dissolved and let it cook on a higher heat for 3 – 4 minutes. You really need to be quick mixing with the dried ingredients as it starts to harden, put mix in the tin and then push down with knuckles as it tends to stick to the spoon.

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