Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day (cleanskies) wrote,
Jeremy Dennis is Jeremy Day

Xocóatl Christmas cake, Ponche, Balche

The apocalypse was good for me! Particularly striking was the miracle of the limes. I bought six limes, used six limes and this morning I have six limes. I feel that the kitchen gods are favouring a future containing more margaritas. There's also a wind-up human heart on the coffee table, a jaguar hat slung over a door and an unopened bottle of Black Tower Pink Bubbly (!!!!) on the kitchen table. I also made a suitable cake (below) and experimented with some hot punch cups (wrong ingredients mixtures of ponche and balche) -- I was as usual too busy to photograph the cake, but here it is in a state of half-eatenness w/giant octopus.

The Chocolate Christmas cake was uniformly declared very good, so I'm storing the recipe here:

Xocóatl Christmas cake

First soak your fruit overnight. I soaked dried physalis in apricot brandy, dried sour cherries in kirsch, green raisins in cooking brandy, candied peel in triple sec and pineapple and papaya in white rum -- this one wants a good tropical mix.

Cream in a bowl 10oz of dark sugar with 10oz of whatever butter or margarine you use on your toast. Add half a teaspoon each of ground annatto, allspice, and cinnamon and a full teaspoon of ground mixed spice. Beat till a bit fluffy, then add four eggs and beat again. You don't need any food processors, a spatula will do fine. Scatter chilli flakes and cracked black pepper into the batter to taste and leave while you prepare the fruit and flour. Put 6oz plain flour, 4oz cocoa, 1oz ground dried banana (take a pestle and mortar to some dried banana, it grinds very well) and 1oz cornflour into a bowl on the scales and start adding the soaked fruit, retaining the liquor, and continue using additional dried mixed fruit if needed until you have brought the weight up to 40oz. Mix so that all the fruit is coated with the flour (stops sinking). Double line a large cake tin with greaseproof paper, pour in the batter and top with another double layer of greaseproof. You can tie more greaseproof round the whole thing to retain moistness if your oven tends to dryness but you shouldn't need this for a gas oven. Cook slow (Gas Mark 3) for about two hours (test with a skewer), extract, set to dry on a tray over something that can catch sticky drips and pierce the top several times with the skewer. Pour over the liquor the fruit was soaking in bit by bit until it is absorbed. Decorate as you like (stepped pyramid made of chocolate brownies covered with sacrificial lego minifigs in my case) and eat within a week.
Tags: recipe

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