I tried these cakes with my mum and my daughter last Christmas. They are tremendously energising, perfect for winter time when I always feel the physical need to eat chocolate and other rich things.
Black and white donut cake
This is composed of two cakes with rich textures blended together, to make a typical winter treat. I didn’t have a ring-shaped tin so I used a 23 cm cake tin with a glass in the middle to make the hole.
For the white cake you need:
200 g of flour, 150 g of caster sugar, 100 g of ground almonds, 50 g of butter, 2 eggs, half a glass of milk, 1 tsp of baking powder, half a tsp of bicarbonate of soda.
For the black cake you need:
200 g of flour, 150 g of dark muscovado sugar, 100 g of ground walnuts, 50 g of butter, 2 eggs, half a glass of milk, 1 tsp of baking powder, half a tsp of bicarbonate of soda, 2 tbsp of liquor.
Prepare the two cake separately. Soften the butter using a wooden spoon, add the sugar and the yolk of the eggs. Then almonds (or walnuts, and the liquor) and half of the flour. Mix the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda with the milk and add it to the mixture with the rest of the flour. Finally whip the egg whites until stiff and combine them to the mixture. Grease the cake tin and the glass, pour the mixtures in, alternating white and dark to give a marble effect. Bake for 50 minutes, at 180 °C. When cool, dust with icing sugar.
Dark chocolate and hazelnut cake
This is an ideal treat for icy weather.
You need: 200 g of flour, 150 g of light brown sugar, 70 g of butter, four eggs, 150 g of melted dark chocolate, 100 g of ground hazelnuts, half a glass of milk, one tsp of baking powder and half a tsp of bicarbonate of soda; to decorate: 50 g of white chocolate, 50 g of dark chocolate and 100 g of chopped hazelnuts.
Beat the butter soft and add the yolks of the eggs and sugar. Melt the dark chocolate and stir it in, then add the ground hazelnuts and half of the flour. Combine the baking powder and the bicarbonate of soda with the milk and pour in the mixture. Finally whip the egg whites until stiff and combine them to the mixture together with the rest of the flour, mix well till smooth. Pour into a round greased tin and bake for half an hour to forty five minutes at 180°C (check bake by poking it with a skewer until it comes out clean). Melt the white and dark chocolate in separate pans and mix the chopped hazelnut half in one and half in the other. When the cake is cool spread the white and dark chocolate in patches or patterns on the top. Chill before serving to let the top set.
This is a classical recipe of a traditional Austrian pudding very popular in Italy as well, especially in northern Italy near the Austrian border. The dough is simple while the exquisite flavour is concentrated in the filling made of apples and dried fruit.
For the dough you need:
350 g of flour, 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 eggs, 150 ml of lukewarm water, a pinch of salt.
For the filling you need:
800 g of Golden Delicious apples, 2 tsp of ground cinnamon, the grated zest and the juice of a lemon, 100 g of breadcrumbs, 50 g of pine nuts, 2 tbsp of liquor, 50 g of raisins, 100 g of sugar.
For the finish: 100 g of melted butter and icing sugar to dust.
Mix all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl, knead it for five minutes and let it rest for half an hour in a bowl covered with a tea towel.
Prepare the filling by first peeling and coring the apples, cutting them in pieces and then adding the zest and juice of the lemon. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix well and let it rest for a while.
Roll out the dough in the shape of a rectangle, spread half of the butter on the dough and pour the apple mixture in the middle of it. Roll up the sides of the pastry to wrap the filling and seal it. Brush the rest of the melted butter on top and bake for 45 minutes at 180 °C.
When cool, dust with icing sugar.
White chocolate and almonds donut cake
This is a lighter cake compared to the others as I used sunflower oil instead of butter.
You need: 250 g of flour, 4 eggs, 170 g of sugar, 4 tbsp of sunflower oil, 100 g of ground almonds, 100 g of ground white chocolate, half a glass of milk, 1 tsp of baking powder, half a tsp of bicarbonate of soda, some vanilla drops; to decorate: 100 g of white chocolate plus one tbsp of milk and some flaked almonds.
Beat the yolk of the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl till mixture becomes pale. Add the ground almonds, the sunflower oil, the ground white chocolate and some vanilla drops. Combine the baking powder and the bicarbonate of soda with the milk and pour this in the mixture. Finally add the flour and the whipped egg whites (whipped till stiff). Bake for half an hour to forty five minutes at 180°C until a skewer comes out clean. When cool, melt a 100 g of white chocolate in a pan with a tbsp of milk and pour it on top of the cake, then sprinkle some flaked almonds.