If traditional Christmas pudding isn’t for you then this chocolate sponge based Christmas bombe filled with fruit and nuts and topped with meringue makes a fabulous alternative for a festive centrepiece.
Christmas BombePreparation time 45 mins plus freezing Baking time 20 mins plus 10 mins for the meringue Serves 8 For the sponge:
- 100g butter, softened
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 75g self raising flour, sifted
- 1½ tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp amaretto
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 50g caster sugar
- 1tbsp amaretto
- 75g mixed pecan and hazelnuts, chopped
- 50g glace cherries, roughly chopped
- 50g whole candied peel, roughly chopped
- 3 large egg whites
- 150g sugar
- Preheat the oven to180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease a 20cm cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
- For the sponge, cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one.
- Fold in the flour, cocoa and baking powder using a metal spoon. Put the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top. Bake for 18-20 mins until risen and springy to the touch. Allow to cool slightly on a cooling rack.
- While the sponge is still warm, cut it horizontally in half to create two thin sponges. Line a 2 pint bowl with cling film and gently ease one of the sponges into the bowl to line the base and sides. Don’t worry if the sponge cracks a little just gently push it back together. Sprinkle with 1tbsp of amaretto.
- For the filling, mix the mascarpone with the sugar and 1tbsp of amaretto. Add the nuts, cherries and peel. Place into the sponge case and top with the remaining piece of sponge. Cut the sponge to fit the top of the bowl.
- Sprinkle the sponge with the remaining 1tbsp of amaretto then wrap a piece of cling film over the top. Place a saucer on top of the cling film, add a heavy weight on top and then freeze overnight.
- For the meringue, preheat the oven to 220°C/ 200°C fan/gas mark 7. Place the egg whites in a clean, grease free bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Gradually whisk in the sugar, a little at a time until thick and glossy.
- Remove the bombe from the freezer, invert onto a baking tray and remove the cling film. Completely cover the bombe with the meringue and use the flat side of a knife to create a few small peaks. Bake for 8-10mins until the meringue is set and golden then transfer to a serving plate and cut into slices with a sharp knife.
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