Chocolate fig and hazelnut fudge cake with candied oranges

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 14 people

  • 250 ml (1 cup) muscat or brandy
  • 300 gm (1½ cups) dried figs, coarsely chopped
  • 420 gm (3 cups) hazelnuts, roasted, peeled
  • 250 gm unsalted butter
  • 300 gm caster sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 250 gm dark chocolate (64.5% cocoa solids), melted
  • 35 gm (½ cup) fresh breadcrumbs
  • To serve: double cream
  •  
  • Ganache
  • 75 gm (1/3 cup) white sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) pouring cream
  • 150 gm (1 cup) dark compound chocolate buttons
  •  
  • Candied oranges
  • 1 kg white sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) fresh orange juice
  • 125 ml (½ cup) dry white wine
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • 3 oranges, cut into quarters
01   For candied oranges, combine all ingredients except oranges in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, add oranges and simmer for 1 hour. Remove oranges and cool, then thinly slice and return to syrup. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until syrupy and oranges are translucent. Cool. Makes 3 cups.
02   Combine muscat and figs in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until figs have absorbed muscat. Cool.
03   Preheat oven to 160C. Process hazelnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add fig mixture, hazelnuts, chocolate and breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased and baking paper-lined 26cm spring-form cake pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until a skewer withdraws clean. Cool in pan, remove and place cake on a wire rack over a tray.
04   For ganache, place sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat and cook, without stirring, until sugar has melted, add cream and stir. Add chocolate and stir over low heat until melted and the mixture is smooth, then pour over cake, smoothing with a palette knife. Cool. Serve at room temperature with warmed candied oranges and double cream.
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