William Curley is an award-winning Chocolatier and Patisserie located just near our flagship Pimlico store. We have teamed up together to bring you this fun and festive wreath workshop that is guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit. Find out more about our wreath workshops here.
In the meantime, start your warm up for Christmas early with this delicious recipe courtesy of our friends at William Curley. Combining rich chocolate with crunchy hazelnuts and dried figs for a beautiful texture, this recipe is definitely one to keep hold of!
The combination of figs and chocolate is surprisingly under-used as they work together so well. These cakes are rich and deep in flavour and the figs add a beautiful element of texture.
Makes about 20 cakes
For the figs
200ml (7fl oz/generous ¾ cup) red wine
40g (1½oz) caster (superfine) sugar
A pinch of grated nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
½ vanilla pod (bean), split lengthways
200g (7oz) semi-dried figs, stalks removed and cut into 1cm (½ inch) dice
For the cake
155g (5.oz) fine dark (bittersweet) chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
65g (2oz/scant ½ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
80g (3oz/¾ cup) cocoa powder
3g (½ tsp) baking powder
150g (5½oz/1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus a little melted for greasing the moulds
215g (7½oz/scant 1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
310g (10½oz) eggs (about 6 eggs)
30g (1oz) honey
120ml (4fl oz/½ cup) whipping (pouring) cream
100g (3½oz) semi-dried figs, stalks removed, cut into 1cm (½ inch) dice
25g (scant 1oz) hazelnuts, chopped
1 To make the figs, put the red wine, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the split vanilla pod (bean) in to the pan and drop in the empty pod too. Bring to the boil. Add the figs and cook over a low heat for 4–5 minutes and then leave to cool. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
2 Grease a 25-cell silicone mould with melted butter. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas
4). Drain the excess liquid (and cinnamon stick and vanilla pod) from the figs and set aside. The left-over liquid can be used to poach any other fruits, just remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod. Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie (water bath) until it reaches 45˚C (113°F). Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and cream together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and honey and then add in the melted chocolate and mix until smooth. Alternatively, mix by hand in a large mixing bowl.
3 Warm the cream to around 45˚C (113°F) and add to the cake mix, then fold in the soaked figs and the dry ingredients. Spoon into the prepared mould until three-quarters full and decorate with the chopped figs and hazelnuts.
4 Bake in the preheated oven for 18–20 minutes until risen and the cakes spring back when pressed. Leave to cool before removing from the mould.
Note: You will need a silicone mould with 25 cells each measuring 8 × 3 × 3cm (3½ × 1 × 1 inch).
This recipe, along with many others is available in the William Curley Couture Chocolate book, which is available to buy at the Belgravia Boutique.