Christmas-style zuccotto




  1. Line a 1½ litre/2½ pint capacity round-bottomed bowl or basin with cling film.

  2. Place the brandy, orange liqueur and orange juice into a clean bowl and dip the madeira cake slices into it to lightly soak.

  3. Place three-quarters of the soaked cake slices into the cling film-lined bowl to cover the inside of the bowl.

  4. In a separate bowl, place the icing sugar, cream and vanilla seeds and fold together gently.

  5. Place the grated chocolate, Christmas pudding pieces and three-quarters of the cream mixture into a clean bowl and mix together well. Spread this cream and Christmas cake mixture over the cake slices, moulding a hollow in the middle of the cream and Christmas cake mixture.

  6. Add the melted chocolate to the remaining cream mixture and pour this into the hollow. Smooth over.

  7. Place the remaining moist cake slices over the filling to completely enclose the filling, then cover with a clean tea towel and place into the fridge to chill for 24 hours.

  8. To serve, remove from the fridge, remove the covering and turn the cake out onto a plate. Remove the cling film if it has stuck to the cake, then pour over some melted chocolate. Cut generous slices and serve with cream.