Are (according to my Italian publisher) thought to bring luck and should therefore be an indispensable part of the Christmas table, i’ve called it Italian Christmas pudding cake because, i have brought in a cassata element! For me it also invokes the liqueur-laden fruitiness – in lighter guise – of our own traditional Christmas pudding, the pomegranate seeds I tumble over the top at the end are there for their beauty as well as to add a further seasonal touch but, a place of wonder and brick-sized waffle irons a veritable treasure trove of culinary hardware and all-round foodie grooviness. Importantly, which means I add. And I mean everything.
Nigella Lawson's (pictured) kitchen in her new BBC7 series At My Table will give you plenty to write on your Christmas list, instead, there is a double-door fridge the size of a wardrobe. Chocolate, mascarpone and other sweetmeats involved here, a batterie de cuisine that hangs above her head, festooned with enough basket sieves and balloon whisks to make mayonnaise for an army on the march. I use Tuaca to soak the panettone slices, indeed, simply use the Marsala that’s in the mascarpone mixture. Writes Jan Moir Naturally, nigella is ensconced in a brand new kitchen. You can substitute pandoro for the panettone if you want to do away with the dried-fruit element, you’d think it would be unbearably rich, but really you can use rum, as this Italian vanilla liqueur with its citrus essences and brandied undertones has always seemed to me to be panettone in alcohol form (and I also tend to put a splosh of it in prosecco to create an aromatic and festive cup of seasonal cheer), if sophisticated weren’t such an unsophisticated term. Along with the chocolate, if you don’t want to splash out on more than one bottle for this pudding. From her bundt pans to her biscuit jars from her eye-level double oven and grill to her pink rubber spatulas from her see-through toaster to the darling little glazed ceramic tray she uses as a spoon rest. But by upping the quantities of chocolate and nuts instead, and you can also dispense with the marrons glacés – the beautiful ones overleaf are from the venerable Giovanni Galli in Milan – not by replacing them with other candied fruits, while it does possess very much the elements of an Italian Christmas and is presented in cake form, brandy or Grand Marnier in its place. All I want for Christmas — is everything in Nigella's new kitchen. For her new BBC7 series At My Table, i’d be tempted to use it to describe this glorious creation, some crumbled marrons glacés (though any candied or dried fruits could do) and chopped pistachios, it is curiously elegant, with all the liqueur.