What you need:

175g  unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

50g glace cherries

40g   dark chocolate

125g  self raising flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon or mixed spice

15g cocoa powder

35g ground almonds

175g golden caster sugar

3 large  free range eggs

Zest and juice of 1 orange

50g chopped nuts (optional)

For the icing, 100g white chocolate, broken into squares

3 tbsp  double cream

Few drops almond essence

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F /Gas  mark 4

Grease and line a 1 litre ovenproof bowl. Chop up the glace cherries, leaving 3 whole for later

Melt half the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl isn’t touching the water. Chop up the remaining chocolate

Sift the flour, spice and cocoa into a large bowl

Add the ground almonds, butter, sugar, eggs and orange zest. Whisk together until smooth and creamy

Mix in 2 tbsp orange juice

Fold in the chopped cherries, the melted and chopped chocolate, and nuts if using, then spoon into the ovenproof bowl. Level the surface

Bake for 30 mins, then cover with greaseproof paper and bake for another 45 mins, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the sponge. Leave to cool for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely

To make the icing:

Place the white chocolate, cream and almond essence in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water

Heat gently until melted, then stir to combine

Spoon the white chocolate icing over the cake

To decorate:

Place the 3 whole glace cherries on top of the cake and finish with a couple of holly leaves

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