This festive recipe will be the showstopper at any Christmas dinner party and is not as hard as it looks. You can put your own spin on it with biscuits, maltesers or anything else you fancy.
- 500g dark chocolate
- 100g whole almonds peeled
- 100g hazelnuts peeled
- 50g raisins
- 75-110g extra dark chocolate for assembling
- Icing sugar to decorate
- Spread the almonds onto a tray bake in an oven on 180 °C until dry and golden, around 15 minutes. Do the same for the hazelnuts, except keep them in for maybe and extra five minutes until golden. Prepare the trays to make the branches of the tree by covering three baking trays or large swiss roll tins with tin foil.
- Draw (in a line) out the following crosses with a pencil on the foil leaving 2 or 3 inches between each cross. The measurements of the crosses should be the following (one cross of each measurement): 7cm, 9cm, 11cm, 13 cm, 14cm, 15cm, 16cm, 17cm, 18cm.
- Prepare a serving plate for the tree – one that is rigid and strong enough and absolutely flat so that it will support the tree and cover it with tin foil. Mark one of the 18cm crosses on this base.
- When the nuts are all golden allow to cool and chop roughly then mix in with the raisins. Melt the chocolate very carefully in a Pyrex boil over simmering water. When melted stir in the nuts and raisins.
- Using a teaspoon drop this mixture onto the cross you have drawn on the base first and put it straight into the freezer to harden the quickest while you do the others in order of size from biggest to smallest.
- When all the crosses have set absolutely firmly (30mins approx..) melt the remaining chocolate over a low heat. Put a teaspoon of melted chocolate onto the centre of the cross on the base board and stick the next largest cross on top so that the points are in between the points of the previous cross.
- While that is setting (supported with a matchbox if necessary) drop another teaspoon of chocolate on top of the second cross to form the basis for the next layer for a few minutes. Continue this method with the remaining crosses, using the melted chocolate to stick each layer together making sure to go from the largest crosses to the smallest and angling them so the branches are arranged alternatively. Assemble the tree gradually as it is essential that each section is completely set before topping with another layer.
- To serve decorate the board with Christmas decorations and dust the tree lightly with sieved icing sugar and other edible balls.