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Chocolate cake with white lemon frosting - Josceline Dimbleby?

(32 Posts)
Sinjistalk Sun 17-Nov-19 18:58:37

Can anyone help me find a recipe? I lost my lovely mum last month, and we are approaching our first Christmas without her - difficult in lots of ways. I would like to make the cake she always made for us for Christmas but can’t find her recipe. It was a chocolate cake, with cranberries between the layers and crunchy white lemon frosting that looked like snow. I think it may have been a Josceline Dimbleby recipe, as she bought a lot of her recipe books from Sainsbury’s in the ‘70s & 80’s and I remember her using the books every Christmas during my childhood. I’ve looked online but can’t find the recipe - does anyone have any ideas?

OP’s posts: |
FawnDrench Mon 18-Nov-19 18:20:26

Don't think it is but wondered if it could be something like this - has all the ingredients you stated but seems to be more of a syllabub affair.
Sounds delicious though!

If you knew the cookbook it came from you could almost certainly get the recipe.

By Josceline Dimbleby

250 g/9 oz fresh cranberries
5 tablespoons water
150 g/5 oz caster sugar
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 lemon
300 ml/½ pint double cream
50 g/2 oz icing sugar, sifted
150 g/5 oz plain chocolate

Put all but 4 or 5 cranberries into a saucepan with 3 tablespoons of the water and the caster sugar. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, then cover the pan and simmer gently for 6-8 minutes, until all the berries have popped and the consistency is mushy and very thick. Remove from the heat, stir in the rum and leave to cool completely. Then spoon the mixture into a 1.2 litre/2 pint pudding basin and spread it up the sides to line the basin thickly and as evenly as possible.
Next grate the lemon rind and squeeze the juice of half the lemon. Whisk the cream until it starts to thicken, then whisk in the sifted icing sugar and continue whisking until the cream holds soft but not stiff peaks. Very gradually stir in the lemon juice with a metal spoon, followed by the grated rind. Spoon the syllabub into the cranberry-lined basin and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
Break the chocolate into small pieces. Put it with the remaining 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl set over a saucepan of very hot, but not boiling, water; make sure the water is not touching the base of the bowl. Stir the chocolate now and then until it has melted smoothly, then remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove the pudding basin from the fridge, dip it into a sink of very hot water for just a minute or two, and turn out on to a flat serving plate, giving it a firm shake. Then slowly spoon the melted chocolate over the cranberry dome as evenly as you can, though it doesn’t matter if little bits of cranberry show through towards the bottom. Top the dome with the reserved cranberries and refrigerate again until your ‘surprise’ is ready to serve.

Sinjistalk Mon 18-Nov-19 18:58:40

Wow, thank you!
I don’t think that’s it, but it does sound

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Blondie1984 Mon 18-Nov-19 23:49:52

If you can remember which book it was (or what the front cover looked like) then you might be able to find and buy it on Amazon? Having a copy of the book might be quite nice for sentimental reasons...or alternatively could prove to be tantamount to getting stabbed in the heart every time you catch sight of it - so just depends on what sort of person you are....

SpringFan Tue 19-Nov-19 00:08:40

I have It.
Choc cake, cranberry and orange filling, lemon icing.
Can't offer you the book as I use some of the other receipes. If you pm me I will scan it for you.

SpringFan Tue 19-Nov-19 00:12:51

You are right. It is Josceline Dimbelby "cooking for Christmas " Sainsburys cookbook.

Sinjistalk Tue 19-Nov-19 10:33:46

Thanks everyone

Blondie1984 I would love a copy of the book - I’m going to try & track it down now I know which one it was.

SpringFan thanks so much, I would love a scan of the recipe - I just need to work out how to pm you😁. Thanks for the book title too!

FawnDrench thank you for the lovely recipe - I will give this a go too.

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FawnDrench Tue 19-Nov-19 13:38:24

It's cheapest on eBay if you want to buy the actual book -

Slaymill Tue 19-Nov-19 14:47:26

I have the book too I love old recipes. Did your lovely mum have any other favourite recipes ?

Sinjistalk Tue 19-Nov-19 15:00:11

Oh, thanks FawnDrench!

Slaymill - mum was a great cook & always made a big thing of Christmas especially - she made great mince pies too - with orange flavoured pastry & cream cheese in the filling which I would like to attempt as well. I’ve got so many happy memories of Christmas (& other family get togethers) & mum’s cooking was always a big part of those. I’m hoping to make some nice things with DS this year, so hopefully he has some of the same associations in years to come...and to continue mum’s traditions too.

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Slaymill Tue 19-Nov-19 15:22:06

I love that idea family lives on through traditions. I wish I had written some of my mums recipes down as I know they were made by her Grandma so really old.

I'm going to try a few new recipes with my DS so a mix between old and new.

Happy cooking!

SpringFan Tue 19-Nov-19 16:32:50

I think the orange mince pie pastry is in the same book. There is a great christmas ice cream receipe as well and a mincemeat receipe

Slaymill Tue 19-Nov-19 19:12:13

Yes just seen the orange pastry. Does anyone have a good Yule Log recipe ?

SpringFan Tue 19-Nov-19 19:51:38

There is one in the Josceline Dimbleby book. Dunno how good it is though.

SpringFan Tue 19-Nov-19 21:58:22

Your mum really loved that book! I have just realised that the mince pie with cream cheese is in there as well. I still have tge scanner out......

Sinjistalk Tue 19-Nov-19 22:28:18


OP’s posts: |
Slaymill Wed 20-Nov-19 10:05:47

Thanks Spring Fan time to hit the Christmas cookery books. I bought one yesterday a Country Irish cook book. I'm hoping for some great heirloom recipes.

Agoddessonamountaintop Mon 25-Nov-19 08:18:31

Just come across this thread while looking for Christmas dessert ideas; think I’ve found the recipe if anyone else feels inspired:

BIWI Mon 25-Nov-19 08:21:01

The book is £6.50 on Amazon here

Agoddessonamountaintop Mon 25-Nov-19 08:28:02

Oh that’s a menbership site I think - but if you google ‘Josceline Dimbleby dark chocolate cake from cooking for christmas’ it comes up!

Sinjistalk Mon 25-Nov-19 15:51:59

Hi, had a trial run making the cake today, it’s DH’s birthday tomorrow so it will be his birthday cake. Posting a picture, thanks again everyone for helping me find the recipe. We are planning to make it again for Boxing Day get together & will use our Christmas cake decorations to make it look festive.

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SlayBellsRing Wed 04-Dec-19 18:19:40

How was it @Sinjistalk looks really lovely great plate too!

Sinjistalk Wed 04-Dec-19 19:31:00

It was really good - even if I do say so myselffsmile. I’m not the most experienced baker but it turned out fine. Whipping the frosting nearly finished me off, but it was really nice when it was done & looked just like snow.

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SlayBellsRing Thu 05-Dec-19 13:32:14

I would be super happy with too! Can your DH help out with the frosting next time ??

Sinjistalk Thu 05-Dec-19 14:59:15

Good idea! He can work for the next onesmile

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