This stunning Christmas nut tree looks intimidating to recreate, but with some melted chocolate and refrigerating, it’s completely possible. When it’s done and dusted, snap off the bits to pair it with tea and coffee. But not before enjoying how good it looks on the table!
- 24 cm round covered cake board
- 500 g dark eating chocolate, melted
- 1 cup (140 g) toasted slivered almonds, chopped finely
- ½ cup (95 g) finely chopped dried figs
- 100 g dark eating chocolate, melted, extra
- 1 Brazil nut
- 2 tsps icing sugar mixture
Grease four oven trays; line each with baking paper. Mark nine crosses, measuring 7 cm, 9 cm, 11 cm, 13 cm, 14 cm, 15 cm, 16 cm, 17 cm and 18 cm on trays, leaving about 3 cm space between each cross. Mark an 18 cm cross on cake board.
Combine chocolate, almonds and figs in medium bowl. Drop teaspoonfuls of the chocolate mixture along all the marked crosses to make branches; refrigerate several hours or overnight.
Drop about a teaspoon of the extra melted chocolate into the centre of the 18 cm cross on cake board; position the 18 cm branch on top, moving it around until the best position is found.
Assemble the remaining eight branches in pairs, starting from the largest remaining branch and finishing with the smallest, using about a teaspoon of the extra melted chocolate in the centre of each crossed pair; refrigerate until set.
Secure each pair to the next with a little melted chocolate (if the branches look a little uneven, support them underneath with a match box). Secure brazil nut to centre of smallest branch with remaining melted chocolate; refrigerate until chocolate sets between branches. Store tree in refrigerator until required; dust with sifted icing sugar.
TIP Bring out this tree with the coffee, suggesting to your guests that they snap off bits of the branches. Or, for an impressive gift, wrap the whole tree in cellophane and deliver it on the day. Drop teaspoonfuls of chocolate mixture along all the crosses to make branches.