This recipe is my own but at the same time a conflation of a couple of Italian Christmas must-haves: the glorious, fruit-studded panettone and crema di mascarpone, which is best described as tiramisu without the Savoiardi biscuit layer, and sometimes with pieces of chocolate stirred through the mascarpone mixture. I have brought in a cassata element, which means I add, along with the chocolate, some crumbled marrons glaces (though any candied or dried fruits could do) and chopped pistachios. 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, importantly, are thought to bring luck and should therefore be an indispensible part of the Christmas table.
If you would like to make this cake without the uncooked eggs, then simply omit the eggs and caster sugar. Then whisk 50g/½ cup icing/confectioners sugar into the mascarpone and double cream/heavy cream carrying on with the recipe as normal. You could add 2 tablespoons of Advocaat along with the Marsala if you would like to emulate the original's eggyness.
Photo by Petrina Tinslay.
Recipe posted by Nigella