Certosino (Thu 24.12).

Panspeziale certosino (Carthusian bread ). Italian Christmas cake from Bologna. A combination of the recipes in “How to be a domestic goddess” by Nigella Lawson and “Gastronomy of Italy” by Anna del Conte. Third parameter was the availability of ingredients.


  • 75 g seedless rasins (I took some more)
  • 2 tablespoons/30 ml Marsala or sherry (I used some sweet french wine)
  • 150 g cooked apples (N.L. prefers 375g grated, I used 2 cooked apples +-300 g)
  • 15g blanched almonds (200g for N.L.)
  • 75g bitter chocolate
  • 150 g clear honey
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 40g butter
  • 1 tablespoon anise or fennel  seeds (left it out)
  • 140 g candied peel (left out by N.L. and me)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 350 g Italian 00 flour
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • 50g pin nuts
  • 75g walnuts

1. Cook the apples (cleaner than the grating imo).

Leave to cool.

2. Soak the raisins in the Marsala (or white wine in this case).

3. Chop allmonds and chocolate (coarse).

4. (start pre heating the oven at 180 C)

Heat very slowly the honey, sugar, butter with 3 tablepoons water until all is dissolved.

5. Mix the flour, cinnamon and bicarbonate.

6. Add the honey, sugar mixture to the flour. makes a soft dough.

7. Add the raisins, allmonds, chocolate, apples, walnuts, pine nuts.

8. Put in a greased spring-form tin (I line the bottom of the tin with baking paper).

9. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 C. Test after 1 hour by inserting a needle, if it comes out dry : OK. (mind the chocolate part will always be sticky)


10. When the cake has cooled it should be glazed with heated apricot jam (4 tablespoons) and decorated with clacé cherries, almonds, marrons, ….

I just store it as such in an airtight container.

Gastronomy Of Italy

How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking