Christmas comes early to our house. As soon as Thanksgiving exits, baking and decorating begin zealously and all throughout the month the holiday activities pile up. Sweet vanilla, ambrosial spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg waft throughout the house giving hints of the goodies that are to come.
Ciambellone is a sure thing to be found baking in an Italian kitchen around Christmas time. Just the thought of it brings back some cherished memories… My maternal Grandmother who lived on a farm in New Jersey always made one at Christmastime. It was not Chocolate and we had it for breakfast. Pandoro or Panettone was for dessert later in the day. I only remember spending one Christmas Eve and Christmas Day there, but we always went for a few days between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, I don’t have her recipe, but I do have the memory. One of our favorites is a Chocolate Ciambellone. It wouldn’t be the holidays without it.
- 1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa – I use Nestles Dark
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 heaping cup whole milk yogurt – drained of extra liquid
- 1/4 cup milk – I use whole milk
- 1 egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 1/2teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used corn oil)
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips – I use dark and if I don’t have mini, I will smash large ones just a little. But mix them with 1 Tb of flour to stop them from sinking to the bottom.
If you don’t have cake flour substitute with 1 cup + 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch.
- Pre heat oven to 350º. Grease and flour a 9-inch tube pan (preferably one with a removeable bottom
- Sift together the flour (corn starch if substituting), cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together the yogurt and milk. Set aside.
- In a large bowl beat together the egg and yolks, sugar, vanilla and sugar until light approximately 5 minutes, then slowly add the oil and beat to combine. Alternately add the dry ingredients with the yogurt/milk mixture. Beat to combine 1 minute.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips (mixed with 1 teaspoon of flour) and bake for approximately 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool then remove from pan. Dust with powdered sugar if desired before serving. Enjoy!
- NOTE: You can enjoy this cake dusted with a little powdered sugar or sprinkled with a little chocolate syrup. Alternately you can split it in half and fill it with a cream/custard filling.