This needs a couple of hours to chill, but apart from that it’s a doddle to prepare and is not cooked. It works equally well with hazelnuts and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use pecans, macadamias, whole blanched almonds or brazil nuts – and no reason why you shouldn’t vary the spices. What about some ground ginger or cloves? Serve it in 1cm slices or slim wedges brought back to just below room temperature
340g walnuts, shelled and halved
400g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
300ml double cream
1½ tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp rum (optional)
Lightly wipe oil round a 20 x 13cm loaf-tin and line with clingfilm, leaving some overhanging. Put a layer of nuts in the bottom.
Melt the chocolate, warm the cream and mix as described in Dark Chocolate Orange Mousse. Stir in the spices, sugar and, if using, rum.
Pour some of the chocolate mixture over the nuts. Add another layer of nuts and pour over more chocolate. The number of layers will depend on the dimensions of your tin, but you should finish with chocolate.
Chill for at least 2 hours. Remove from the tin, discard the clingfilm and cut into slices about 1cm thick.