Sunday, January 6, 2008

Holiday Fruit Cake

Fruit cake has been part of my family for generations now, my grandmom, mom and now me! My grandmom makes delicious fruit cakes, eggless, might I add, and it has passed on!:) It's Soo british to have fruit cake with tea!! My granny learnt the recipe from living in British-governed Africa for many years.

I made this delicious fruit cake for Christmas, for my inlaws, and a few friends. I made mini loaves and decorated with pretty packaging to give as gifts! :) I made variations to the original recipe that I found online. I used rum and brandy instead of the liquors mentioned in the recipe and I used different dried fruits. It turned out excellent, appreciated by all those who got to taste it!;) It goes so well with tea in the mornings. Yumm! Its been part of my breakfast since over a week now!:P

3/4 cup brandy
2/3 cup golden raisins
2/3 cup dried cherries
2/3 cup dried mango, finely chopped
2/3 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup whole blanched almonds plus
1/3 cup for top of cake (6 ouncecs total)
1 cup sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons sweet orange marmalade or apricot preserves
3 tablespoons rum


Heat brandy in a 1-quart saucepan over low heat until warm, then remove from heat and stir in dried fruit. Cover and let stand for about 2 hours. The dried fruit soak up the liquor.

Preheat oven to 325°F with rack in middle. You can put the cake in a springfoam pan or mini loaf pans. I used decorative paper mini loaf pans. Spray them with PAM spray.

Finely grind 3/4 cup almonds with 1/4 cup sugar in a food processor, then whisk together with flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

Beat butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (batter will appear curdled), then add vanilla, zest, and fruit with brandy and beat until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture until incorporated. Spoon batter into the pans, smoothing it, and top with remaining 1/3 cup almonds.

Bake until a long wooden pick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool them on a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, melt marmalade with liqueur in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring, then strain glaze through a sieve into a small bowl, discarding solids.

Cool cake completely, about 3 hours. Brush glaze over top of cake, and its ready!

The cake flavor improves the next day.