Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fruit Cake 2012

I have adapted a recipe from James Beard's American Cookery. The base is poundcake:
2 cups butter
1 1/3 cup white sugar (reserve the 1/3 cup for the egg whites)
2/3 cups brown sugar
10 large eggs, separated
1 generous teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 cup chopped walnuts
About 8 cups of dried fruit, chopped,
1 cup flour (to mix with the fruit and nut mixture, stirred into the batter at the end.)
I used a variety of dried fruit: dates, apricots, candied lemon and orange peel, cranberries, cherries, currants, and a some golden raisins. I also added some dried zest. The dried fruit was soaked in Wild Turkey Honey for a week or two. I used a processor to dice the fruit into smaller bits.
Cream the butter, then add sugar.
Separate the eggs, then add the yolks to the butter and sugar mixture. Continue to beat.
Add the eggs slowly. Add vanilla.
The mixture should be light, like sweetened whipped cream.
Sift the dry ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the egg, butter, and sugar mixture. Use a gentle hand to fold in.
Whip the egg whites, adding the reserved 1/3 cup sugar.
Put some of the beaten whites into the batter to lighten it up, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
Add the remaining cup of flour to the fruit and nut mixture, then add it to the batter.
I use ice cream scoops to put the batter into the pans. 3 scoops for the loaves, and one mini-scoop for the mini-muffin size. They baked at about 325, mini-muffins took about 25 minutes, the loaves closer to an hour.
Brush the cakes with rum when they come out of the oven.
After bathing all the cakes in rum, I put them into plastic bags and they will age in the fridge. I will take them out periodically to brush with more rum.
This recipe made 24 mini-muffins, and 10 small loaves. They will undergo a soaking in a sweet syrup flavored with Gran Marnier before gifting.

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