Thursday, December 08, 2011

Double Chocolate Christmas Fruit Cake

I am positive, like me many of you are still finding this time of the year a bit crazy. On one end, there is a high- level of enthusiasm for the holidays & shopping and on the other is the blustery weather with endless downpour from heaven. Covered head-to-toe in layers of warm clothes, hat-scarves-gloves et al, just to go to the corner grocer, images of endless winter, snow and slippery paths stirs my worries. This is the time I find solace in my kitchen, cooking or baking something, escaping from the relentless chill. There is something soul satisfying & comforting about staying indoors, receding to the warmth of the oven or stove. I absolutely love festive baking, the gorgeous heady aromas of soaked boozy fruits, Clementines, Cinnamon, Ginger, Clove, Vanilla and more puts even the best aroma-candle to shame. Although I have made a batch of the traditional drunken fruit cake, constantly feeding them with Armagnac, I still wanted to make a fruit cake with less fruits & more of the flavours I like. So if you are running away from the usual fruit cake here's one with a spin! It is not only pretty traditional, packed with all the Christmassy flavours, but also has chocolate in two forms, cocoa & chocolate chips stirred into the batter along with another favourite of mine, coffee. Somehow for me coffee makes chocolate taste chocolaty. Give it a try and let me know what you think! 
  I am cheered and inspired in my kitchen and hope you do too and happy baking!

Fruit Cake
450g soaked fruits
50g flaked almonds
150g butter softened
125g brown sugar
3 large eggs
215g flour
15g cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
handful of dark chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp instant coffee
seeds scraped from a vanilla pod
Brandy or Armagnac for brushing and feeding
Grease & line an 8" pan with double layer of grease-proof paper and wrap the outside of the tin with newspaper, securing with a twine. Preheat oven to 140-160C. Beat butter & sugar till light and gradually add the eggs one by own, beating well after each addition. Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Toss the fruits & the chocolate chips in a tbsp of sifted flour. Fold in the flour into the egg mixture with a spatula and spoon into the prepared tin. Bake for about 1.25-1.45 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean. (Mine took about 1.20 min). Let it cool in the pan and brush the top with brandy or armagnac.
Its best to store the cake in an air-tight container wrapped in layers of parchment & foil. Feed your cake with brandy every week until ready to serve.

Next up is a holiday granola & then a luscious cheesecake with surprise flavours to adorn your holiday table. 


MyFudo™ said...

So true! As the weather starts to get colder, I try to spend more time in my warm kitchen...and my little toddler tends to spend more time with me in our favorite place too. Well, it follows mr.hubby joins us, as well. What is the best way to spend precious time in the kitchen? Of course, baking! this fruitcake with a twist is so flavorful...I love your recipe! Have a great day! Thanks for posting.

Debugcooking said...

MyFudo I hope you give it a sure yr little one would love it ;-)..

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