Serves: 14 to 16
Fruit cakes are mostly for Christmas, but they are so festive and tasty that you can use them for other holidays in cold winter. Bake the cake first and save some fruits and nuts to decorate it right after baking. There are a lot of ingredients but this cake is easy to make. You will need non-stick an angel food cake pan 9-1/2 X 3-3/4 inches.
Ingredients: 2 sticks unsalted softened butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup packed light brown sugar, 5 large eggs, 2 tsp. pomegranate molasses, 2 tbsp. orange drink mix (like Tang) or ¼ cup juice and 1 tbsp. tangerine fine zest. 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp. salt.
1 container, 16 oz., 1lb (453.6g) holiday fruit and peel mix, 8 oz. each: green and red candied cherries, 1 cup chop walnuts, 1 cup chop pitted dates,1 cup slivered almonds, ½ cup chopped crystallized ginger, 1 cup chop crystallized pineapple, ½ cup shelled pistachio, 1 cup golden or dark raisins.
1 cup good brandy or dark rum (divided), 4 tbsp. sweet orange marmalade.
- Cut out a circle of parchment paper, measuring the base of the pan, then fold the circle in 4 folds, then in 8 folds, and cut the corner off about 1 inch to make a hole in center, to fit in the bottom. Grease and flour the pan and paper. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, or in the bowl of the stand mixer, whisk the butter and sugars with an electric mixer for 10 minutes at medium speed; add the orange drink mix, lightly beaten eggs, molasses, whip all about 1 minute. Sift dry ingredients: flour, salt and baking soda, and pour in the bowl and whip together, do not over-mix. Now pour in all the nuts and fruits (set aside about ¼ cup each for decoration) and only ½ cup of brandy. Now, mix all up and down with a rubber spatula (by hand) to mix them well. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, tap the pan on the counter (to break bubbles), then even out the top.
- Bake cake on a baking tray in a preheated oven 10 minutes at 350 degrees, 1 hour at 300 degree and about 15 minutes at 250 degrees, until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with only a few crumbs on. Turn the cake around together with the tray, 2 to 3 times during the baking.
- While cake is baking, heat the marmalade in a small saucepan and cool it. Now take the cake out of the oven and pour ½ cup of brandy all over the cake; brandy will go down in a few minutes on the warm cake. Then brush half of the marmalade over the top of the cake, decorate the cake with fruits and nut, then pour rest of the marmalade over the decoration and put the cake back in the oven. Turn off the oven and let the cake cool down completely. Cover the cake with plastic wrap, then cover the pan with aluminum foil, place the covered cake pan on a plate and refrigerate up to two weeks, letting it marinate in the brandy until it matures. Cake is ready to serve after 10 days. If you wish you can pour over another 1/4 cup of brandy during the maturing.
- Serve with coffee/tea with or without cream.
Tip: When decorating the cake, try to use colorful crystallized fruits and nuts. If you prefer after decorating, you can cover the cake with a double cheese cloth and pour brandy/rum in 2 to 3 times, while the cake is maturing.