Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So Excited

For the first time in my 37 years, I did something I thought I would never do:  I made a fruitcake.  Yes, that's right, a fruitcake.  It all started back in the summer when I was flipping through Nigella's Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess, which has turned into my resident baking bible.  I came across a recipe for Christmas Cake and thought it sounded like so much fun to make.  I was also really excited by the idea of making something, putting it away for 3-4 weeks, and then getting it out with great anticipation.

The photos I'm sharing of my cake are rather pitiful, but it doesn't matter because I just had the best time whipping it up and can't wait till Christmas gets here.  Plus, I will share more when we actually dig into it and see what it looks like on the inside.  I know that fruitcake has a terrible reputation, but I have high hopes for this one.

Christmas Cake
Adapted from How to Be a Domestic Goddess

4c      golden raisins
1.5c   raisins
3/4c   currants
3/4c   glacé cherries
3/4c   candied orange peel
1/2c   chopped walnuts
1/2c   chopped almonds
3/4c   Marsala
1c      butter
1c      brown sugar
2T     molasses
1.5t   orange zest, grated
1.5t   lemon zest, grated
6       large eggs
3T     orange marmalade
3.5c   flour
1/4t    cinnamon
1/4t    nutmeg
1/4t    cloves
1t       almond extract
1/4t    salt

10" round pan or 9" square

1.  Place all of the fruit and nuts in a large bowl, and add Marsala.  Cover and let soak overnight.

2.  Preheat oven to 250F.

3.  Line our pan with a double thickness of parchment paper, to come up a few inches above the rim of the pan.

4.  Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the molasses and orange and lemon zest.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and then the marmalade.

5.  Sift the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.  Add the almond extract and combine thoroughly.

6.  Put cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake 4 to 4.5 hours or until a cake tester comes out clean.

7.  When the cake is cooked, brush with a couple of tablespoons of extra Marsala.  Wrap immediately in its pan--using a double thickness of aluminum foil--as this will trap the heat and form steam, which in turn will keep the cake soft on top.  When it's completely cold (mine took over 6 hours on the counter to get cold), remove the cake from the pan and rewrap in foil, storing, preferably in an airtight tin or plastic container, for at least 3 weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment