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Bake once a month (read all 16 entries…)
December: Chocolate-cherry Fruitcake

I found the recipe for this fruitcake which sounds quite similar to the most amazing cake I bought from Fortnum & Mason! If it tastes even half as good as that one did, I will be really pleased. In fact, I loved that bought cake so much, that I am considering having it as my wedding cake… so if I somehow learn how to make it (or something similar) I can make my own wedding cake (and save a lot of money in the process)!
I am also planning on trying to make this cake in a house mold, so it will actually look like a gingerbread house. So essentially I am trying to combine two awesome Christmas baked-goods into one.

1 1/2 cups (210g) dried cherries (sweet or sour), well-chopped
1/4 cup (60ml) plus 6 tablespoons (90ml) rum, whiskey, or amaretto
1 1/4 cup (170g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-process or natural)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
10 tablespoons (140g) butter (salted or unsalted), at room temperature
2 cups (400g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup (180g) buttermilk or plain yogurt (regular or low-fat)
1 cup (135g) walnuts, pecans, or almonds, toasted and finely-chopped
3/4 cup (120g) chocolate chips

1. A day or so before you make the cake, toss the cherries in ¼ cup of liquor. Cover, and let macerate.
2. To bake the cakes, grease two 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper or dust with cocoa powder. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, beat the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Stir together the eggs and yolk with the vanilla, then dribble them in while beating.
5. Mix in one-third of the flour/cocoa mixture, then half of the yogurt or buttermilk. Then mix in another third of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the yogurt. Finally add the remaining dry ingredients, and gently stir in the nuts, chocolate chips and cherries. (Which should have absorbed all the liquid. If not, add that as well.)
6. Divide and smooth the batter into the two prepared loaf pans and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let stand on the counter top for about 15 minutes.
7. With a skewer, poke 50 holes in the cake and spoon 3 tablespoons of liquor over each cake. Let cool.

Storage: These cakes will last, well-wrapped, for about a week. If you want a really boozy cake, you can brush with additional liquor every few days before serving.
They can also be frozen, although if you choose that route, don’t add liquor to them. You can rewarm them once they’re thawed and add it later.



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