22 December 2010

Chocolate Citrus Fruitcake

Why didn't someone tell me that Christmastimes a' comin'?

I recently made some fruitcakes. Now I love fruitcakes, but in America it is often hard to find good candied peel and if you use that dry chopped peel that is standing in some sugar water, well, your fruitcake will most definitely suck.

My other problem with fruitcake -- it seldom has chocolate in it, and frankly, chocolate is a favorite for cakes. This year I decided to remedy this. I developed a fruitcake with the requisite candied peel, but I also added chocolate. I used chips, because I had a couple of bags, but next time I think I will use chunked chocolate.

I macerated the fruit in one of my favorite liqueurs, Jeremiah Weed. Jeremiah Weed is a bourbon liqueur so you get both bourbon and a sweetness which is wonderful. Now if you are not a drinker, you can skip the macerating.

Chocolate Citrus Fruitcake

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flower
3/4 cup room temperature milk
3 cups mixed citrus peel
1 cup Jeremiah Weed or bourbon; plus extra for brushing
2 3/4 cups chocolate chips/chunks

In a large bowl, mix the citrus peel and the Jeremiah Weed and allow to sit overnight.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla and almond flavors.

Beat in the eggs one at time.

Stir in the flour alternately with the milk.

Stir the citrus with the liquid and chocolate into the cake batter.

Pour the batter into the lightly greased pans, filling them about 3/4 full. (The cake will make one large cake or several smaller ones. I like the individual, smaller cakes.)

Bake until done – about 50 minutes for small cakes or 1 hour 40 minutes for large cake.

Remove from the oven.

Brush while still warm with liquor.

As one might suspect, I have a huge collection of cooking equipment that is totally useless. One such item is the ORKA Silicone Squid Brush and Baster.

This little squidy device works much like a regular baster in that it sucks up liquid and then you can squeeze it on something else. It is pretty small to actually baste anything like a turkey, holding only about 1 1/2 ounces. However, if you pull off the top and fill its little squid body with say, liquor, it is superb for basting baked goods.

So, if you absolutely hate fruitcake -- reconsider and give this one a try.

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