Monday, December 12, 2011

Hippy fruitcake

I love all different types of fruitcake, with the exception of the kind that's just basically sweet bread and contains nothing but candied diced citron.  I have nothing against candied citron, but fruitcake is better when it contains a mixture of non-sweetened fruits like currents, dates, dried apples, cherries, raisins, and figs.  Chopped prunes are good too.

My Hippy Fruitcake is the type that most fruitcake jokes revolve around: it's dark, dense, heavy, and loaded with brandy.  You've been warned.

Hippy Fruitcake

5 c of mixed dried fruits and nuts:
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/2 c walnuts, chopped
1 c currants
1 c dates, chopped
3/4 c dried apples, chopped
1/2 c golden raisins
3/4 c dried cherries

1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c plus 2 T all-purpose flour
1/2 c butter
1/4 c honey
1 T molasses
3 eggs
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cloves
Brandy (optional)

Mix all the dried fruits and nuts together and toss with 2 T all-purpose flour to prevent sticking.  In a large bowl, cream the butter, and then beat in the honey, molasses, and eggs.  In a small bowl, thoroughly mix the rest of the flour with the other dry ingredients, and then beat into the butter mixture.  Stir in the fruit.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper that can be folded over.  Fill the pan and bake at 275 for 2 hours.  Place a baking pan filled with hot water on the oven floor to keep the cake from drying out.  Cover the top with the parchment paper and foil once it begins to set.  Cool the cake in the pan.  Remove it carefully from the pan and peel off the parchment paper, setting it aside.  Wrap the cake in cheesecloth, soak the cloth in rum, and re-wrap in the parchment paper back inside the pan.  Cover then entire cake with foil and let it age for about a month.

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