Dark Christ­mas Cake

Canadian Living - Holiday Entertaining - - Make- a head recipes -

Hands-on time: 40 min­utes

To­tal time: 1 month

Makes: 6 cakes, each 14 slices

For a nos­tal­gic hol­i­day throw­back, add this boozy fruit­cake to your must-bake list. It’s a su­per make-ahead dessert.

2 cups dried cur­rants

2 cups can­died mixed peel

1½ cups coarsely chopped can­died pineap­ple

1½ cups red glacé cher­ries, halved

1½ cups seeded Mus­cat raisins or lexia raisins 1 cup am­ber or dark rum or brandy

2 cups all-pur­pose flour

2 tsp bak­ing pow­der

½ tsp bak­ing soda

¼ tsp each ground all­spice, cin­na­mon and nut­meg pinch salt

¾ cup but­ter, soft­ened

1 cup packed brown sugar

⅓ cup straw­berry jam

2 tbsp fancy mo­lasses

5 eggs

1½ cups chopped wal­nut halves

In large bowl, com­bine cur­rants, mixed peel, pineap­ple, cher­ries, raisins and

¾ cup of the rum; cover and let stand for 24 hours, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. In bowl, whisk to­gether flour, bak­ing pow­der, bak­ing soda, all­spice, cin­na­mon, nut­meg and salt; toss ½ cup into cur­rant mix­ture. In sep­a­rate bowl, beat to­gether but­ter, brown sugar, jam and mo­lasses un­til fluffy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Stir in re­main­ing flour mix­ture in 1 ad­di­tion just un­til com­bined. Stir in cur­rant mix­ture and wal­nuts. Scrape into 13- x 9-inch (3.5 L) dou­ble-thick­ness parch­ment pa­per– lined cake pan, smooth­ing top.

Set shal­low pan on bot­tom rack of 300°F oven; pour in enough wa­ter to come half­way up sides. Bake cake on cen­tre rack for 1 hour. Lay foil loosely over cake; bake un­til cake tester in­serted in cen­tre comes out clean but a lit­tle sticky, 45 to 60 min­utes. Let cool com­pletely in pan. Re­move cake from pan; peel off parch­ment pa­per. Soak dou­ble-thick­ness 16-inch square of cheese­cloth in re­main­ing rum; wrap around cake. Wrap in plas­tic wrap and over­wrap in foil. Re­frig­er­ate for 1 month. (Make-ahead: Re­frig­er­ate for up to 3 months.) Cut cross­wise into 6 bars.

PER SLICE: about 113 cal, 1 g pro, 3 g to­tal fat (1 g sat. fat), 20 g carb (1 g di­etary fi­bre), 16 mg chol, 40 mg sodium. % RDI : 2% cal­cium, 4% iron, 2% vit A, 7% vit C, 4% fo­late.

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