Spicy Dark Fruitcake Recipe

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Dark, dense, and delicious, this brandy-soaked fruitcake requires a minimum of several days to cure in order to intensify the flavors, but it keeps for up to a year.
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  • 2 cups chopped pitted dates
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped citron
  • 1/2 cup diced lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup chopped candied pineapple
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 large orange, zest and juice
  • 2 cups brandy or 1 cup brandy and 1 cup white wine, plus 1 cup brandy for aging
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Container:very large mixing container; 4 loaf pans, 4x8
6+ hrs
3 hrs
6+ hrs
  • Chop nuts and fruit, if not purchased in chopped form. Add wine, brandy, orange juice and zest. Mix well, cover, and let stand overnight or up to 2 days.
  • When ready to bake, prepare pans: oil or butter very thoroughly. If using loaf pans, cut a piece of foil, waxed paper or parchment paper for each pan as wide as the pan is long, and long enough to fit acoss the bottom and up the side of the pan, extending a bit above the pan. This makes a 'sling' to remove the cake without breaking it. Oil or butter the sling as well. If using a tube pan, cut separate pieces to line bottom and sides of pan.
  • Preheat oven to 300° F.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, then add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs, molasses, and vanilla. Mix well.
  • Mix together flour, spices, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add this gradually to the butter mixture and blend well.
  • Stir in fruit and nut mixture. Mix gently but thoroughly, using your hands, if necessary.
  • Fill prepared pans about 3/4 full. Bake in preheated oven about 2 - 2 1/2 hours for loaf cakes, 3 - 3 1/2 hours for a tube cake. Cake is done when a toothpick or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If cake seems to be getting too dark before it's done, lay a piece of foil acoss the top.
  • Remove and cool in the pan for 20 - 30 minutes. Loosen ends of loaves with a thin knife, and carefully lift cake out with the sling. Peel the sling material off when cake is cool, poke small holes all over the top with a fork and slowly pour 1/4 cup brandy over each cake. Wrap snugly in plastic wrap and store in a cool dark place to age for at least a week--longer if possible.
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