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Cook2 hrs 30 mins
Even people who hate fruitcake love this fruitcake -- it's like no other fruitcake I've ever had. (But if you don't like alcohol, don't even think about it!) I've been making this since 1980 -- maybe even earlier ... It appeared in the L.A. Times Food section in the late 1970s, and is said to have come from "The Art of Buffet Entertaining" by Diana and Paul von Welanetz, who credited a local newspaper for finding it -- in other words, no one really knows where it came from!
- Combine candied pineapple, cherries, raisins, and 1/2 cup brandy in a small bowl. Cover and let stand overnight.
- Drain the fruit, reserving 1/3 cup brandy. (If the fruit has absorbed most of the brandy, reserve what you can and add more to make 1/3 cup.) Set fruit and brandy aside.
- Spray two 9"x5" loaf pans liberally with baking spray.
- Melt baking chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Set aside to cool.
- Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Gradually add one cup sugar and blend well.
- Beat in the egg yolks two at a time, scraping down after each addition. Beat in cooled chocolate.
- Resift the flour with baking powder and add to the batter alternately with the reserved brandy. Stir in the fruit and nuts.
- Beat egg whites until they just begin to hold their shape. Then add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Fold about 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter, then gently (but thoroughly) fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Turn batter into prepared pans and place loaf pans in a roasting pan (or other baking pan). Pour enough boiling water in the outer pans to come about halfway up the sides of the loaf pans.
- Bake at 250 for 2.5 hours, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool fruitcakes for 15 minutes, then remove from pans. Pour a few tablespoonfuls of brandy over each cake. Cool thoroughly.
- Wrap each loaf individually in plastic wrap or cheesecloth, then wrap in foil. Store for 2-8 weeks in the refrigerator before serving. Sprinkle the cakes with brandy 2-4 times during the waiting period.
- If you want to top the cake with a glaze (I never did), combine 1.5 cups powdered sugar, 3-4 tablespoons of whipping cream, and 1/4 teaspoons almond extract; blend until smooth, then spread evenly over cake.