Recipe by Halcyon Eve
Recipe from Martha Stewart Living website. I think this may be just the fruit cake I've been looking for! I wanted something that was more cake than fruit, that used dried fruits (including pears) rather than candied fruit and peel, and that didn't need to soak in booze for weeks beforehand. I included the directions for the cake as made on the website; I plan to make a Christmas cake with it instead of using fondant. I'll also substitute something like apple or pear cider for the Armagnac. The photo on the website is a beautiful cake--snowy white snowflakes over snowy white fondant covering a pale, fruity cake. You can buy fondant online or in some stores that sell cake decorating supplies. Times do not include cooling or decorating times.
- 1 1⁄2 cups unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1⁄4 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sliced blanched almond, toasted
- 1 1⁄3 cups armagnac
- 1 cup dried pears (about 4 ounces)
- 1 cup dried apple (about 2 ounces)
- 1 3⁄4 cups dried pineapple (about 5 ounces)
- 1⁄3 cup golden raisin (about 2 ounces)
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons candied ginger, finely chopped
- 7 large eggs
- 1⁄4 cup apricot jam
- cornstarch, for work surface
- 2 1⁄2 lbs rolled fondant
- 2 large egg whites (use pasteurized to be safe)
- 4 cups sifted icing sugar
- 1 lemon, juice of
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 325* F. Grease and flour an 8x3 inch round cake pan, tapping out excess flour.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and toasted almonds.
- Heat Armagnac and fruit in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid has been absorbed, about 15-18 minutes. Cool completely; chop into 1/2 inch pieces.
- Place butter and sugar into mixer bowl. Using paddle attachment, mix at medium speed until well creamed and fluffy.
- Add zest and ginger to creamed mixture and mix. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Fold flour mixture into egg mixture with a spatula. Stir in fruit.
- Spoon batter into pan. Bake at 350* F for about 1 hour 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. If cake browns too quickly, loosely cover with a foil tent to prevent over-browning. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.
- Level cooled cake with a serrated knife or cake leveler. Combine jam and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Strain into a small heatproof bowl. Carefully brush cake with jam syrup.
- To make royal icing, beat egg whites until stiff but not dry--do not overbeat. Add sugar and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. If too thick, add more egg white; if too thin, add more sifted icing sugar. Royal icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- On a flat, smooth surface lightly dusted with cornstarch, roll 2 pounds of the fondant to 1/4 inch thickness, brushing off excess cornstarch if needed. Drape fondant over rolling pin. Center over and carefully place on cake. Starting with top of cake, smooth fondant over cake with your hands, taking care to avoid air pockets; trim off excess at bottom with a pastry wheel.
- If needed, dust the same work surface with additional cornstarch. Roll out remaining 1/2 pound of fondant to not quite 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out four each small, medium, and large snowflakes with snowflake cookie cutters. Brush underside of each snowflake with a pastry brush lightly dampened with water and gently press onto cake. Decorate snowflakes as desired with royal icing.
- Cake may be stored tightly covered and at room temperature for up to 2 days.