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Chocolate Fruit and Nut Poundcake Recipe
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Chocolate Fruit and Nut Poundcake

1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped and melted
3 cups sifted flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup slivered almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped candied orange peel (see note)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons powdered sugar

Fills 1 (8-by-3 3/4-by-2 1/2-inch) foil loaf pan and 4 (5 3/4-by-3 1/4-by-2-inch) foil loaf pans

1. Place the hazelnuts in a small baking pan and toast in a preheated 350-degree oven 10 minutes, or until the skins begin to crack and the nuts are golden. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Place in a kitchen towel and rub together to remove the skins. Chop coarsely.

2. With an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the chocolate.

3. Stir together the flour, salt and soda. Add in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk. Beat well. Stir in the hazelnuts, almonds, candied orange peel and dried cranberries.

4. With a large spoon transfer the batter to greased and floured loaf pans. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven 45 minutes for the smaller loaves and 1 hour for the large.

5. Let cool in the pans 10 minutes before unmolding onto racks. Cool completely. If making ahead, wrap the poundcakes in plastic wrap and again in aluminum foil. Freeze. Before slicing, dust the tops with powdered sugar.

Note: If candied orange peel is unavailable substitute 2 tablespoons grated orange peel.


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