Best-Ever Fruitcake Recipe
1/2 cup small mixed candied cherry mix
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
1/2 cup Myers dark rum
1/2 cup unsifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup Grandma’s unsulfured molasses
2 tablespoons milk
Note: For a sweeter cake without the bitter edge, replace 2 tablespoons of molasses with light corn syrup.
This fruitcake may be prepared in a 3-cup Turk’s head mold (filled only 3/4ths full). You may also bake this in a plain cake pan and decorate with rolled marzipan, or in a Bundt-style muffin tin. The batter makes 11 little cakes, baked for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325° F. At least 24 hours ahead, spray your food processor with cooking spray and mince the candied fruit and citron. Soak mixture with the raisins in 1/4 cup rum. Cover tightly and store at room temperature.
In a small bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and then the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the molasses and milk. Add candied fruit mixture with the soaking rum and beat until blended. Batter will be slightly curdled. Scrape batter into a greased and floured 3 1/2 to 4 cup mold and bake 40-45 minutes or until it springs back when lightly touched and tester comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of rum. Place a piece of plastic wrap large enough to wrap cake on counter.
Moisten a piece of cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Place cheesecloth on plastic wrap, unmold cake onto it, and sprinkle top with remaining 1 tablespoon rum. Wrap top and sides of hot cake with cloth and wrap. Cool to room temperature then wrap in foil. Keep airtight.
Serve at room temperature, cut into thin slivers with hard sauce.
To give as gifts, place in a small tin and run a piece of masking tape around the rim to create a good seal.
Source: “The Cake Bible,” by Rose Levy Beranbaum
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