Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Report from the Twit Army Mess Hall - Chocolate Fruit Cake

This is a rich chocolate loaf fruit cake for those who really don't like fruit cake. It contains NO CANDIED CITRON or other sticky gunk.
Takes a little care to make but is well worth it.

Here we go:
2 c. sifted flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon, Ceylon or Vietnamese if you have it
3 tbl Dutch processed cocoa powder (this is unsweetened cocoa powder, not hot cocoa mix)
1 Stick sweet butter (unsalted)
1 tsp dry instant expresso
1 c sugar
2 eggs, large or extra large
1/2 c. whole milk, not skim or low fat
1 c. dates, cut in half and pitted
2/3 c. assorted dried fruits, I use a mix of raisins, craisins (dried cranberries), apricots, cherries, & pineapple. Just cut the fruit into raisin sized pieces if necessary and DO NOT USE SUGAR COATED FRUIT, sweetened craisins are ok.
2 c. walnut halves/large pieces
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees,
Butter & flour a 9x5 loaf pan (8 cup size) if you want put the a piece of buttered floured parchment on the bottom of the pan, helps prevent sticking.
Sift together the dry ingredients. In an large mixing bowl, cream the butter, add the vanilla, espresso powder and sugar. Mix well. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients slowly and only mix until encorporated, do not overmix!. After 1/2 the dry stuff is mixed in add the milk, mix and then mix in the rest of the dry ingredients. Slowly, & only by hand, mix in the fruit and nuts.
Pour into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 90 minutes or so until a cake tester come out clean (for you uninitiated a cake tester is a clean broom straw, long toothpick or very fine skewer. It should come out without any cake sticking to it when the cake is done.
Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so, then remove from the pan and let cool completely. The crust will be crunchy, don't worry it's not burned but you'll need to slice it with a bread knife.

Enjoy, This is great either by itself or with a scoop of ice cream

Adapted from Maida Heatters Book of Great Chocolate Desserts

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