Chocolate Fruitcake

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On Christmas Eve we went to P&K’s house, along with 11 others, for dinner.  I took a chocolate fruitcake.  Below is the recipe, which comes directly from this book: Wicked Sweet Indulgences (“Australian Women’s Weekly” Home Library).  I actually bought the book from Waterstone’s in Amsterdam several years ago.  It’s FULL of amazing desserts, not all of them containing chocolate.  I highly recommend the book for those with a serious sweet tooth.

Chocolate Fruit Cake

Ingredients:
125g (1/4 lb) butter, chopped
3/4 cup (150g) firmly packed brown sugar
50g dark chocolate (I recommend some good Swiss chocolate at least 72%), chopped coarsely
1/2 cup (125ml) water
1/4 cup (60ml) dark rum (I didn’t have any so I used whiskey instead)
1/4 cup (30g) coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (75g) dried currants
1 cup (160g) sultanas
1 cup (170g) coarsely chopped raisins
1/4 cup (40g) mixed peel
3/4 cup (110g) plain flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons self rising flour (or plain flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder)
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice (I threw in some cinnamon, all spice and ginger, about 1 t in total)
2 eggs, beaten lightly

For the frosting:
160g dark chocolate bar (in addition to the above)
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
(Actually, the recipe calls for HALF this much frosting, but I thought it wasn’t nearly enough 🙂 )

1.  Preheat oven to slow (150 C, 325 F).  Grease 20cm-ring pan; line the base with baking paper. (I used a ring mould rubber baking dish – no spraying or lining required.)

2. Combine butter, sugar, chocolate and the water in medium saucepan; stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat; stir in rum, nuts and fruit.  Add sifted dry ingredients and eggs; stir until combined.

3. Spoon mixture into prepared pan; bake in slow oven about 1 hour.  Cool cake in pan.  Turn top side up onto a plate.

4. Just before serving, melt the frosting chocolate and cool it slightly.  Add the sour cream and stir until smooth.  Spread chocolate mixture over top of cake.

Tips:

If you don’t have the right amounts of specified fruits and peel, add up all of the measures and combine what you have into the right weight/volume in total.

Use whiskey or run for the alcohol – both are good.  During the cooking all of the actual alcohol cooks off.

If you are using a hot air oven, lower the heat further and cook for less time.  Do not over bake!  If you use solid pans (without a hole in the middle) add 10-15 minutes baking time.

Watch the frosting closely!  It hardens quickly so spread it fast!  If it gets too hard too quick, don’t try to heat it in the microwave to soften.  I did this and it did indeed soften up, but the fats separated and I was left with a mess.  I had to make it over again.  If it does get hard, try instead heating it very slowly and gently au bain marie instead.

Enjoy!

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