Dark Chocolate-Cherry Fruitcake – David Lebovitz
It's holiday baking season and I'll admit being on a little bit of a fruitcake bender, recently giving a Black fruit cake go revisit one of my favorite recipes of all time, Fruit cake bars which won the praise of several French friends. (They were also surprised at how easy it was to do it.) […]

It's holiday baking season and I'll admit being on a little bit of a fruitcake bender, recently giving a Black fruit cake go revisit one of my favorite recipes of all time, Fruit cake bars which won the praise of several French friends. (They were also surprised at how easy it was to do it.)

A while back I gave the much-maligned fruitcake a makeover, dressing this one up with plump sour cherries, chocolate chips, dark chocolate batter, and an alcohol bath added at the end.

I've been making this dark chocolate fruit cake since 1998 and every few years I seem to change the recipe, and here is the latest incarnation. I'm a big fan of dried sour cherries, which I find particularly appealing with chocolate, but diced dried pears, cranberries or apricots would work, although I recommend it with cherries if you can find them; when I specify a specific ingredient (or quantity) in a recipe, it is for good reason. (Honestly!) I ask friends heading from the US to Paris to wrap a few packages for me because they are elusive here.

One thing that is not lacking in France, however, is chocolate. But for those of us in Europe where chocolate chips can be hard to find, chopped bittersweet chocolate replaces chocolate chips. (In Paris, G. Detou sell them.) I prefer the chocolate chips in this cake because they tend to hold their shape when baked and give sharper slices when you cut it. But it's up to you.

You can also use another favorite liqueur in place of rum. One FAQ involves skipping alcohol altogether. If you wish, you can soak the cherries in boiling water or hibiscus or rooibos tea until plump. If you go the water route, wring out excess water from the cherries before using them. There are also now a number of Alcohol-free "spirits" and it might be fun to experiment with one of them.

Chocolate and Cherry Fruit Cake

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Makes 2 loaf pans Cakes
Adapted from Ready for dessert by David Lebovitz I have revised and updated this recipe over the years, adding a little more flour (previous versions of the cake sometimes soaked in the middle when cold, which didn't affect the flavor) and by making other adjustments. Instead of rum, you can use kirsch, whiskey or amaretto. To make slicing easier, I like to chop the cherries a bit before adding them to the rum.

1 1/2 cups (180-20g) Dried cherries, sweet and sour, chopped

1/4 cup (60 ml) plus 2/3 cup (160 mL) rum

1 1/4 plus 1 tbsp (180g) all purpose flour

1/2 cup (50g) Cocoa powder without sugar, Dutch or natural process

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon yeast

ten tablespoons (140g) Unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups (400g) sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 Egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup (180g) buttermilk or plain yogurt

1 cup (135g) nuts, toasted and finely chopped pecans or almonds

3/4 cup (120g) chocolate chips

1. A day or two before baking the cake, toss the cherries in ¼ cup of rum. Cover and let macerate, stirring a few times.

2. To bake the cakes, butter two 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 ° F (180 ° C).

3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Put aside.

4. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until very light. and sparkling, 3 to 5 minutes. Combine the eggs and yolk with the vanilla in a small bowl, then drain them, beating on medium speed, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl to make sure they are fully incorporated.

5. Stir in a third of the flour and cocoa mixture, then half of the yogurt or buttermilk. Then add another third of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the yogurt. Finally, add the remaining dry ingredients and gently stir in the nuts, chocolate chips and cherries. (Which should have absorbed all the liquid. If not, add that as well.)

6. Divide and smooth the dough into the two prepared bread pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, but do not overcook it.

7. With a skewer of toothpicks, poke 50 holes in the cake and pour 1/3 cup (80 mL) liqueur over each cake. Let the cakes cool completely.

Storage room: These cakes will last, tightly wrapped, for 3-4 days at room temperature. If you want a more alcoholic cake, or one that keeps longer, you can “feed” the cake with rum. More information on how to do this is published at the end of the Black fruit cake recipe.

Related links and recipes

For advice on adapting recipes to European ingredients, read my article on American bakery in Paris.

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Dark chocolate and cherry fruit cake

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