Canadian Living. This is also a great cake to serve during the Christmas holidays or just about any time. It's not your grandmother's Fruit Cake! I've changed some of the ingredients--I never use margarine. No time to bake today? Have a glass of Brandy with some fruit and chocolate! Or take some Brandied Fruit and pour over chocolate ice cream.
Storing fruits in brandy is a simple way to preserve the harvest season without the hassle of canning. To make your own brandied fruit, all you need is ripened fruit, sugar, and brandy (the higher the quality, the better). Wash the fruit, peel off any skin, and slice if necessary. Fill half a container with brandy and add the fruit. For each cup of fruit you add, stir in 1/6 cup of sugar. Make sure all the fruit is submerged in the mixture, cover the container, and store it in a dark place. You can continue to add fruit at any time. Brandied fruit will be cured after a couple of months. Better get going if you want to make this for the holidays.
CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH BRANDIED FRUIT
1 cup finely chopped pitted prunes
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup Brandy
7 oz dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped
1 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups finely ground almonds
pinch of salt
4 eggs, separated
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 oz dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 tbsp Brandy
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Grease and line bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper; set aside.
In saucepan, bring prunes, raisins, and brandy to boil over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until brandy is absorbed, 3 minutes. Let cool.
In heatproof bowl over saucepan of simmering water, melt chocolate and butter. Let cool slightly.
In small bowl, whisk almonds with salt; set aside.
In large bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until pale and thickened. Beat in chocolate mixture. Fold in almond mixture then prune mixture.
In large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold half into batter; fold in remaining whites. Scrape into prepared pan. Bake in center of 375°F oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until puffed and cake tester inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
Let cool in pan on rack. Remove pan ring; invert onto rack. Remove paper and let cool completely.
Glaze: Meanwhile, in saucepan over simmering water, melt chocolate with butter. Remove from heat; stir in brandy. Let cool for about 10 minutes or until thick enough to spread. Spread all over cake.
Garnish: Press almonds onto side. Refrigerate until glaze is set, about 1 hour.
Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.