Guest Author - Katherine Tomlinson
Fruitcake gets a bad rap. There�s not a single sitcom that doesn�t bash fruitcake in their annual Christmas episodes and the diss doesn�t stop there. You�ve heard all the jokes, about how a fruitcake is passed from recipient to recipient every year without anyone actually eating it.
Those jokes aren�t talking about this fruitcake. This is a fruitcake that even people who swear they don�t like fruitcake will like. First of all, it has chocolate in it, so that�s a step in the right direction right there.
With Christmas coming a lot sooner than you think, it makes sense to make a couple of these cakes to freeze for holiday company. Don�t tell them it�s a fruitcake when you bring it out and let them discover for themselves what a great marriage chocolate and candied fruit can make.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 large eggs
1/3 cup cream sherry + � cup sherry
2 � cups flour
� cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 � tsp. baking powder
� tsp. salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup candied red or green cherries, chopped
1 � cups raisins
Combine candied cherries and raisins and put in a bowl with � cup sherry. Let �soak� for several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prep a tube pan with non-stick cooking spray (or use a pan with a non-stick surface).
Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time. Beat well.
Mix in the sherry.
Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.
Drain the raisins and candied fruit and add to the mixture along with the nuts. Mix well.
The batter will be very thick and require a spoon to fill the baking pan(s).
Place the pan on top of a cookie sheet so the bottom won�t burn and cover the top of the pan with foil.
Reduce the heat to 300 degrees. Bake for 60 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes, or until cake is browned and a tester toothpick comes out clean. (Don�t underbake this cake.)
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Invert the cake and sprinkle with a little more sherry.
Either serve cake immediately or let it cool completely, wrap in cheesecloth that has been soaked in sherry and then store in the refrigerator for up to 30 days. The cake can also be frozen. Bring to room temperature before serving.
It wouldn�t hurt to add a dollop of whipped cream to the cake.
Note, this recipe can be baked in two loaf pans if you prefer.