Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake

Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake
2 nine-inch loaves

1 1/2 cups dried cherries (or cranberries)

1 1/2 cups red candied cherries (or other dried fruit)

1/4 cup + 6 tablespoons rum or brandy

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter

2 cups sugar

5 large eggs, at room temperature

2 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt (regular or low fat)

1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips

2 cups walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped

Butter and flour two 9" x 5" loaf pans.

1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the dried cherries, candied cherries and 1/4 cup of the rum or brandy. Set aside for 1 hour.

2. Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Either by hand, or with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated (if using an electric mixer, stop and scrape the bowl once or twice).

3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add one-third of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter mixture, beat briefly, then add the buttermilk or yogurt, then the remaining flour. Mix just until smooth.

4.Stir in the cherries (and any unabsorbed liquor) and the nuts.

5. Pour the batter in to pans and bake for 65-70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

6. While the cakes are warm, pour 3 tablespoons of rum or brandy over each cake. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn out on a wire rack.

If you're not going to serve the cakes within a few days, you can either freeze them, well wrapped in plastic wrap for 3-4 months, or brush them all over with additional liquor (be generous!), wrap in plastic film and store in a cool, dry place.

This recipe is adapted from The Baking Sheet (holiday 1998) published by the King Arthur Flour Company. (

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