December 6, 2006


2 pounds of nuts and dried fruit (4 oz each):
  • pitted dates
  • dried figs
  • candied orange peel (use high quality), rinsed
  • candied/dried sweet pineapple, rinsed
  • golden raisins
  • regular raisins or currants
  • walnut halves
  • whole almonds
Dark rum (use high quality oak-aged rum, I use Ron El Barrilito Puerto Rican Rum)
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I use Penzeys Extra Fancy Vietnamese Cassia)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (don't use the already ground crap)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (I use Land O'Lakes)
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs

Fruit prep:
  • Chop figs and dates to 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Chop peel and pineapple to 1/4-1/2 inch pieces.
  • Combine all dried fruit and nuts in a plastic bowl w/ cover and add 1/4-1/2 cup of rum (or more).
  • Let fruit macerate in rum overnight.
  • Have ALL of your ingredients measured and ready (your mise en place).
  • Butter a 9x13x2 inch pan and line with buttered parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven to 300 F.
  • Measure flour into a bowl and add spices, salt, baking power and baking soda. Stir to combine and set aside. This is the dry ingredients.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (I use a Kitchen Aid) combine butter and dark brown sugar and beat at medium speed (#4-5) with paddle attachment until light (3 minutes).
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating smooth and stopping to scrape the sides after each egg.
  • Lower the speed and beat in the dry ingredients.
  • Drain fruit from room into a large bowl.
  • Using a rubber spatula, scrape out all of the batter into the drained fruit and fold until the fruit is covered by the batter. At first it will look like there isn't enough batter. Don't worry, eventually all of the fruit will be mixed in.
  • Scrape into prepared pan, spread evenly with spatula.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.
  • After baked, cool on wire rack.
  • Once the cake is cooled, carefully remove from pan, moist w/ rum (~1/4-1/2 cup), and wrap in plastic and then foil. Store in cool place for a few weeks to several months.
  • To serve, I use a trick for easy cutting. Freeze cake overnight and then cut w/ a very sharp serrated knife. By freezing this prevents the cake from crumbling while cutting. Let thaw after cutting and then serve on platter.

Recipe Credit: Nick Malgieri