Chocolate Cherry Fruitcake
Yield: two 9 inch loaves
- 1 1/2 cups dried cherries (or cranberries)
- 1 1/2 cups red candied cherries (or other dried fruit)
- 1/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons rum or brandy
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose 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 inch loaf pans.
- In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together the dried cherries, candied cherries and 1/4 cup of the rum or brandy. Set aside for 1 hour.
- Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees F.
- 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).
- 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.
- Stir in the cherries (and any unabsorbed liquor) and the nuts.
- Pour the batter in to pans and bake for 65 to 70 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- 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 are not going to serve the cakes within a few days, you can either freeze them, well wrapped in plastic wrap for 3 to 4 months, or brush them all over with lots of additional liquor, wrap in plastic wrap and store in a cool,