Very Fruity Mini Whiskey Fruitcakes

Cakes and Cupcakes

Yield: 12 mini fruitcakes
Recipe: 118/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 249

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    My dad is a lover of Scotch and maybe even more so of fruitcake, especially during Christmas. Since I got him a bottle of Scotch for Christmas, I thought that these little whisky fruitcakes would be a very appropriate afternoon or evening snack to go with it. I made only half of the recipe because, frankly, I didn’t have that much whisky on hand, and the result came out even better than I expected. My dad loved them, and so did I.

    I thought while putting the mixture in the pan that it seemed very dense and fruit-packed and did not ressemble the floury texture of store-bought fruitcake. Fortunately, that was true and probably by design. I had to taste one of the mini loaves for good measure (I cannot, after all, give a fruitcake to my dad without knowing if it is acceptable!), and was very pleasantly surprised by the result. I am a new-found appreciator of dried fruits, and these mini fruitcakes are truly delicious. Packed with flavour, various textures that make it very enjoyable to eat and with different colours that make it festive, it is the perfect holiday dessert or snack. You can definitely taste the whisky, but not so much so that it overshadows the flavour of the fruits. This was a lovely recipe to make, and I will definitely do it again. I strongly recommend this recipe for anyone who loves dried fruits or fruitcake in general. As a bonus, the mini loaves look adorable and make a nice gift that can be wrapped individually.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1 cup chopped dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup whisky, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 whole orange
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the raisins, dates, apricots, figs, cranberries, almonds, pecans, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Add in the whisky and mix well. Cover and let sit for at least 4 hours, up to a day. Mix once in a while to make sure that all the fruits are soaking in the whisky.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300°F and grease twelve mini loaf pans (2 ¼ x 4 x 1 ¼-inch).
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt over the fruit mixture and stir until incorporated.
  4. Cut the orange into quarters, remove the seeds and purée in a food processor with the brown sugar.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the food processor and blend until homogenous. Pour over the fruits and stil well until blended.
  6. Spoon and pack the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 40 minutes, until a tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Brush the fruitcakes with a little whisky while in the tins, then cool completely.
  7. Remove the cakes from the tins and brush two more times with whisky before wrapping to store. The cake should sit for 5 days before eating, and can store for up to 4 weeks.

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Valerie