#ChristmasSpecial: Cognac-Cured Fruitcake & Plum Cake Toast With Ice Cream

Dec 24, 2021, 18:10 IST


Prep2 hours mins
Cooking2 hours mins
Category Dessert
SERVINGS 3 loaves
This cake does not require any selling. It is delicious and cognac-laden for all those who want to enjoy the festivities to the fullest! After all, it is Christmas. Chef Suvir Saran shares his special recipe he created for the cake for Cold Love Ice Cream.

He usually starts soaking the fruits in the fall so that come holiday time, he can make delightfully decadent high-spirited fruitcakes to eat, give, and serve throughout the season. This recipe yields three cakes: one to save, one to give, and one to sample! While he suggests always using good cognac in your fruitcake, you can feel free to substitute with another brandy or rum if you prefer.

Cognac-Cured Fruitcake & Plum Cake Toast With Ice Cream
Cognac-Cured Fruitcake & Plum Cake Toast With Ice Cream

Prep time:
2 hours
Cooking time: 2 hours
Makes: 2 tall or 3 short loaves

Image: Shutterstock

455 g mixed dried and/or candied fruits (like apricots, candied citron, candied lemon peel, candied orange peel, candied or dried cherries, raisins, currants, dates, figs, and raisins)
225 g mixed toasted nuts (like almonds, cashews, macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts)
1¾ cup/420 ml cognac
570 g unsalted butter at room temperature
5 and 2/3 cups / 720 g all-purpose/plain flour plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
8 large eggs
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 tbsp dark or black-strap molasses/treacle
1 tbsp orange marmalade
¼ tsp almond extract
¼ tsp orange blossom water
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1¼ cups/250 g brown sugar
1¼ cups/250 g granulated sugar
3 tbsp superfine/castor sugar
Extra butter for pan frying toast
Vanilla ice cream or plum cake ice cream to serve


Image: Shutterstock

1. Place the dried fruits, nuts, and one cup/240 ml cognac in a bowl or gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. Set aside at room temperature for at least 1 week or up to several months (continue to top off the amount of cognac so the fruits continue to sweeten in their alcohol brine).

2. Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C/gas 4. Grease a 5 x 9 inch or 14 x 23 cm loaf pan with one tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle two tablespoons of flour and shake to coat the bottom and sides. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, dry whisk the flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.

4. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the orange juice and zest, molasses/treacle, marmalade, and almond, orange, and vanilla extracts, and set aside.

5. Beat the remaining butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar in a stand mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand mixer) on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until light and creamy, about two minutes. Reduce the speed to low. Add one-third of the flour mixture followed by half of the egg mixture and mix. Repeat the process ending with the last one third of the flour mixture, scraping the bowl between additions as necessary.

6. Mix in the cognac-soaked fruit and nuts (leave any excess liquid behind) and then scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

7. Place the pan in the oven and bake the cake for one hour. Rotate the cake, reduce the heat to 300°F/150°C/gas 2, and continue to bake until a cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the centre of the cake resists light pressure, about 30 minutes longer.

8. Check the cake occasionally – if it looks like it is browning too quickly, loosely tent it with aluminum foil.

9. Remove the cake from the oven and cool the cake completely in the pan.

10. Place three large pieces of muslin (large enough to completely wrap around the cake; you can also use several layers of cheesecloth in place of muslin) in a bowl and pour the remaining cognac over it. Run a paring knife around the edges of each pan to loosen the cake. Turn the cake out onto a plate. Wrap the cognac-soaked muslin around the cake so all surfaces, edges, and sides are covered. Sprinkle the top of the cake with superfine/castor sugar and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap/cling film followed by a layer of aluminum foil. Let the cake cure in the refrigerator for one week (or up to one year).

11. Before serving, let the cake sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing. Every time you remove a slice, resoak the muslin in a quarter cup/60 ml fresh cognac, sprinkle with another three tablespoons of sugar, and rewrap in fresh sheets of plastic wrap/cling film and aluminum foil. If storing more than one week, be sure to soak and replace the muslin on a weekly basis.
12. For the ice cream topping, use either vanilla ice cream that is slight soft and fold in bits of the cake into it and freeze until serving.
13. When ready to make the toast, unwrap the fruitcake and cut thin slices. In a frying pan over medium heat, melt some butter and fry the slices on both sides till golden and crispy. Place on plates and top with ice cream and enjoy a memorable taste of the holidays.

Image courtesy: Cold Love Ice Cream

Also read: This Festive Season Try A Traditional Portugese Dessert