Sunday, November 29, 2009
SMS: Golden Almond Fruitcake
This week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays treat is Golden Almond Fruitcake. Melissa Murphy’s love of almonds seems pretty apparent. Throughout the book they are sprinkled in recipes, such as chocolate chip cookies and sticky buns, where you would typically find other kinds of nuts like walnuts or pecans, but this is a whole cake celebrating the nut with almond in four different forms: marzipan, whole almonds, almond flour, and almond extract. Melissa introduction to the recipe includes the anecdote that this recipe won the 2006 Marzipandemonium contest sponsored by the Almond Board of California. I’d like to know where to find out how to become a judge for that contest – sounds yummy!
Oh, fruitcake. It really has the reputation of being a totally inedible sweet, dense brick. I think what deters me from it are the little chunks of candied “fruit.” Luckily, this recipe uses regular dried fruit, which proved to be a great way to clear out some pantry reserves (I constantly have leftovers from various baking projects); I used apples, cherries, and apricots. The recipe gives a choice between using brandy or juice for the cake and glaze, and I used brandy, which made for a pretty boozy cake (this was two SMS Sundays in a row that had me opening a bottle of alcohol before 9:00 am). It was one of those recipes that was pretty simple, but between chopping the marzipan, fruit, and nuts and making almond flour, it took me a little more time than I thought it would. I have also been making mini loaves as opposed to whole loaves a lot lately, and forgot that large cakes always bake the full amount of time specified, if not longer. The result? It was a nice moist loaf cake, with tantalizing goodies in every bite. My one complaint was that the small amount of cardamom (1/2 teaspoon) masked some of the lovely almond flavor; I would definitely skip that ingredient if I were to make this cake again.
This recipe received a 7.5 for Deliciousness and a 3 for Effort, giving it an EDR 2.5. Many thanks to Karin of Sugar and Spice for selecting this holiday treat. You can find the recipe here on Karin’s site, along with her very special reasons for choosing this recipe -such a sweet and thoughtful story. To see what the other bakers thought, drop by the SMS blogroll.