I am super happy with this year’s Xmas cake incarnation, a Chocolate Cherry Amaretto and Spelt Fruitcake. It has become a tradition for me to make a different Xmas cake each year and this fruitcake has to be my favourite to date.

Chocolate Cherry Amaretto Spelt Fruitcake

Chocolate Cherry Amaretto and Spelt Fruitcake

Chocolate Cherry Amaretto and Spelt Fruitcake

This cake still plays with the addition of chocolate to the mix which I think elevates a fruitcake to a whole new level but for this year’s version I used spelt flour that I had left over from the Spelt Flatbreads with Spiced Roasted Chickpeas and Cauliflower I made a few weeks back. I love baking and baking with different types of flour so I was interested to see what the cake would be like with wholewheat like spelt flour. I think the result is pretty fantastic.

Chocolate Cherry Amaretto and Spelt Fruitcake

The cake is rich and the spelt flour adds a bit of earthy substance to the texture as it is not as light as cake flour which I think works great with all the fruitiness. I used dried sour cherries which add pops of tangy sourness in between the rich sweetness of the cake.

Chocolate Cherry Amaretto and Spelt Fruitcake

I wanted to move away from the usual brandy and the idea was at one stage grappa but I bought amaretto a while ago for the Olive Oil Pound Cake so decided on using amaretto for its delicious almond flavour. I based this recipe on a Waitrose recipe for a Cherry and Amaretto fruitcake and I think it works really well. I also added a teaspoon of almond extract to amp up the flavour just a bit more. Since the spelt makes the cake a little bit heavier than usual I think you should be quite liberal with the amaretto when brushing the cake as it rests for a few weeks. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cherry Amaretto and Spelt Fruitcake

On a photography note, I recently started playing with Dreams and Spark Lightroom Presets to mix up my editing workflow and force my eye out of its usual editing routine. The image below was edited with one of the Dreams and Spark IG presets and I then added a few tweaks of my own. I must say I quite like the colour temperature of the image and it is definitely a direction I would not have gone in with my usual way of editing:

Chocolate Cherry Amaretto and Spelt Fruitcake

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Chocolate Cherry Amaretto and Spelt Fruitcake

Ingredients

  • 250g prunes
  • 200g sour cherries
  • 150g raisins and sultanas
  • 100g chopped dates
  • 50g candied peel
  • 200g butter
  • 200g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 100ml golden syrup
  • 125ml amaretto
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g spelt flour
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarb of soda
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • amaretto for brushing

Instructions

  1. Line the base and sides of a 22cm round cake tin with a double layer of baking paper
  2. Wrap the tin with brown paper or newspaper and tie with oven-proof string (This will help stop the sides not overbaking)
  3. Place the dried fruits, butter, sugar, golden syrup, amaretto and vanilla and almond extracts into a large saucepan and place over a medium heat
  4. Bring to a boil, stirring all the time until the butter melt and then simmer gently for around 15 minutes and then leave to cool for 30 minutes
  5. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C
  6. Combine the flour, ground almonds, cocoa powder, mixed spice, salt, baking powder and bicarb in a small bowl
  7. Beat the eggs into the cooled fruit mix, add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined
  8. Pour into the tin and bake for 1¾ – 2 hours or until a skewer inserted comes out clean (don't overbake)
  9. Leave to cool completely in the tin
  10. Pierce small holes over the surface of the fruitcake and feed with a few tablespoons of amaretto by brushing the cake with a pastry brush
  11. Leave to dry and wrap in clingfilm, then tin foil and store in an airtight container for a few weeks up to a month
  12. Every week, unwrap the cake and brush liberally with more amaretto
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Chocolate Cherry Amaretto and Spelt Fruitcake

 

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