Never worry about your holiday "fruitcake" being rejected again - by your guests, recipients OR your body! This healthy take on an Italian classic will keep your spirits and your belly light. Options for gluten-free and vegan included.
6 hours (1 active + 5 leavening)
- 3½ cups / 500 g whole hard white flour or:
- whole grain gluten-free blend
- 1 cup / 200 g sugar, preferably whole raw or coconut or:
- 1½ cups / 300 g xylitol and/or inulin sweetener
- ⅔ cup / 160 g butter, preferably organic pastured, softened or:
- organic coconut butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp. / 12 g active yeast
- 4 whole eggs, preferably organic omega 3 and/or pastured*
- 3 egg yolks, preferably organic omega 3 and/or pastured*
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup / 145 g raisins and/or dried currants, cranberries, cherries
- 2-2¼ cups / 480-540 ml warm water
- 1-2 tsp. / 5-10 ml rum or brandy extract to taste (optional)
- ¾ cup / 70 g orange peel, chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 Tbsp. / 15 ml vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. / 5 ml oil, preferably nut
* For a vegan choice, substitute all eggs and yolks with 1 tsp. / 5 g each of baking soda and baking powder (preferably aluminum-free) and 1¼ cups / 300 ml of flaxseed gel. To make the gel, grind together ½ cup / 85 g whole flax seeds with 2 cups / 480 ml of warm water until a gel forms among the seeds (which will remain whole), and strain the gel through a sieve mesh while agitating the seeds against the mesh with a rubber spatula.
- Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F. Mist or brush a deep cake mold or brioche pan with oil.
- Dissolve 2½ teaspoons / 10 g yeast in ¼ cup / 60 ml warm water in a large bowl, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Add ¾ cup / 75 g of flour. Knead until mixture is smooth and not sticky, sprinkling more flour in small amounts as needed. Roll dough into a ball, and cut a cross across the top with a knife.
- Cover the bowl with a cheesecloth or plastic wrap, set it in a warm place, and let the dough rise for 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, soak the dried fruit in 2 cups 480 ml warm water to rehydrate it; add rum or brandy extract, if desired.
- When the dough has doubled, return it to the mixing bowl, and knead in 2½ cups / 250 g of flour, 2 whole eggs or 120 ml flaxseed gel and 1 teaspoon / 5 g each of baking soda and powder, and remaining ½ teaspoon / 2 g yeast. Knead it with your hands or in an electric mixer fit with a dough hook on low speed until the mixture is homogeneous.
- Then add ½ cup / 100 grams of sugar and let it absorb well. Only after the sugar is absorbed well, add ¼ cup / 60 g of butter. Knead until the butter will not be built at all. You’ll know because the dough will have an elastic, smooth and not sticky.
- Take it back and put it to rise, always in a bowl covered with foil, in a warm place. Expected to double its volume in about 1½-2 hours.
- After the dough has risen, add 2 eggs and 3 egg yolks or remaining flaxseed gel, along with the remaining flour. Knead as before until dough is smooth.
- Add the remaining sugar/sweetener and a pinch of salt. Once they have been well-incorporated, mix in all but 1 teaspoon/ 5 g of the remaining butter.
- Add all fruit and contents of vanilla bean or vanilla extract. Combine well, an knead until you obtain a smooth, elastic dough that is not sticky.
- Cover the bowl and set aside in a warm place to allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in volume, approximately 2-3 hours.
- After the dough has risen, place it in the mold /pan, cover, and set aside to rise a final time, until the dough reaches the edges.
- Place the mold/pan in a roasting pan filled with water toward the bottom of the oven.
- After 5 minutes of baking, make a cross cut on the top of the cake with a sharp knife. Fill these ridges with the last 1 teaspoon / 5 g of butter.
- Return the mold/pan to the oven, and allow to bake for another 10 minutes of cooking
- Lower oven temperature to 180ºC / 350ºF, and bake for approximately 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and nearly dry. Check on the cake periodically: if the surface is darkening to more than a golden brown, lower the temperature by 10ºC / 50ºF and continue baking.
- Allow to cool briefly before gently removing from the mold/pan.
Serve warm or allow to cool completely before wrapping tightly and storing for later use; can be frozen for longer-term storage.
Serving size:2 oz / 60 g
Exchanges per Serving: 2 Carb, Protein 0, 1½ Fat