I am not a huge fan of the changing of the season from summer to autumn and beyond. I never complain about the heat, and I am willing to suffer the thickness of a hot, humid day over a deep-set chill. I never used air conditioning until I moved in with my husband who starts whining about the weather as soon as it hits 75-degrees. I cannot stop the tilt of the earth, and I start layering on clothes once it hits 75-degrees. Why do opposites attract? The upside to the change of seasons is more time indoors which for me means more time in the kitchen – playing. And, this weekend was a perfect case for not wanting to venture too far – wet, cold and downright gloomy. I also knew I was going to have to bake something for it was our anniversary and I married a cold weather loving, sweet-tooth craving man. Did he want a carrot cake, cheesecake, chocolate ganache layer cake? The answer I got was, whatever you feel. With no direction I looked at my pantry and refrigerator for a suggestion. Not enough eggs for a layer cake. I have not replaced the last of the sweetened condensed milk so no “gook” for a carrot cake. And, cream cheese is not an item I tend to keep on hand. So, the go-to satisfiers where not going to be made.
It was our anniversary weekend, let the creation of a new idea be his gift. A stollen popped into my head, most likely prompted by the packet of yeast in the side door of the refrigerator. An odd thought for me given I am not a fan of these styles cakes. Anytime I get a Christmas stollen or panatone I confess to re-gifting it, or using it for a bread pudding. Nevertheless, I got stuck on the idea and maybe, I’ll create something that won’t get re-gifted.
Yeasted Fruit Cake – yields 1 cake
1½ cups warm water
1-packet dry instant yeast
4-cups all-purpose flour
2-tablspoon unsalted butter – at room temperature
1-tablspoon vanilla extract
½-cup golden raisins
1-cup chopped dried apricots
1¼-cups ground almonds
In the bowl of a standing mixer pour in the water, and then mix in the yeast, a pinch of flour and sugar. Allow this mixture to stand for about 10 minutes in order to bloom out the yeast. Once you notice the yeast’s activation mix in the flour, salt and sugar and beat until smooth – about 5 minutes. Then beat in the butter and vanilla to thoroughly incorporate. Mix in the raisins, dried apricots and almond to combine.
Cover with a clean towel and allow it sit at room temperature for 45 to an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 375-degrees.
Grease a Bundt or stolen mold and pour the dough into it.
Bake the cake for 45 to 60, or until a cake tester comes insert in the cake of the cake comes out clean. Remove to a cooling, and allow it sit for 15 minutes, and then unmold. Let the cake completely cool. Once the cake has cooled pour over the glaze (recipe below).
4½-ounces chopped white chocolate
Place the oil, half-n-half and chocolate in a bowl, and place over a pot of simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted remove from the pot, and whisk the mixture together until smooth and cooled. Drizzle the chocolate glaze over the cooled cake.