This is our version of a decadent Christmas fruit cake, perfumed with arak and full of all kinds of dried fruits and nuts.
We first developed the recipe for this cake in preparation for our winter market last year. We focused on a few simple ingredients that worked well with the aniseed-y aroma of arak; prunes, walnuts and raisins. This yielded a moist, light purple sponge cake dotted with the dried fruits and nuts. It was our first attempt at this kind of Christmas cake and it did the job quite well.
This year, with our newfound focus on home cooking, we’ve reworked the recipe for a much richer and more loaded cake. In addition to prunes and raisins, we’ve added dates and dried figs. We’ve also upped the nuts fourfold, adding almonds, pistachios and pecans. It may seem like a lot, it is and that’s the point.
Other than the wide variety of ingredients, the method for making this cake is very straightforward. Feel free to play around with the ingredients to your taste and depending on what you have on hand. You can simplify by omitting one or several of the dried fruits or nuts, just make sure that the total quantity of each stays the same.
This is a holiday indulgence worth making any time of year. Glorious with coffee or tea in the morning, and a wonderful gift for friends and family. Stored in an airtight container, this will keep for several weeks in the fridge.
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