Source: Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2006 ed.), pg. 94.
Maida describes this cake as "almost a fruit cake but not as sweet". Since I can count the number of times I've eaten fruit cake on one hand, I can't reliably comment. I can say that I liked the taste and Michael thought it was great. It is loaded with fruits and nuts. This was another recipe where I kept thinking it could not possibly turn out right but in the end, it did! This is a very heavy and dense cake.
Once again, I had to really watch this in our super-fast oven. The top browned more than I would have liked but on the other hand, she states that the top will be crunchy. This was ready in 1 hr. 10 min. (the recipe calls for 1 1/2 hours). As always, ovens vary.
Michael sliced this up and arranged it beautifully on a platter. I took this to the monthly Master Gardener meeting/luncheon where there was a ton of desserts already on the table. I had to leave early and get back to work so I did not get any feedback. I hope they liked it!
Here are the ingredients:
- 2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3 TBS unsweeted cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
- 1 stick sweet butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp dry instant expresso or instant coffee
- 1 c. sugar
- 2 eggs (large or extra-large)
- 1/2 c. milk
- 8 oz. (1 c.) dates, cut in half
- 3 oz. (2/3 c.) raisins
- 7 oz. (2 c.) walnut and/or pecan halves
- 6 oz. (1 c.) semisweet chocolate morsels
|Sift together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and cocoa.|
|Cream the butter in a mixer and add the vanilla, instant expresso, |
and sugar, beating well after each addition.
|Add the eggs one at a time. On low speed, add half the sifted ingredients. |
Use a rubber spatula to scrap down the bowl.
|Stir in the dates and mix well. Add the raisins, nuts and chocolate morsels.|
My notes: I had never heard of dusting a baking pan with bread crumbs but Maida swears by it. I was going to try this but forgot to include them on my last shopping list. I will on the next recipe. I used flour instead and, just to be safe, lined the bottom of the pan with a piece of wax paper. It came out fine.