2-13-14 snowy day so make a fruitcake.....very light, not at all like what you think of as a fruitcake, i did not do the topping, the cake is very good as it is!!
This is a very special fruitcake – a holiday signature at the famous Four Seasons restaurant in New York City. It is light-colored, and kept moist by a marzipan wrapping, instead of being soaked in brandy.
MAKES 6 (8X4 INCH) LOAVES
1 pound 10 ounces, unsalted butter
1 pound 10 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups), sugar
2 pounds 12 ounces (about 11 cups), bread flour
3 pounds, candied fruit (oranges, lemons, angelica, red and green cherries) – chopped
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup, rum
1/2 teaspoon, ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon, ground ginger
Grated rind of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups, roughly chopped walnutsfor the topping:
3 pounds, marzipan
Simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, heated until sugar is dissolved)
Melted semisweet chocolate (optional)
Grease and flour five 8 X 4 X 2 1/2 –inch loaf pans. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Slowly add the sugar and keep beating until the mixture is very light and fluffy.
Begin adding the eggs, three at a time, beating well after each addition. When half the eggs have been added, beat in about 1/2 pound of the flour. Add the rest of the eggs, three at a time.
Add about 1 cup of flour to the candied fruit and toss to coat. Add the remaining flour to the batter mixture in the mixing bowl. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the batter. Stir in the remaining ingredients except for the fruits and nuts. Blend well.
Add the fruits (with the flour) and the nuts, and stir just enough to mix. Divide the batter among the prepared pans, topping them against the work surface to settle the mixture. Smooth the top with a spatula.
Place the pans on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. Allow the fruitcakes to cool completely. If the tops of the loaves is rounded, trim it so that it is flat – for easy wrapping with the marzipan.
Sprinkle your work surface with confectioners’ sugar. Divide the marzipan into five parts. Roll each into a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. Add more confectioners’ sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Trim the marzipan to an even 8 X 14-inch rectangle.
Brush the marzipan with the simple syrup. Place a cooled fruitcake over the marzipan and roll up to completely coat (except for the short ends) in the marzipan.
Place granulated sugar on a sheet of waxed paper. Brush the top and sides of the marzipan coating with sugar syrup and then dip the marzipan in the sugar to coat.
With a knife, make a crosshatch design on top. If desired, melt some semisweet chocolate and decorate the sides with a row of chocolate and the top with chocolate leaves or other designs. Repeat with the remaining fruitcakes and marzipan.
Recipe adapted from: The Four Seasons by Tom Margittai and Paul Kovi (Simon and Schuster)
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