Good Eating Monday: Brownie Fruitcake

Tis' the season for baking! 
One of my seasonal favorites is fruitcake. I usually bake one or two to mail to my Mother, because she loves it so. And you can't beat a home-made fruitcake!
Last year I posted a recipe for Banana Walnut Fruitcake, which is 

Today's recipe is another I've used many times over the years for a chocolate fruitcake called
 "Brownie Fruitcake."

This recipe recipe calls for walnuts, candied red cherries, mixed candied fruit and chopped dates.
But instead of buying an Old English Mix, I recommend just getting candied pineapple and green candied cherries!  These are the tastiest of the candied fruits! Recipe makes one loaf.

Brownie Fruitcake
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup halved red candied cherries
1 cup mixed candied fruit
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup hot coffee
1/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup butter or margarine (or unsweetened applesauce)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar 
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 to 6 whole walnuts or candied cherries for decoration
Optional: 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium bowl: combine chopped walnuts, candied fruits and dates. 

Coffee/Cocoa: Stir coffee into cocoa and set aside to cool. 

Prepare pan: Line one 11 x 3 1/2 x 2 3/4 inch loaf pan on bottom and sides with one thickness of either brown paper or parchment paper sprayed with oil spray, then one thickness of wax paper sprayed with oil spray, allowing both papers to extend above pan edge 1-inch. (So loaf pan is lined with 2 layers slightly taller then edge of pan.)

In a large bowl: cream butter and brown sugar together. Beat in eggs with vanilla. (Mixture will appear curdled). Put flour, baking soda and spices in a sifter and sift into sugar/egg mix alternating with coffee/cocoa mixture until all are blended. Stir in fruits, dates & nuts and turn into the prepared pan. Arrange either 4 to 6 whole walnuts or whole candied cherries in a line on top. (Or decorate top with a scattering to chocolate chips!)

Baking: Lay a single sheet of parchment or brown paper resting over paper lining in pan. Place a shallow pan of hot water on floor of oven. Bake fruitcake on lowest rake at 300 degrees for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until cake tests done. Cool in pan. Makes one loaf.

You might wonder why all the paper lining and water on the bottom of the oven with this fruitcake? The reason is it's creates a slow, moist baking environment for it.


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