Esmeralda, the clumsy currant & coconut
It rained here in LA for the first time in months. Grey
skies, start of Fall, leftovers and scraps in the
pantry...seemed like a great day to make a fruitcake.
The almond praline on top made the cake seem a lot less
frumpy than your regular fruitcake.
I named her Esmerlda because Alice Ghostley died today.
She played the clumsy witch, Esmeralda, on 'Bewitched'.
She was adorable.
This cake is dedicated to her.
Here's the recipe:
pre-heat oven to 375f
put the currants, 2oz butter and golden syrup in a
medium sized bowl and microwave in 20 second bursts
until the butter melts (4-5 bursts)
stir. add cinnamon, coconut, walnuts and brandy
cream 4 oz softened butter with the brown sugar, add
the eggs and yolks (I do this with a few lazy strokes
of a wooden spoon...this is an appliance free cake).
Add the buttermilk. beat in. Add the fruit and nut mix,
stir to combine. add the flour, baking powder and salt,
stir until there are no flour lumps.
Pour into an 8 inch pan...I line it on bottom and
sides, mostly because I like the way fruitcakes look
all wrapped in paper...also because the cake will rise
to the top of the pan.
Bake for 10 mins @ 375f, then knock the heat down to
350f and bake another 1hr 20 mins.
About 5 mins before the cake is done, melt the butter
and sugar in a small saucepan. stir and let the sugar
dissolve and bubble a bit. add the honey then the
almonds. stir then pour over the top of the cake. turn
the oven off and spread the almond topping evenly over
the cake. Let the cake cool in the oven. I placed a
sheet of foil (loosely) over the top and let it sit
there all night. The topping goes praline-hard and the
cake stays nice and moist.