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Dried Fruit Cake
G. Franco Romagnoli
“A very thin slice of this dark fig and nut cake, redolent of orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg, is all you need at the end of a meal. ”
2½ cups dry red wine
2 tablespoons plus ½ cup sugar
2 cups dried figs
½ cup golden raisins
⅓ cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped (see Tip)
⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
⅓ cup chopped candied citron
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, grated
2 tablespoons honey
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup fine dry unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ cup canola oil, or olive oil (not extra-virgin)
1Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat an 8½-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
2Combine wine and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small saucepan. Boil until reduced to ¾ cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
3Meanwhile, cover figs with water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the figs are plump, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and chop coarsely. Set aside.
4Cover raisins with warm water in a small bowl. Let soak for about 5 minutes. Drain, pressing to release excess moisture.
5Mix together the figs, raisins, almonds, walnuts, citron, chocolate and honey in a large bowl. Stir together the remaining ½ cup sugar, flour, breadcrumbs, orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg and add to the almond mixture. Gradually stir in oil and the reduced wine. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
6Bake until the cake is firm to the touch, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack. Cover and let stand overnight to allow to flavor to deepen before serving.
Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Equipment: 8-inch springform pan
To toast slivered almonds, place almonds in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.