Chocolate – Olive Oil Fruit Cake
I love fruitcake! This Greek recipe for a holiday classic is packed with dried fruits such as Greek figs and currants, but also calls for olive oil and a touch of Greek yogurt.
- 1 cup Corinthian currants or dark seedless raisins
- 1 cup chopped dried Greek figs
- 1/2 cup (60ml) plus 2/3 cup (160ml) Greek brandy, orange liqueur or rum
- 1 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (180g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup extra-virgin Greek olive oil
- 2 cups (400g) sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup (135g) unsalted Aegina pistachios or Greek almonds, toasted and finely-chopped
- 3/4 cup (120g) chocolate chips (optional)
Soak the currants or raisins and figs in a half cup of brandy, orange liqueur or rim one to two days before you start the cake.
Butter two 9-inch (23cm) loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand in a large bowl, beat the olive oil and sugar at medium-high speed for 5 minutes.
Whisk the eggs, yolk and vanilla in a small bowl, then slowly add them to the olive oil-sugar mixture, while beating at medium speed. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often.
Mix in one-third of the flour and cocoa mixture, then half of the yogurt. When combined, mix in another third of the dry ingredients, then the rest of the yogurt. Add the remaining dry ingredients, and gently stir in the nuts, soaked raisins or currants and figs and any brandy that might still be in the bowl with them. If using, add the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the two prepared loaf pans and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center just about comes out clean.
With a toothpick or thin skewer, poke 30 holes in each cake and spoon 1/3 cup (80ml) of brandy over each cake. Let the cakes cool completely.