Italian Fruitcakes with Frangelico Chocolate Sauce
Begin preparing this at least one week ahead.
- 3 cups hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped
- 12 ounces diced Calimyrna figs
- 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 2 cups (or more) Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
- 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2/3 cup whipping cream
- 1/3 cup Frangelico
- Cakes: Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour 12 miniature Bundt molds or 12 oversize muffin cups (each about 1-cup capacity).
- Toss nuts, figs, chocolate and ginger in medium bowl to blend.
- Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1/4 cup Frangelico and orange peel (mixture may look curdled). Sift both flours and salt over batter; mix in. Stir in nut and fruit mixture.
- Divide batter among molds. Bake cakes until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 45 minutes (about 55 minutes if using muffin cups). Turn cakes out onto racks; brush with 1/4 cup liqueur. Cool cakes completely.
- Cut out twelve 10-inch cheesecloth squares. Pour 1 1/2 cups liqueur into small bowl. Dip 1 square into liqueur; squeeze out some but not all liqueur. Wrap 1 cake in liqueur-soaked cheesecloth, then in foil. Repeat dipping and wrapping with remaining adding more liqueur if needed. Chill at least 1 week and up to 2 weeks. Bring cakes to room temperature before serving.
- Sauce: Stir chocolate, 2/3 cup cream and liqueur in heavy medium aucepan over low heat until chocolate melts and sauce is smooth.
- Arrange 1 cake on each plate. Drizzle with sauce. Pipe or spoon whipped cream alongside, if desired, and serve.
Yield: 12 servings