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I love where I live. With Sonoma’s breathtaking beauty among her rolling hills, picturesque vineyards, and the close-knit community I am blessed to call home, it's easy to say I love what I do. As a real estate professional and food writer, Sonoma Dish endeavors to share with you my enthusiasm for living the wine country lifestyle.



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  • Writer's picture Therese Nugent

Brandied Fruitcake

An intensely sweet yet spicy cake. You’ll find the candied fruit and citron in the produce section. However, I’ve found the top quality fruit is worth sourcing on-line at specialty food companies. Trust me, you’ll love it.

Brandied Fruitcake

Makes 2 loaves

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon allspice

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

4 ounces unsalted butter

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 eggs

½ cup molasses

½ cup milk

½ teaspoon lemon extract

2 cups mixed candied fruit

½ cup best-quality candied citron

1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

2 cups brandy

two large pieces cheesecloth

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves and mix together. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, using a hand-held mixer, cream the butter. Add the brown sugar and beat until light. Add the eggs and beat well. Blend in the molasses. Stir in the flour mixture. Add the milk and lemon extract and beat until smooth. Stir in the candied fruit, citron, and walnuts and combine well.

Liberally butter two 9x5-inch loaf pans and evenly divide the batter between the pans. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Turn out onto racks to cool. Soak the pieces of cheesecloth in the brandy. Wrap the cakes in the cheesecloth, then wrap well in foil. Pour additional brandy over the cheesecloth occasionally if preserving the cakes.


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