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Frosted Fruitcake with Meringue Mushrooms

A fruitcake has been reinvented: Meringue mushrooms sprout from the cake's surface, which is untraditionally covered with snowy white frosting. The mushroom gills are created with contrasting layers of white and bittersweet dark chocolate.

  • total time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • yield: makes 1 ten inch cake
Photography: Sang An

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Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dried apricots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 8 ounces dried figs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 8 ounces dates, pitted and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/4 cup Frangelico or other hazelnut-flavored liqueur
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 pound hazelnuts (about 2 cups), toasted, skinned, and coarsely chopped
  • Seven-Minute Frosting
  • Meringue Mushrooms
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line bottom with parchment paper, and spray parchment; set pan aside. In a medium bowl, toss apricots, figs, and dates with liqueur; set aside. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

  2. Step 2

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachemnet, cream together butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each until incorporated. Beat in honey and vanilla. Add flour mixture, and beat until mixture is just combined. Stir in dried fruit mixture and hazelnuts.

  3. Step 3

    Spread the batter in prepared pan, and bake until a cake tester inserted in center comes our clean, about 1 1/4 hours; if cake starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil. Remove cake from oven; transfer to a wire rack, and let cool in pan 30 minutes. Remove ring from cake, and let cool completely.

  4. Step 4

    Spread frosting over cake, smooting top and creating swirls on side. Decorate top with meringue mushrooms.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, December Winter 2003

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