Layered Fruitcake with Creme Fraiche Frosting
Here’s my favourite twist on the fruitcake – Layered Fruitcake with Creme Fraiche Frosting. Not a big fan of fruitcake? Put frosting on it! Hells. Yes.
adapted from Martha Stewart Living, December 2007
serves 10 to 12
- 8 ounces of almond flour (2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons bread flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons candied orange peel
- 2 tablespoons candied lemon peel
- 1/3 cup dark-chocolate-covered almonds
- 1 tablespoon brandy (you can use rum or whiskey too)
- 10 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup apricot jam, warmed, pureed in a food processor, and strained
Frosting and Glaze
- 36 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 cups (18 ounces) creme fraiche
- 1 1/2 cups fine sanding sugar
1.) Preheat oven to 400. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans.
2.) Whisk together all your dry ingredients (flours, confectioners' sugar, nutmeg, and salt) in a bowl.
3.) Finely chop all the fruits and peels; coarsely chop almonds. Mix with brandy and let soak for ~30 minutes
4.) Beat egg whites with a mixer until foamy. Gradually beat in granulated sugar. Raise speed to medium-high, beating until stiff peaks form. Transfer the egg mixture to a large bowl. Sprinkle a third of the flour mixture over the peaks, and fold with a spatula until just combined (be very soft and delicate while folding – pretend it is a woman, or your internet girlfriend). Gently fold in another third of the flour mixture. Toss brandied fruits and nuts with remaining flour mixture, then fold into batter.
5.) Divide batter evenly among prepared pans, and smooth tops. Bake until golden brown and cakes pull away slightly from sides of pans, 15 to 17 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire racks for 20 minutes. Run a knife around edges to loosen, then invert cakes onto racks to cool completely. (Cakes can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated overnight.)
6.) For the frosting: Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and beat in icing sugar. Raise speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Wisk in 1 1/2 cups cream and the vanilla. Add creme fraiche and beat until smooth, scraping sides of bowl as needed. (This stuff should be used on the same day, but you can still refrigerate it in an airtight container if you need to.)
7.) To assemble: Place 4 1/2 cups frosting in a large bowl, refrigerating remainder for glaze. Whisk until very stiff peaks form. Place 1 cake on an inverted baking sheet lined with parchment. Brush with 2 tablespoons jam. Using an offset spatula, spread 3/4 cup frosting over jam. Repeat with second cake, 2 tablespoons jam, and 3/4 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake. Refrigerate remaining 3 cups frosting. Freeze cake for 1 hour.
8.) Spread remaining 3 cups frosting over top and sides of cake, smoothing with an offset spatula. Freeze for 1 hour.
9.) For the glaze: Add remaining 1 1/2 cups cream to the refrigerated frosting, and whisk until combined. Place cake on a wire rack set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a ladle, spoon glaze over cake, allowing it to drip down sides, until cake is covered. (You will have a generous amount of leftover glaze. The glaze on the cake will appear slightly translucent but will become more opaque when chilled.) Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
10.) Using 2 spatulas, transfer cake to a serving platter or a cake stand. Sprinkle sanding sugar over top, and gently toss it onto sides to coat entire cake. Wipe sugar from edges of platter. Garnish with sugared lemon zest if desired. Serve immediately.