Bishop’s Fruit-and-Chocolate Tea Cake

Bischofsbrot

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    10 to 12

    servings

Appears in

Picture the local Catholic bishop in his rectory serving a simple, tasty cake to his visitors with a cup of hot coffee or perhaps a small glass of schnapps. That’s how this delicious almond-scented fruitcake got its name. Some Bischofsbroten are pretty austere, nothing more than sponge cake with a bit of candied fruit tossed in. This recipe, based on one from Das große Buch der österreichischen Mehlspeisen, must have come from a rich bishopric: Almond paste, chocolate, rum, and nuts all find their way into the cake along with the required fruit. It’s baked in a Rehrücken pan, which gives it an attractive shape. (See the Note at the end of the recipe to bake in an American loaf pan.)

Ingredients

Fruit

  • ½ cup chopped candied mixed fruit
  • ½ cup dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons golden rum
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • 2 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cake

  • cup (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature
  • ½ cup (5 ounces) almond paste, crumbled
  • 4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • cup sugar
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. To prepare the fruit: Mix the candied fruit, currants, and rum in a small bowl and set aside to plump for 1 hour. Stir in the almonds and chocolate, then toss with the flour.
  2. To make the cake: Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Using a cylindershaped pastry brush, butter the inside of a 12-inch nonstick Rehrücken pan. Dust with flour and tap out the excess.
  3. Beat the butter and almond paste in the bowl of a standing heavy-duty electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and very light in color, about 2 minutes. One at a time, beat in the yolks, then the vanilla.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites with a whisk or handheld electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar until the peaks are stiff and shiny. Fold into the butter mixture. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Sift half of the flour mixture over the batter and fold in. Repeat with the remaining flour. Fold in the fruit and nut mixture. Spread evenly in the pan.
  5. Place in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. Bake until browned and the top springs back when pressed in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out absolutely clean (this is a sticky batter, so look closely), about 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Invert and unmold onto the rack and cool completely.

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