Cake Classique: A French Poundcake w/ Dried & Candied Fruits
I have a whole slew of cookbooks, most are on shelves in the basement, never to see the light of day in my kitchen again.
There is just not enough room on my shelves for all these books and their wonderful tales and recipes.
My favorites get a place in the kitchen, always at arm's reach and I visit them often.
I was craving the cake classique that I buy in France. It is a luxurious pound cake made w/ delectable dried fruits. It is moist and I love it. I buy it in the boulangerie and even the supermarche when I am there.
I went to my basement cookbook stack and revisited Stephane Reynaud's beautiful book FRENCH FEASTS, translated into English from the French original version.
I love this book, the photos are magnifique! I want to eat everything in this huge bible, however, the recipes are translated from French into English and somewhere along the line, they got lost......they just don't translate well, temperatures, measurements (11 tablespoons and 1 tsp butter?), etc. You have to be a good cook/baker to figure it all out.
I tweaked the baking temperature on this one, and I was very happy with the results.
But where to find candied fruits like you do in France? It is not possible.
I have only found those nasty chopped neon things, and that will ruin this cake for sure.
Look at these beautiful fruits!
I suggest you use the best quality dried and candied fruits you can find (I order mine on amazon), so this cake comes out as it should.
French Poundcake w/ Candied & Dried Fruits: (aka Cake Classique) adapted from French Feasts
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup butter (11 tablespoons)
1/2 tsp almond extract
2/3 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tbsp rum or Grand Marnier
7 oz. of good quality candied fruits (I used candied orange peel, dried figs and dried cherries)
1/3 cup of raisins
Plump up the raisins in the rum and hot water for 15 minutes.
whisk the eggs w/ the superfine sugar until pale and thick. Add in the softened butter, flour and baking powder.
Cut the fruit into large dice and combine w/ confectioner's sugar to prevent them from sticking together (good idea).
Add to the bowl and add in the macerated raisins last. Batter will be nice and creamy.
Butter and flour a loaf pan and pour in batter.
Here is where the directions are odd.
It says bake at 350F for 20 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 235F for 30 more minutes.
I tried it, but felt my oven needed to be a little hotter, the cake was still not done, so instead, I baked for 20 minutes at the 350F, then turned oven temp down to 275F for 25-30 more minutes. The cake will be puffed and golden.
Let rest in the pan for 10 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack.
This was perfect.
Reminded me so much of those beautiful slices of cake classique I get in Paris.
I loved it.
Then I found the fruitcake recipe in the Southern Junior League Cookbook - made with a small put-together of excellent fruits. And a lot of bourbon, especially the soaking while the cake mellowed.
Must find that recipe again (it’s been a while - big recipe, big project). In the meantime this could work. But no bourbon. oh...
I love fruitcake. My mother used to make a delicious one wrapped in cheese cloth for six weeks soaked in grand Marnier. So good!