Need something of substance while watching the election results? Then make this tasty, dense cake on Election Day!
Back in the late 1700s, Election Day was second only to Thanksgiving, and celebrated with parades, balls, parties and lots of cake. Election Day Cake was created, as a sweet confection that was spiced fruitcake or plum cake, spiked with brandy traditionally served the night before Election Day, in order to help voters sustain their energy, as many had to travel very long distances to get to the polls. It was known to be quite dense (weighing up to 10 pounds) and because of that, it was very filling.
Here is the recipe:
Election Day Cake
Makes one 10-inch cake
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups dried fruit, including cranberries, golden raisins, and blueberries
- 1/2 cup American whisky
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) rapid-rise yeast
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, sifted
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) soft unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
Place the dried fruit in a large bowl. Add the sugar mixture and whisky; stir and set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine warm water and milk.
Combine yeast with 1 cup of whole-wheat flour and combine it with the milk mixture. Sprinkle the remaining whole-wheat flour on top. Set aside to allow the yeast to ferment until the yeast breaks through the surface of the flour, approximately 30 minutes.
Lightly spray and flour an 8-inch tube pan.
Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and set aside.
Drain the fruit mixture; reserve the syrup for later use as a glaze.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and the remaining 1 cup of granulated sugar until light in texture. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the sponge (flour and yeast mixture); mix until fully combined. Add the remaining sifted dry ingredients. The batter will be stiff. Stir in the drained fruit.
Place the batter in the pan, cover, and set in a warm area to allow the cake to rise, approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons of the syrup reserved from the drained fruit. Stir until smooth and set aside.
Bake cake in a preheated 350º F oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes and transfer cake to a wire rack to cool. When cool, lightly brush with reserved syrup, and top with glaze.
- Combine 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar with the water in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-high heat until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
This cake features dried blueberries, cranberries and golden rasins. It's patriotic colors are sure to please -- no matter which candidate you will be voting for. Make it for Election Night parties with your families and friends as well!
Darien resident Janine Vairo is the founder of PartyStyle Box. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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