Genoa Cake as the name says comes from the city in Italy.It is a variant of the Pandolce Cake (which used Pine Nuts as the main ingredient and yeast as a raising ingredient) which originated in Genoa in the 16th century as a Christmas Cake)!Unlike the Pandolce cake this is a beautifully boozy,fruity and nutty cake which uses whatever preserved fruits you can get.It is great to know that the best preserved fruits can be sourced from France and Italy and they are in great demand especially after October as preparations for Christmas start and so are required in great quantity.
This is a delicious fruit cake with lovely assorted fruits,brushed over with liquid jam and studded on the top with more preserved fruits.The fruits are like jewels encrusted on the cake and look beautiful when slices are cut from the cake.The jam helps the fruit stick and each slice has its own beauty!
People living abroad have varied options to source preserved fruits as countries like USA and Canada import them from France and Italy and make their own especially the Florida mixed peel which is awesome in flavour!For people in India if you can source preserved fruits online then great!Or if you live in a metro where you have special import stores to source them or through sites like Booyah Chicago!You can make your own Orange Peel as well by preserving them in syrup.I will be posting the recipe soon.Otherwise here are a few options which you can use which are locally available here :
- Bottled fruits like coloured Maraschino Cherries (stocked by Amazon and big import stores)
- Red Indian “cherries” which is actually the preserved “Keronda” fruit!Is available locally in many cities and can be bought online as well.
- You can use dried fruits like dried Kiwi,Strawberry,Pineapple,Mango,Guava,Cherry and Raspberry.Crawford Market and the Masjid area nearby have plenty of stock.
- I used my own preserved Pineapple.Here is the link for the recipe :
- Use dried Apricots which are readily available.
- Use tutti frutti or coloured and preserved Papaya easily available anywhere in India.
I had soaked some fruit in October itself in Rum for Christmas Cake.I took 1/4 cup of those fruits plus I added the rest in the “mix and match” way to make up for the rest of the quantity!
I have used Rum and syrup to pour into the cake later.However if you do not want to use liqueur then use the syrup from preserved Pineapple or Maraschino cherries.In case you do not have that either then make a thin sugar syrup and add any kind of fruit flavouring to it like Pineapple or even 1 tsp Vanilla or Rum extract.
Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Baking Time : 60 minutes
Makes : 12 servings
125 gms unsalted butter/Refined Oil
125 gms powdered sugar/Caster Sugar
3 eggs – beaten
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tbsp grated Lemon zest
1 tbsp grated Orange zest
200 gms mixed preserved fruit/candied peel/tutti frutti (better if soaked in Rum or Brandy) – see my write up
2 tbsp chopped dried Apricots
25 gms blanched Almonds
175 gms self raising flour
175 gms plain flour/all purpose flour/maida mixed with 2 tsp baking powder and sifted thrice
1 tsp powdered mixed spice
60 ml Contreau/Brandy/Rum
2 tbsp jam – Apricot or Strawberry best
1 tbsp water
Coloured Maraschino Cherries
Preserved Pineapple slices
Dried strawberry,cherry and kiwi slices
Heat Oven to 150°C.Prepare a loaf pan by either greasing and lining it with Parchment paper or greasing and sprinkling it with flour.You can use a baking spray as well.
Combine the flour with the powdered mixed spice.Mix 1 tbsp flour with the fruit and 1 tbsp of chopped Almonds to be added in the cake.This ensures that the fruits do not sink to the bottom while baking.
Melt the jam with the water to make a thick solution.Keep aside to cool.
Combine the Butter/Oil and sugar and beat with an electric beater till pale and frothy.Add eggs 1 tbsp at a time beating well after each addition.Beat till the mixture increases to double the volume.Add the vanilla extract and lemon and orange zest.Mix well.
Fold in the flour mixture 2 tbsp at a time till it is completely used up.Add the prepared fruits and fold again.Do not over mix.Spoon this mixture into the loaf pan and smooth the top.Tap the pan on a flat surface to remove any air bubbles.
Bake for 60 minutes till a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and loosen the sides of the cake.Remove when completely cool.
The cake after baking…
Pierce the surface of the cake with a toothpick and spoon on the liqueur so as to fill the holes.I added 1/4 portion of maraschino syrup and 1/4 portion preserved pineapple syrup to 1/2 portion of White Rum.Leave for 10 minutes.
Brush the top with the prepared jam mixture till completely covered.Decorate with the assorted preserved fruits and Almonds.
Cut into slices and serve with tea or punch.Refrigerate the Cake in case you want to store it for a long time.Take out 2 hours before eating!
More shots of the cake….
Served with hot tea…
The cake slices…