Eggnog Flavored Holiday Cake
Contributed by Diane S.

1/2 cup dried sweet cherries
1 tablespoon rum or brandy (or 2 teaspoons vanilla)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons butter -- melted

1 1/2 cup unsalted butter -- softened but not melted
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1/4 cup dark rum or brandy (optional)
3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups eggnog or light cream

1 cup glazing sugar or confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons eggnog (or water -- milk, or cream)
1 teaspoon rum -- brandy, or vanilla
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Filling: Mix the dried cherries with the liquor or vanilla, add the
remaining ingredients, stir well and set aside. Stir occasionally so the
cherries absorb the liquid evenly.

Cake: In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, nutmeg and salt
until light and fluffy. Don't skimp on the beating time; this first step is
incorporating air into the shortening and is the most important step in
achieving a fine texture in your final product.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until the batter
looks fluffy. Beat in the rum or brandy, if you're using it.

Whisk the flour and baking powder together. Beat in one-third of the flour
mixture, then one-third of the eggnog or cream. Repeat, being sure to
scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl occasionally. Add the
remaining flour and eggnog or cream, beating well.

Spoon half the batter into a lightly greased 10-inch tube or bundt- style
pan. Sprinkle with the nut and cherry mixture. Top with the remaining
batter. Smooth the top gently. Lift the cake pan several inches above
thecounter and drop it to the counter; repeat. This will eliminate any
largeair pockets or bubbles.

Bake the cake in a preheated 325F oven for 1 hour, 15 minutes, or until
acake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. The
cakeshould be golden brown on top. Let the cake cool in the pan for
20minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife and turn it out onto a
wirerack to cool completely. When cool, drizzle with the glaze. Yield: 1
cake, 25 servings

September 98 Recipes