Layered Fruitcake with Creme Fraiche Frosting
Unsalted butter, for pans
2 cups (8 ounces) almond flour
3 tablespoons bread flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
2 tablespoons candied orange peel
2 tablespoons candied lemon peel
1/3 cup dark-chocolate-covered almonds
1 tablespoon brandy
10 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup apricot jam, warmed, pureed in a food processor, and strained
For The Frosting And Glaze
36 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups (18 ounces) creme fraiche
1 1/2 cups fine sanding sugar
- Sugared lemon zest Sugared Lemon Zest, optional
- For cake: Preheat oven to 400. Butter three 8-by-2-inch round cake pans. Funds Line with parchment cut to fit, and butter the parchment.
- Whisk together flour, powdered sugar, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.
- Chop the fruit and peels, chop the almonds. Mix with brandy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually beat in granulated sugar. Increase speed to medium-high, beating until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle third of the flour mixture through the peaks and with a spatula until combined. Gently fold in another third of the flour mixture. Mix brandy fruits and nuts with remaining flour mixture, then fold into the batter.
- Divide batter between prepared pans and smooth tops. Bake until cakes are golden brown and slightly away from the sides of the molds, 15 to 17 minutes. Chill mold on wire racks for 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen, then invert cakes onto racks to cool completely. (Cakes can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerate overnight.)
- For the frosting: Beat the cream cheese with a stand mixer on medium-high speed until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat the icing sugar. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Switch to the whisk attachment. With the mixer on low speed, beat in 1 1/2 cups of cream and vanilla. Add creme fraiche, and beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. (Frosting is best used the day to do it, refrigerate in an airtight container until needed.)
- To assemble: Place 4 1/2 cups frosting in a large bowl, refrigerating remaining glaze. Beat until very stiff peaks form. Place one cake on a baking sheet lined with paper inverted. Brush with 2 tablespoons jam. Using a spatula, spread 3/4 cup frosting over jam. Repeat with the second cake, 2 tablespoons of jam, and 3/4 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake. Refrigerate remaining 3 cups frosting. Freeze cake for 1 hour.
- Spread remaining 3 cups frosting over top and sides of cake, smoothing with an offset spatula. Freeze for 1 hour.
- For glaze: Add remaining 1 1/2 cups chilled cream frosting, and beat until combined. Place pie on a rack set on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Using a ladle, spoon glaze over cake, allowing it to drip sides, until the cake is covered. (You have a generous amount of residual enamel. The icing on the cake will appear slightly translucent but more opaque when chilled.) Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours or overnight.
- With 2 spatulas, transfer cake to a serving plate or cake stand. Sprinkle sanding sugar over the top and gently pull sideways entire layer cake. Clean the edges sugar dish. Garnish with lemon zest with sugar if desired. Serve immediately. (Cake will keep at room temperature for about an hour, but it is better and easier to slicewhen cold.)