This rich fruitcake is the traditional dessert prepared in Trentino during the holidays. "Zelten" is the German word for "rarely". It was called Zelten because the cake was only eaten in Christmas. It is studded with nuts and dried fruits and flavored with spices and grappa or rum.
Zelten can have different shape, a heart shape, an oval shape or a rectangular shape and this variety indicates the great fantasy that you can use for the preparation of this delicious recipe. Every family keeps their own recipe of Zelten in secret, but all of them include dried fruits, nuts, cinnamon and liquor. This is our interpretation of this wonderful cake.
16 ounces mixed dried fruit (dates, apricots, raisins, etc)
8 ounces nuts (blanched almonds, walnuts, etc)
¾ cup plus dark rum or grappa
¼ cup orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
¾ cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 ounces unsalted butter, melted
1 cup water
PREPARATION TIME: 1 hour and 30 minutes
COOKING TIME: 30 - 40 minutes
Cut the dried fruits and nuts in ¼ inch pieces.
In a large bowl, combine fruits and nuts and toss with rum (or grappa), orange juice and zest and let them marinate for about 1 hour.
When you're ready to bake the cake set a rack at the middle level of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray an 9 inch spring form pan with a removable bottom. Line the bottom of the pan with buttered parchment paper. Mix flour with baking powder, salt and spices and set aside. Whisk eggs and sugar until white and creamy.
Add the melted butter and mix until combined. Beat in half of the flour mixture and half of the water. Continue alternating flour mixture and water until all is combined.
Pour batter over fruit and nuts and fold thoroughly together.
Press batter into the prepared pan. If desired, decorate the top of the cake with nuts and dried fruits.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the surface become golden.
Spumante TRENTODOC Maso Martis Demi-Sec