From whisky truffles to baba au rhum, we simply love alcohol-infused sweets. And what better way to add a touch of magic to your holiday gatherings than incorporating a spirit or two in your dessert table.
Pierre Abi Hayla, a renowned Lebanese chocolatier, pastry chef and owner of Le Noir Atelier du Chocolat, enjoys working with spirits, especially brandy.
“The reason I use brandy in my fruit cake is because of its intensity and fruitiness. It enhances the flavor of the cake. The oak notes and woodiness of the brandy bring out a richness in this particular dessert, making it an excellent sweet treat for winter,” says Abi Hayla.
Try this quick-and-easy recipe at home.
Brandy fruit and nut cake
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 12-15 people
5g baking soda
236g sour cream or labne
130g chopped dates
75g chopped glazed cherries
100g chopped walnuts
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
60ml of brandy (The Malt Gallery recommendation - Louis Roque La Vieille Prune Plum Brandy)
Icing sugar (to decorate)
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
- Prepare the loaf tin. Butter it and place the baking paper inside.
- Combine the sour cream or labne and the baking soda.
- Mix the dried fruits and nuts, making sure the pieces are even in size, and toss with the flour.
- In a mixer, beat the butter and the sugar until you achieve a fluffy consistency. Add the egg, the lemon zest and the sour cream mixture and combine.
- Finally, add the flour mix, the salt and the brandy.
- Fill the loaf tin and bake for one hour.
- Pierce the loaf with a sharp knife to check it is baked through.
- Remove the cake and let it rest.
- Sprinkle a little icing sugar on top and serve.