This recipe is from the cookbook "A Baker's Tour" by Nick Malgieri.
I trust his recipes and his explanations and I find this important when baking.
This cake has candied fruit, nuts and chocolate and I think even people who think they do not like fruit cake would like this.
It is festive for the holidays and I like a sprinkling of confectioners' sugar on top before slicing.
24 Tbsp. (3 sticks) UNSALTED BUTTER, softened
1 1/2 c. CONFECTIONERS' SUGAR
2 tsp. VANILLA EXTRACT
2 tsp. finely grated LEMON ZEST
1 Tbsp. DARK RUM
7 LARGE EGGS, separated
Pinch of SALT
1/2 c. GRANULATED SUGAR
3 c. ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR
1/2 c. DARK RAISINS (I omitted these)
1 c. (about 7 ounces) MIXED CANDIED FRUIT
1 c. WALNUT PIECES
2 ounces SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE (I used the mini morsels)
Two 8.5x4.5x2.75-inch loaf pans, buttered and the bottoms lined with rectangles of buttered parchment or wax paper
Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Beat the butter with the paddle attachment on medium speed until it is very soft and light.
Decrease the speed to lowest and beat in the confectioners' sugar.
Increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is light and whitened, about 3-4 minutes.
Beat in the vanilla, lemon zest, and rum.
Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating smooth after each addition.
Scrape the batter into a large mixing bowl.
If you only have one bowl for your mixer, clean and thoroughly dry it.
Combine the egg whites and salt in the bowl for the mixer and place on the mixer with the whisk attachment.
Whip the egg whites until they are very white, opagque, and beginning to hold a very soft peak.
Increase the speed to medium-high and whip in the granulated sugar in a slow stream continuing to whip the egg whites until they hold a soft, glossy peak.
Fold about a quarter of the egg whites into the butter and yolk mixture.
Sift over and fold in about a third of the flour.
Fold in another quarter of the whipped egg whites, then another third of the flour.
Fold in another quarter of the whipped egg whites.
Remove 2 tablespoons from the remaining flour and toss it with the remaining ingredients.
Fold the remaining flour into the batter, followed by the remaining egg whites.
Gently fold in the floured fruit, nut and chocolate mixture.
Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
Bake the cakes until they are wll risen and deep golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake emerges clean, about 1 hour.
Cool the cakes in the pans for about 5 minutes, then invert onto racks to cool right side up.
Cut into 1/2-inch slices to serve. This cake is better in texture the next day.
Keep the cakes in plastic wrap at room temerature for up to several days.