1 envelope active dry yeast
3 T sugar
1/3 cup very warm water
4 eggs at room temperature
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup chopped candied orange peel
1/2 cup apricot preserves, melted
2 cups orange juice
1-1/2 cups sugar
Sprinkle yeast and a pinch of the sugar over very warm water in a large bowl; stir to dissolve. Let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes
Add remaining sugar, eggs and 2 cups of the flour; beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Beat in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir in remaining flour and orange peel. Cover, let rise in a warm place until double in volume.
Butter an 8-cup brioche pan or oven-proof bowl. Stir dough down; turn into prepared pan. Let rise in a warm place until double in volume.
Bake at 375º for 50 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove to wire rack; cool.
Place cake on deep platter; base with hot rum syrup until all is absorbed. Brush with preserves. Garnish with fresh and candied fruits, if you wish.
RUM SYRUP: Combine orange and sugar in a large saucepan. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 cup rum.