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My favourite fruit cake recipe
Posted: 18 November 2007 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I couldn’t resist posting this after reading about fruit cakes in another thread. Well, it’s the time of year for it!

Christmas Cake (Fruit Cake)

You’ll need the following:
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
4 large brown eggs
2 cups of dried fruit
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
1 cup of nuts
1 bottle of whisky.

Sample the whisky to check for quality.
Take a large bowl. Check the whisky again. To be sure it’s the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and beat again.
Make sure the whisky is still okay. Cry another tup. Turn off the mixer. Beat two leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the tuner. If the fired druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.
Sample the whisky to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whisky. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar or something. Whatever you can find.
Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don’t forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out of the window. Check the whisky again and go to bed.

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Posted: 18 November 2007 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I love it, LOL.

I just can’t bring myself to like fruitcake, no matter how hard I try.  Last year, someone convinced me to try Alton Brown’s fruitcake recipe.  So far, it’s the best out of all the ones I’ve tried, but I still wouldn’t go rushing across town for a slice.

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Posted: 18 November 2007 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’m with you - fruit cake just isn’t for me.  I really don’t like the typical dried fruits they usually contain.

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Posted: 19 November 2007 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I love fruit cake when it’s not made with glowing, sickenly sweet candied fruit (the typical American fruit cake). I make mine with golden raisins, currents, dried cherries, dried cranberries, prunes, apricots, and pecans.

I soak the fruit overnight in brandy before making the bread. My version also contains a good amount of vanilla and is made with butter instead of shortening, which gives the bread a very tender and rich crumb.

A good fruit cake is wonderful toasted and slathered with either butter or clotted cream. It also makes a very nice bread pudding.

Traditionally, in England, fruit cake has been used as the base for wedding cakes. It has a long history outside of Christmas.

I’m on a mission to banish bad fruitcake from the American baking repertoire!

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Posted: 19 November 2007 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’m with you there, Roxanne!  To be honest, I was a bit miffed at the response to fruit cake when i mentioned I had just made it as my Christmas cake.  We really like it, I know everyone has different likes and dislikes but i have made the same recipe every Christmas for years and years, I have also made it as wedding cakes for my daughter and son and it has always been very well received.  The one I make is a recipe by Delia Smith, a very popular cookery book writer over here. It is extra moist because every week from now until I ice it I feed it with brandy, just sprinkling a tablespoonful over each time and rewrapping to keep it really moist.  Have I tempted any of you? NO?  Ahh well, I tried!  LOL smile

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Posted: 19 November 2007 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jeannette - I don’t think anyone meant to knock your fruitcake at all smile  Unfortunately, it’s gotten a bad rap here because of the horrible commercials products available.  Maybe you should post a picture of yours and the recipe as well ... you may yet win some converts wink

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Posted: 19 November 2007 06:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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LOL!

You think the whisky would be fine after all this… smile Bet that for quality’s sake, the whisky should be checked another time, should one wake up in the middle of the night.

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Posted: 19 November 2007 06:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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jeannette - 19 November 2007 05:06 PM

To be honest, I was a bit miffed at the response to fruit cake when i mentioned I had just made it as my Christmas cake.  We really like it, I know everyone has different likes and dislikes but i have made the same recipe every Christmas for years and years, I have also made it as wedding cakes for my daughter and son and it has always been very well received.  The one I make is a recipe by Delia Smith, a very popular cookery book writer over here. It is extra moist because every week from now until I ice it I feed it with brandy, just sprinkling a tablespoonful over each time and rewrapping to keep it really moist.  Have I tempted any of you? NO?  Ahh well, I tried!  LOL smile

Hi Jeanette - gee, I hope you aren’t referring to my response “Yes, some people in the US do make fruitcake at Christmas, but I think more people joke about receiving and re-gifting the same fruitcake year after year because nobody wants to eat it”.  Which was in response to your question, “Do you have fruitcake as a Christmas cake in the USA”? 

If so, I had no way of knowing you were making/giving fruitcake as a gift, I was just simply ansering your question.  And I agree with Tiffany - fruitcake gets a bad wrap in the US because the mass produced commercial variety fruitcakes are just horrible.  I’m sure a homemade one is infinitely better tasting!

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Posted: 19 November 2007 06:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Patrincia - 19 November 2007 10:29 PM

fruitcake gets a bad wrap in the US because the mass produced commercial variety fruitcakes are just horrible.  I’m sure a homemade one is infinitely better tasting!

Yes, supermarket fruitcake in North America is more fruitbrick rather than cake.  It’s packed with morsels of low-quality candied “fruits” and then they slap on this godawful thing on top that they gallingly call “marzipan.”

A homemade one - the recipe in RLV’s The Cake Bible is great - is infinitely better at being a cake.  Martha Stewart’s The Baking Handbook also has a good recipe.

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Posted: 20 November 2007 05:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I’m from a family of fruitcake-lovers (although my husband isn’t). When I was young, I even asked for fruitcake as my birthday cake each year (minus the cherries - I never liked them). We traditionally had slices of fruitcake at midnight on New years Eve after firstfooting, and I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding where the cake wasn’t a fruitcake too. The smallest layer of the wedding cake used to be kept to be served at the couple’s first child’s baptism.

Fruitcake and cheese - now there’s a good combination. Serve a slice of fruitcake with a slice of cheddar on top and eat the two together. Yum.

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Posted: 20 November 2007 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I love fruitcake, so I belong to a very, er, distinct sub-culture in the U.S.  I bake it every other year (simply because we go far, far away from the children once every two years at Christmas), and I stopped using candied fruit in it quite awhile back.  It has more pecans than fruit in it - it’s based on an old recipe for Pecan Whiskey Cake - and has dried fruit soaked in Southern Comfort.  I age the cake at least six weeks, and sprinkle it with Southern Comfort once a week until it’s eaten (and boy, does it get eaten).  I have also found that the longer it ages, the better it is - I found a small loaf of it in March once that I’d forgotten about.  I unwrapped it and tasted it and darn near ate the whole thing standing at the counter.  I also glowed in the dark for awhile.  raspberry One of these years, I’m going to remember to start it in July, although I don’t think it’d make it until Christmas.

Edited to add:  Kate, thank you SO much for the link to “First Footing.”  I think I shall now begin celebrating Hogmanay every year myself.  Ya gotta love the Scots.

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Posted: 20 November 2007 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Although we live in Wales, I am Welsh born, my husband is Scottish. Every New Year’s eve he is asked to “first foot ” for neighbours and friends, he becomes very, very popular!! He always takes along a tot of whisky, a piece of coal(which he saves from year to year as not many use it any more!) It helps that he is tall, dark and handsome! At least I think so! smile

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Posted: 24 November 2007 11:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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My husband Jim and I both belong to the “love fruitcake” group. Although we do NOT love the commercial fruitcakes full of nasty-looking and -tasting candied fruit. Jim goes to our local natural foods co-op and buys the best-quality dried fruit he can find - cherries, apricots, pineapple, mango, raisins, dates…I’m not quite sure what else. Then he soaks them in a mixture of fruit juice and brandy (except for the dates, which tend to turn into mush if soaked).

We both like the “mostly fruit and nuts, held together with just a little bit of cake” sort of fruitcake. “Lighter” fruitcake recipes just don’t appeal.

I think the cake part of the recipe comes from an old Joy of Cooking, more or less. Not that Jim ever cooks exactly from a recipe.

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Posted: 25 November 2007 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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As I posted elsewhere, but haven’t gotten around to making this year; I’ll try to get some made by the first of December, and they’ll be ready by Christmas.
——
People’s opinions of fruitcake varies. This is the recipe I’ve used for years, and am using today. It works very well for those who either like fruitcake or are willing to try it. The rest of you, no desert two months from today.
—-

The link for the excellent Emily Dickinson Blackcake has gone dead; I’ve resurrected a copy from the Wayback Machine and put it below. Make it this weekend or next for use at Christmas time; keep the wrapped cakes in the back of the refrigerator.

I sometimes use a half pound of chopped, floured dates for a half pound of the raisins.

—htom

———————————————

Emily Dickinson’s
Black Cake Recipe
updated for modern kitchens

Place a shallow pan of water on the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 225 F.

2 cups sugar
1/2 pound butter
5 eggs
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp mace
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 nutmeg, ground
1/4-1/2 cup brandy
1 pound raisins
2/3 pound currants
2/3 pound citron

Add sugar gradually to butter; blend until light and creamy. Add unbeaten eggs & molasses. Beat well. Resift flour with soda and spices. If you’re using unsalted butter, add 1/2 tsp salt.

Beat sifted ingredients into mixture, alternately adding brandy. Stir in raisins, currants, and citron.

Pour batter into two loaf pans lined with waxed paper.

Bake at 225 F for 3 hours (this is not a typo). Remove pan of water for last 1/2 hour. Let loaves cool before removing from pans.

Remove paper and wrap in fresh paper.

The submitter’s notes from experience:

Keep the water pan 1 inch full; otherwise, you’ll have a black brick.

I find that kitchen parchment works better than waxed paper. This cake is so rich, you’ll think you’re tasting heaven (well, of course you are). I usually use only half the listed amounts of raisins, currants, and citron—and the cake still weighs a ton.

The longer the cake sits (in a cool, dark spot), the better it will taste. ED used to put hers in the cellar for a month, but I think 19th century people had a different attitude toward mold than we do ... Smile

I’ve had great success with this recipe and make it every year on ED’s birthday.

Additional note: Emily Dickinson: Profile of the Poet as a Cook is available from Jeffrey Amherst Bookshop for US$4.95 + US$2.00 shipping. If you’re familiar with the letters, you already know that ED was quite a good cook!

Originally posted to the emweb e-mail discussion group in 1995.
High C

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Posted: 25 November 2007 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I fall into the fruitcake lover category.  Although, it did take a while to realize that homemade fruit cake is an entirely different beast than commercial ones.  My husbands grandmother has won many prizes at local shows for her fruitcake.  I think she will bequeath the recipe as part of her estate!
I found a recipe years ago in The Australian Women’s Weekly from which you can make both the Christmas fruit cake and the Christmas pudding (which hasn’t scored a mention yet in the thread).
Like the UK versions of fruit cake this doesn’t have much in way of candied fruits.

Basic Fruit mixture for 1 large cake, 10 mini cakes and 1 large pudding

1 kg (6 1/2 cups) sultanas
375g (2 1/4 cups) currants
500g (3 cups) raisins chopped
375g (2 1/4 cups) dates chopped
375g (2 1/4 cups) dried prunes chopped
250g (1 1/2 cups) glace cherries chopped
125g (2/3 cups) mixed dried citrus peel
2 (300g) medium apples peeled and coarsely grated
250g (2/3 cup) fig jam
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
2 cups (400g) packed dark brown sugar
1 Tablespoon mixed spice
1 1/3 cups (330ml) Irish Whiskey.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover tightly at least overnight or up to a week.  Store in a cool dry place.  I substitute to weight what ever dried fruits I have in the pantry.  This is very forgiving recipe.

Fruit Cake and mini cakes

3/4 quantity basic fruit mixture
375 g butter melted and cooled
8 eggs beaten lightly
3 cups (450g) plain flour
3/4 cup (110g) Self Raising flour

1/4 cup Whiskey to brush warm cake with

Preheat oven to 150C or 300F.  Use 2 muffin tin liners in a 3/4 cup capacity muffin tin each for the 10 mini cakes.  Line with parchment and brown paper a 23cm deep round or 19 cm square deep tin.  (Preparing the tins takes more time than making the mixture!)  I have also had great success using silicone bakeware with just a spray of oil.  The individual sizes are so popular that I usually just make those now.

Mix your flour, butter and eggs until just combined in a very large bowl.  Then add the fruit mixture and combine. 
Allow 1/3 of the mixture for the mini cakes.  Place remaining mixture in prepared tin.  Level tops of cake mixture with a wet spatula.  Tap on bench to make sure there are no air bubbles.  You can decorate the tops with glace cherries and nuts if you like.

The mini cakes take about 1 hour 15 min.  The large cake about 4 hours.  Brush the tops of the warm cakes with whiskey.

If anyone wants the pudding recipe let me know.

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Posted: 26 November 2007 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I don’t care much for fruitcake but I love the directions on Newbie’s fruitcake.

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