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Fruitcake without alcohol
Posted: 21 September 2008 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi, I’m relatively new to this site (only posted once before). I’m looking for a great fruitcake recipe and I’m dying to try Rose’s BUT it calls for 1/2 cup of rum. Is there any substitute for it that won’t affect the keeping qualities of the cake too much? It doesn’t have to keep for a long time - 1 month tops. I’ve tried using orange juice (with a non-Rose recipe) but didn’t really like the flavor too much. Although that could be the recipe rather than the juice!

When I was a kid my mother used to add 1 tbsp or so of brandy to her fruitcakes, and I can’t find her recipe aaargh!! But even that small amount of alcohol is not permissible nowadays (religious restrictions). Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Posted: 22 September 2008 03:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I don’t like alcohol in fruitcake so I always leave it out. If I want to keep it a long time I freeze it.

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Posted: 22 September 2008 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for the reply Gene. In Rose’s recipe she soaks the fruit in rum at the beginning to moisten them. Is there anything you use instead?

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Posted: 22 September 2008 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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hot water will reconstitute the fruit and if you want to use something to moisten the cake after baking you can make a simple syrup and drizzle it over the cake. you can add flavor like vanilla or almond at that time.

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Posted: 22 September 2008 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Apple juice will plump the dried fruit and add a nice flavor as well.

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Posted: 22 September 2008 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I like to use fruit juice. Pear, Peach, Apricot work well.

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Posted: 22 September 2008 11:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Will give them a whirl and see which one I like best. Good thing the cake is on the small side, or I may bake them as cupcakes; and I have family members happy to eat my ‘experiments’. The plus side of not using alcohol is I can taste the cake right away instead of waiting for it to ripen.

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Posted: 25 September 2008 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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If the alcohol gets baked, then there is ZERO trace of alcohol, just flavor remains, so I don’t interpret it as an issue.

After soaking, you could use simple syrup which keeps 1 month refrigerated.  I wouldn’t use orange juice because it can quickly decompose (the acidity of the oranges, etc).

I also like Gene’s suggestion of fruit juices, my preference is a combination of simple syrup and natural fruit juice (cooked), just about like the liquid contained in canned fruits.  Canned peach liquid is my favorite.  You should not use ‘raw’ fruit juices, because it doesn’t keep well.  Give it a light boil, or combine with hot simple syrup.  Note that fruit juice alone is not as sweet as desired, and it is too concentrated, so combining with simple syrup is the way to go….. after all, most recipes calling for moistening never use fruit juice pure!

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Posted: 27 September 2008 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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My husband generally uses fruit juice to moisten the fruit in his fruitcakes. Usually a blend with apple and other juices, whatever seems like it will harmonize with the fruit. I’d try to stay away from anything really acidic like orange or lemon, except in small amounts. The fruit gets cooked when it’s in the cake, so we don’t bother cooking the juice beforehand. If you’re going to put a juice / syrup blend on the cake after baking, though, then definitely you want to cook it as Hector suggests.

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Posted: 27 September 2008 08:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Oh, and as Gene says—fruitcake freezes beautifully!

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Posted: 29 September 2008 01:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. I tried the recipe with just warm water for soaking the fruit and no syrup/juice after baking. It was moist even after a few days; but my family didn’t like the assertive molasses taste that much.

So I baked another cake with the Lyle’s Golden syrup, soaked the fruit in peach nectar. I reduced the leftover nectar from the can in the microwave and brushed that on after the cake baked. Haven’t tasted this one yet, but it smells divine!

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Posted: 29 September 2008 12:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Shimi, the Lyle’s sounds like a great option.  I also use real maple syrup in place of molasses for baking, because I rarely like a strong molasses flavor.  If the maple syrup is real, the flavor will stay in the background and blend beautifully with spices, butter, etc.  My favorite recipe to do this with is Rose’s gingerbread cookies.  We call them New England maplebread and give them to eveyrone during the winter holidays.

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Posted: 29 September 2008 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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If I am making a fruit cake other than a ‘special’ one, ie. one for a celebration, I like to soak the fruit overnight in cold tea.  It makes the fruit plump up and the cake stays really moist.  If you haven’t time to soak overnight you can bring the fruit to the boil in the tea and then let it cool and use it.

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Posted: 29 September 2008 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Jeannette, what a neat idea. I have never heard of it. Thanks for sharing.

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Posted: 29 September 2008 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Rozanne, I’ve answered your e-mail, did you get my message?

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Posted: 29 September 2008 09:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Thank you Jeannette.

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