store bought fruitcake
Posted: 05 December 2008 08:07 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello
I have an unusual question.  Starting 15 years ago my friend and I would buy a inexpensive, terrible tasting fruitcake once a year and eat it during the Christmas season.  The texture was very fine, lots of citrus, it came in a small loaf.  It was very inexpensive and cost maybe a dollar or two.  These last few years I have been buying an expensive little fruitcake from the bakery.  It tastes really good because it has fresh nuts, dates and some fruit but it just isn’t the same.  It has hardly any dough to it.  Does anyone know how they made those cheap, terrible tasting fruitcakes that we could buy at the drugstore or gas station?  We really miss our tradition.
Miss Kitty

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Posted: 05 December 2008 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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MISSKITTY:
  Good morning to you. Welcome to our culinary club. I will make my attempt to give you my opinion based on my interpretation
of your post. When you said ” there is hardly any dough to it “... I take it that you want much less fruits & nuts in the baked product.
  If that is so just find a pound cake recipe that you favor & add to the recipe an equal amount of fruits & nuts in weight to the flour weight. You can go a little further like up to 750% believe it or not. Of course & because of the weight of the aforementioned you must add more chemical leaveners as well because of the added weight of the additions.
  It so happens I am going to make one just like this tomorrow. I will bake it Sunday. I have never made this recipe before. It comes from a small bake shop in France. It has just 125% of fruits & nuts to the weight of the flour. This is very mild as a fruit cake.
Oh yes Kitty, do not forget to apply syrup on top of the baked cake & add the nuts & sliced cherries as well for decoration purposes.
I hope this info helps you get started.
Good luck & enjoy the rest of the day young lady.

  ~FRESHKID.

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Posted: 05 December 2008 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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FreshKid,
Thanks for reply. 
The one you are baking Sunday has a little more fruit and nuts than amount of the flour, right?  The one that you mentioned up to 750% has a lot more fruit and nuts than flour? 
Actually,  thinking about it, I think we have been buying these mostly nut and fruit, little dough, fruitcakes for maybe 5 years and the ones we had been traditionally eating, kind of bad tasting, fruitcake many years before that.
Kept looking on the internet this morning and found a recipe that called for crushed vanilla wafer cookies, candied pineapple, red and green cherries, (I substituted the citron for them because that was more like the old time taste) and pecans.  Mix with 14 oz sweetened condensed milk and 4 T bourbon. (I substituted apricot juice).  Put in fridge for 3 weeks.
I am going to try baking my three little loaves at 250 and see how they turn out. 
What is it that the syrup does?  Keep it moist?  I see in some recipes they say to drizzle with bourbon.  I was going to just use the apricot juice but maybe the syrup would work better.
How long do you have to let your fruitcake age before you can eat it?  Some say a month or more.  I was hoping to try it sooner.
Thanks again for answering.
MissKitty

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Posted: 05 December 2008 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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MISSKITTY:
  Hello again. Yes miss Kitty your correct about the per cent as you posted them. I cannot advising you about the aging factor that is up to the baker. However many do it for a few weeks. Every now & then they brush on a liquor syrup on top. I would poke holes randomly in the top surface so that the liquid would penetrate into the cake.
  What you can do if you like just make a simple concoction like a rum soaking syrup. 1/3rd cup granular sugar…1/3rd cup cold water ..3 Tbls rum or rum extract or what ever you like. Cook the sugar & water till the sugar is totally melted & add the rum/liquor
& cool. when your cake is cooling but still warm slowly brush on the syrup. Then you can coat the top surface with a glaze a simple one is 3 Tbls apricot jam melted & strained. Brush it on & place Walnuts &  1/2 cherry on top the glaze should hold these 2 in place.
These are just simple suggestions to you, based on this, use your imagination & subt. other ingredients instead of the ones I have mentioned to you.
  I am sure you will succeed in this project. If you require any further assistance post back. Either I or one of our very knowledgable members will guide you.
  Good luck to you Miss kitty.

~FRESHKID.

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Posted: 05 December 2008 05:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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just curious…why do you want to eat a terrible tasting cake?

Rose’s cake bible offers the “less fruity fruitcake” the recipe appears on pg 67.

its too long to type out, ,but you could google it and see if someone’s posted it.

jen

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Posted: 05 December 2008 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I guess it was just the tradition we had of several times during one month out of the year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I would go over to her house and we would eat this fruitcake and drink tea.  It was a very small fruitcake and it took several visits to finish it because it had such a strong taste.  I think a lot of it was strong citron flavor.  Maybe it had some kind of liquor taste, but I wouldn’t think they would be able to sell that at a drugstore or gas station.
I finished baking my three loaves
today.  They do have the consistency of the old fruitcake, but they don’t quite taste the same.  Actually, they taste pretty good.  Maybe a little too sweet.  I poked holes in them and poured in a mixture of syrup, apricot juice, and wrapped them in saran wrap.  Don’t know how long I can wait to have a slice.

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Posted: 07 December 2008 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Mass-produced fruitcakes are good for only 2 things: paperweights and doorstops. I certainly would never eat one voluntarily. I make my own every year (I’ve got one batch aging and will bake another 4 loaves tomorrow), and age them for 3-4 weeks with brandy (rum or bourbon can also be used). I don’t make a syrup (that makes the cake way too sweet). Straight up booze works just fine.

I use Alton Brown’s recipe found on http://www.foodnetwork.com (search for “It’s a Wonderful Cake”). It’s a very versatile recipe and you can use all manner of dried fruits (no neon colored candied fruit), and I typically add about 4 times the amount of nuts the recipe calls for.

For this next batch, I have macerated the dried fruit in Meyer’s dark rum for about a week, and I’ll be swapping out the white sugar for dark molasses sugar. Oh, I also usually add a couple tablespoons of fresh ginger to the batter (along with the candied ginger).

It so, so, so good with a smear of marscapone (or cream cheese) and cup of black tea or coffee. I give them out to family members as gifts, and they can’t wait to receive them.

If you’re really not interested in making fruit cake, the best commercially produced fruit cakes are Monastery Fruitcakes (go to http://www.mondofruitcake.com for an ever evolving and reviewed list of Monastery Fruitcakes. Beware however, they usually sell pretty fast, and sometimes they can sell out for Christmas pretty early.

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Posted: 10 December 2008 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I’m with the other folks here—mass produced fruitcake = yuck! But I take you mean that you want a better quality fruitcake, but with more cake and less fruit. If you have already tried a recipe, you could just try reducing the fruit and nuts in it. If you reduce them a lot, you might need to use smaller pans or make more cake batter to get the same volume in the final loaf.

My husband’s recipe is loosely based on one from the Joy of Cooking (1970’s edition) and is basically a pound cake recipe. You do need a fairly dense cake to support the weight of the fruit. A good Bundt cake recipe would probably work, too.

He loves to soak the fruit in a mixture of apricot nectar and brandy before putting it into the cake. Yum!

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Posted: 13 December 2008 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Just came across this recipe for “Kresge’s White Fruitcake.” (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

http://ayearatoakcottage.blogspot.com/2008/11/simple-womans-day-book_30.html

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