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The Fruitcake Topic

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#331 Jaymes

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 09:14 AM

Question for the fruitcake peeps.

 

Big jar of fruit soaking in alcohol, right?

I have been using a 6-quart plastic container with lid.

I try to stay away from plastic, and I'm thinking six months with alcohol is not a good thing.

So, I am thinking, "Crock!" and I've been looking around for one, but most do not have lids.

Anyone familiar with these pickling crocks?  Good idea to use one instead of the plastic bucket?

Pricey, but kind of gorgeous.

 

http://www.williams-...AutoRel#reviews

 

OMG, I love this thread.  Thanks for bumping it up.  It will be time very soon to begin aging our holiday beauties, won't it?  The very first harbinger in our house of the cool weather and fun festivities to come.

 

I do have some crocks.  I wouldn't use plastic.  I have used large glass jars that I set into dark closets.


Edited by Jaymes, 21 July 2013 - 09:15 AM.

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#332 andiesenji

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Posted 21 July 2013 - 12:59 PM

Question for the fruitcake peeps.

 

Big jar of fruit soaking in alcohol, right?

I have been using a 6-quart plastic container with lid.

I try to stay away from plastic, and I'm thinking six months with alcohol is not a good thing.

So, I am thinking, "Crock!" and I've been looking around for one, but most do not have lids.

Anyone familiar with these pickling crocks?  Good idea to use one instead of the plastic bucket?

Pricey, but kind of gorgeous.

 

http://www.williams-...AutoRel#reviews

 

OMG, I love this thread.  Thanks for bumping it up.  It will be time very soon to begin aging our holiday beauties, won't it?  The very first harbinger in our house of the cool weather and fun festivities to come.

 

I do have some crocks.  I wouldn't use plastic.  I have used large glass jars that I set into dark closets.

I use a 3-gallon pickle jar - bought for .75¢ from a local deli a few years ago.  I have two, one is used for homemade mincemeat.  If there is a deli in your neighborhood, ask if they will save one or more of the large glass jars for you and offer to pay.  In some municipalities they have to pay a recycling fee to have these large glass containers hauled away and are happy to avoid that outlay.   My neighbors got some big barrel-shaped jars at a local "country" bar that sells pickled pigs feet that come in those jars. 


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#333 Lindacakes

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 01:13 PM

Today is my stir-up Sunday.  Or rather, the first of two, one today and one next week.  I didn't make a fruitcake last year; I was on hiatus.  Just didn't feel like it.  So, two cakes this year.  Jane Grigson's Country Christmas Cake (found in Moira Hodgson's Favorite Fruitcakes and Laurie Colwin's More Home Cooking) and William Woys Weaver's Twelfth Night Cake from his book, The Christmas Cook.

 

I prepared my fruit mix last night, which included applesauce that I made myself from local Honeycrisps, and cherries, lemon peel, orange peel and ginger that I candied myself.  (Excellent recipe, Andiesenji, thank you.)  I'm beginning to feel like the only way up is to grow my own wheat . . . 

 

I'm about to mix and bake the cake (Country Christmas Cake).  The recipe calls for one 9-inch springform.  Can I bake this in two 7-inch pans?  The baking instructions are two hours at 325 and two hours at 300.  What would be my internal temperature of done?  

 

I'm all skittish about making any changes; I've not made the cake before and we all know the commitment a fruitcake entails.  Mistakes are costly.

 

Any advice or pointers or sources on changing pan sizes and baking times very much appreciated.

 


Edited by Lindacakes, 06 October 2013 - 01:30 PM.

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#334 Lindacakes

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 01:28 PM

Ginger, before and after.

 

ginger-market.jpg

 

above.jpg


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I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#335 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 01:40 PM

I'm getting my first ones in to soak this week, using the recipe I posted in the Nova Scotia Traditions thread with a few tweaks in regards to the fruit.  This year's special addition are the mini-mandarines I candied whole (thanks to Andiesenji for pointing me in the right direction for this - they're gorgeous!) and generous helpings of my own panela-candied ginger.  I'll also be rocking candied papaya and watermelon peels, citron, candied lime, candied pineapple, sour candied cherries (my supplier gets them in from Poland!), macadamia nuts, and cashews.

 

What booze is everybody using this year?  I'm on overproof domestic rum because in the last year brandy has gone from $12 a bottle to $80 on the same brand (!) so it's now completely prohibitive to use it on the high number of cakes I'll be turning out.

 

ETA

 

Lindacakes - if they're 7" loaf pans, you can do what I do: 1 hour at 325, then two at 300.  I have no idea of internal temps for doneness (I'm not a high-tech baker at all); I just poke 'em with a bamboo skewer after the second hour and every half hour thereafter, and when that comes out cleanly I pull them.  If they're 7" rounds, I'd go 1 hour at 375 and 1 hour at 300, then test and add increments of 15 minutes still at 300 until you've got a clean skewer.


Edited by Panaderia Canadiense, 06 October 2013 - 01:46 PM.

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#336 Lindacakes

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 03:19 PM

I'm starting the cake . . . I was wrong, the pan is supposed to be a 10-inch springform, which I'm not using because mine is 9-inch.  Considering the 10 inch tube pan, last cake I made was cooked on the outside and raw on the inside.

 

They are 7-inch rounds, my favorite shape for giving . . .  

 

Would appreciate the name of the sour candied cherry source.  I candy sour usually, this year I did sweet and I think I like them better.  More cherry-ish.


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#337 Lindacakes

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 03:20 PM

Your fruit mix sounds divine.  Candied lime peels, yes, gin and tonic, yes . . . 

 

One cake has sweet sherry and Irish whiskey, the other has amaretto . . . 


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#338 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 03:48 PM

I'm starting the cake . . . I was wrong, the pan is supposed to be a 10-inch springform, which I'm not using because mine is 9-inch.  Considering the 10 inch tube pan, last cake I made was cooked on the outside and raw on the inside.

 

They are 7-inch rounds, my favorite shape for giving . . .  

 

Would appreciate the name of the sour candied cherry source.  I candy sour usually, this year I did sweet and I think I like them better.  More cherry-ish.

 

I'll ask my supplier - do note that I'm in Ecuador....


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#339 Lindacakes

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 04:05 PM

I made the W. W. Weaver cake tonight; it's in the oven.

 

I've made a recipe of his before that failed -- I knew using salt in candying peel was a bad idea . . .

 

This time, he asks you to beat 8 eggs and one cup of sugar until light and fluffy, then fold in beaten butter.  I think he has this backwards, I thought so as I did it, but I did it anyway.  Meaning, I would have beaten the butter and sugar together and then added the eggs one at a time.

 

Of course I had bits of butter floating in the eggs, as I expected and I went ahead and did it anyway . . .

 

Thoughts?

 

(The good news is, currants + lemon peel + orange peel + citron + almonds + amaretto = pretty darn heavenly).


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#340 andiesenji

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 05:43 PM

 

Today is my stir-up Sunday.  Or rather, the first of two, one today and one next week.  I didn't make a fruitcake last year; I was on hiatus.  Just didn't feel like it.  So, two cakes this year.  Jane Grigson's Country Christmas Cake (found in Moira Hodgson's Favorite Fruitcakes and Laurie Colwin's More Home Cooking) and William Woys Weaver's Twelfth Night Cake from his book, The Christmas Cook.

 

I prepared my fruit mix last night, which included applesauce that I made myself from local Honeycrisps, and cherries, lemon peel, orange peel and ginger that I candied myself.  (Excellent recipe, Andiesenji, thank you.)  I'm beginning to feel like the only way up is to grow my own wheat . . . 

 

I'm about to mix and bake the cake (Country Christmas Cake).  The recipe calls for one 9-inch springform.  Can I bake this in two 7-inch pans?  The baking instructions are two hours at 325 and two hours at 300.  What would be my internal temperature of done?  

 

I'm all skittish about making any changes; I've not made the cake before and we all know the commitment a fruitcake entails.  Mistakes are costly.

 

Any advice or pointers or sources on changing pan sizes and baking times very much appreciated.

 

 

I'm glad you are satisfied with the candied ginger process.  It took me many years to get the results that I liked and could be made with "mature" ginger  by steaming it first  because fresh stem ginger was so difficult to get back during the late '70s and the '80s before there were so many Asian markets around. 


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

#341 David Ross

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 05:55 PM

I've got two cakes almost ready.  Made them last December and they've been tucked in their brandy blanket almost a year now.



#342 Mjx

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 11:04 PM

I've got two cakes almost ready.  Made them last December and they've been tucked in their brandy blanket almost a year now.

 

David, do you start some every year, or a these extra special ones?

 

I'm behind the curve this year, haven't yet gone down to the slaughterhouse to pick up this year's blob of fresh kidney fat.


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#343 Lindacakes

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 08:26 AM

I've got four cakes resting in a cool spot in my closet and two bottles of Liqueur Rouge, which is dynamite.  Soak cherries, raspberries and currants in brandy for 40 days and then hold it for a few months. 

 

I cannot wait to eat this. 

 

The W. W. Weaver cake came out okay, maybe.  It smells divine.  I cut into them on Thanksgiving just to check progress.

 

If the two new cakes are not acceptable, my backup plan is Craig Claiborne's cake with candied ginger and black walnuts.  Doesn't need to age.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#344 Lindacakes

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 01:31 PM

 

 

Today is my stir-up Sunday.  Or rather, the first of two, one today and one next week.  I didn't make a fruitcake last year; I was on hiatus.  Just didn't feel like it.  So, two cakes this year.  Jane Grigson's Country Christmas Cake (found in Moira Hodgson's Favorite Fruitcakes and Laurie Colwin's More Home Cooking) and William Woys Weaver's Twelfth Night Cake from his book, The Christmas Cook.

 

I prepared my fruit mix last night, which included applesauce that I made myself from local Honeycrisps, and cherries, lemon peel, orange peel and ginger that I candied myself.  (Excellent recipe, Andiesenji, thank you.)  I'm beginning to feel like the only way up is to grow my own wheat . . . 

 

I'm about to mix and bake the cake (Country Christmas Cake).  The recipe calls for one 9-inch springform.  Can I bake this in two 7-inch pans?  The baking instructions are two hours at 325 and two hours at 300.  What would be my internal temperature of done?  

 

I'm all skittish about making any changes; I've not made the cake before and we all know the commitment a fruitcake entails.  Mistakes are costly.

 

Any advice or pointers or sources on changing pan sizes and baking times very much appreciated.

 

 

I'm glad you are satisfied with the candied ginger process.  It took me many years to get the results that I liked and could be made with "mature" ginger  by steaming it first  because fresh stem ginger was so difficult to get back during the late '70s and the '80s before there were so many Asian markets around. 

 

 

Have you tried blanching instead of steaming?  Chez Panisse Vegetables calls for blanching.  I've always had good results with her recipes for candying.  They're simple.  Thank you for this recipe, I cannot believe how perfect the ginger came out.  The fresh ginger doesn't have the bite I'm looking for, so I want to do another batch.  

 

I candied ginger, orange and lemon at the same time.  I won't do that again.  I actually had to draw up a chart to remember at what stage all the pots were.

 

I used Nick Malgieri for candied peel -- he uses glucose -- and my orange peel is like a jelly candy.  Quite nice.


I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

#345 andiesenji

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 02:39 PM

I found that blanching extracted a lot of the ginger flavor.

 

I got the idea for steaming  back in the very early '80s when I was in the kitchen of a restaurant down the block from my home at the time.

I always walked up the alley and went through the kitchen and was familiar with the family (Hunan House, Reseda, CA)

 

I would usually stop and chat and on one occasion I saw ginger cut into matchsticks in a steamer basket and portions were added to stir fry in the woks.

 

I asked about it an was told that the ginger was too tough to go straight into the mix so it was steamed until tender and it retained all of its flavor, unlike boiling or simmering it (as so many recipes instruct).

 

I tried it with sliced mature ginger root and the results were exactly what I was aiming for - which is why some of my ginger pieces are quite large. 


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#346 TylerK

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:09 AM

I have a question about pans.

 

Usually I bake my Christmas fruitcakes in mini round cake pans so I can give them out as gifts to friends who appreciate a good fruitcake.  I was thinking of switching it up a bit this year and use some small bundt pans to increase the decorative factor.  They have some fairly fine fluting in them though and I was wondering how well the grooves would hold up with larger pieces of fruit in the cake, and then through the ageing/muslin wrapping process.

 

I generally make two different types of cake each year.  One white fruitcake, filled with diced apricots, crystalized ginger and almonds.  The second is a more standard dark fruitcake with dates, rasins, candied peel, candied pineapple, whole candied cherries,  pecans, etc...  Both cakes are fairly dense.

 

Am I going to end up with a mess in the end?  If not, does anyone have any advice on how I might maximize my chances of the fine fluting remaining intact?



#347 cakewalk

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:27 AM

I have some extra rumtopf that's been sitting in my fridge for ages. (I made a lot, we drank a lot, gave some away, then I forgot about it.) It uses different fruits than those usually put into a fruitcake, but I'm wondering if it might not work anyway. It has raspberries, cherries, pineapple, peaches, plums, stuff like that, mostly summer fruit. They've been sitting in a rum/sugar mixture for quite a while. There's no citrus, as that tends to make rumtopf bitter. Any suggestions of how/if to incorporate this into a fruitcake?



#348 andiesenji

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:29 AM

I have a question about pans.

 

Usually I bake my Christmas fruitcakes in mini round cake pans so I can give them out as gifts to friends who appreciate a good fruitcake.  I was thinking of switching it up a bit this year and use some small bundt pans to increase the decorative factor.  They have some fairly fine fluting in them though and I was wondering how well the grooves would hold up with larger pieces of fruit in the cake, and then through the ageing/muslin wrapping process.

 

I generally make two different types of cake each year.  One white fruitcake, filled with diced apricots, crystalized ginger and almonds.  The second is a more standard dark fruitcake with dates, rasins, candied peel, candied pineapple, whole candied cherries,  pecans, etc...  Both cakes are fairly dense.

 

Am I going to end up with a mess in the end?  If not, does anyone have any advice on how I might maximize my chances of the fine fluting remaining intact?

I have tried baking fruitcakes in bundt pans with varying success.  Cakes with a lot of fruit tend to lose chunks from the outer edges at the "points" of the fluting.   I tried a method recommended by a friend which produced a "clean" outer surface - the batter is kept separate from the fruit and is poured into the bundt pan and then the fruit is added in the center - sort of like one of the "tunnel" cakes and mixed with a fork, so as to not get it into the outer perimeter.  It worked okay but was not a traditional fruitcake.

I only tried it one time. 

For the last few years I have used the disposable baking paper forms both round and loaf - They come in several different sized and are available on Amazon.  And I have stacks of them.  The large tube molds are somewhat expensive so I only buy a few of them.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#349 TylerK

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 06:30 PM

Thanks andiesenji.  This is one of the two things I was afraid would happen, the other being the disintegration of the fluted peaks after the alcohol and cheese cloth is applied.  I was thinking along similar lines to what you had tried and reserving some of the cake batter to coat the inside of the pan before pouring in the rest of the batter mixed with the fruit.  Maybe that, along with keeping the larger pieces of fruit aside and manually placing them away from the sides of the pan between layers of the batter mixed with the smaller fruit pieces.  Something to try I guess.  I can always do half the way I normally do it and experiment with the other half.  

 

On another note, I pulled out the two remaining cakes from last year and gave them a good dousing with amaretto tonight.  A slice of that should put me in the Christmas baking mood this weekend.


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#350 cakewalk

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 10:06 AM

Well this certainly seems to answer my question! I will give it a try.

 

http://wscwong.typep...l#axzz2jhIOT34C



#351 TylerK

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Posted 10 November 2013 - 07:47 PM

I have a question about pans.

 

Usually I bake my Christmas fruitcakes in mini round cake pans so I can give them out as gifts to friends who appreciate a good fruitcake.  I was thinking of switching it up a bit this year and use some small bundt pans to increase the decorative factor.  They have some fairly fine fluting in them though and I was wondering how well the grooves would hold up with larger pieces of fruit in the cake, and then through the ageing/muslin wrapping process.

 

I generally make two different types of cake each year.  One white fruitcake, filled with diced apricots, crystalized ginger and almonds.  The second is a more standard dark fruitcake with dates, rasins, candied peel, candied pineapple, whole candied cherries,  pecans, etc...  Both cakes are fairly dense.

 

Am I going to end up with a mess in the end?  If not, does anyone have any advice on how I might maximize my chances of the fine fluting remaining intact?

 

I gave the bundt pans a try, and they didn't turn out too bad.  No sticking to the ridges of the pans, but the batter was a little thick, so I got a few small voids where nothing was in contact with the sides.  The regular cylindrical cakes are gluten free ones I didn't want to take a chance with.  

 

I'll be working on my light fruitcakes tomorrow night.

 

 

IMG_0099.jpg


Edited by TylerK, 10 November 2013 - 07:48 PM.

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#352 caroled

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 01:09 AM

 

I have a question about pans.

 

Usually I bake my Christmas fruitcakes in mini round cake pans so I can give them out as gifts to friends who appreciate a good fruitcake.  I was thinking of switching it up a bit this year and use some small bundt pans to increase the decorative factor.  They have some fairly fine fluting in them though and I was wondering how well the grooves would hold up with larger pieces of fruit in the cake, and then through the ageing/muslin wrapping process.

 

I generally make two different types of cake each year.  One white fruitcake, filled with diced apricots, crystalized ginger and almonds.  The second is a more standard dark fruitcake with dates, rasins, candied peel, candied pineapple, whole candied cherries,  pecans, etc...  Both cakes are fairly dense.

 

Am I going to end up with a mess in the end?  If not, does anyone have any advice on how I might maximize my chances of the fine fluting remaining intact?

 

I gave the bundt pans a try, and they didn't turn out too bad.  No sticking to the ridges of the pans, but the batter was a little thick, so I got a few small voids where nothing was in contact with the sides.  The regular cylindrical cakes are gluten free ones I didn't want to take a chance with.  

 

I'll be working on my light fruitcakes tomorrow night.

 

 

IMG_0099.jpg

 

 Gorgeous!!!! I am so jealous of the lucky people in your life who will receive one of these.    One question... what is the diameter/volume on the bundt type pans??? are they a miniature or full size??  I now see where you said smaller, but for how many serving, single or multi?


Edited by caroled, 11 November 2013 - 01:13 AM.

And this old porch is like a steaming greasy plate of enchiladas,With lots of cheese and onions and a guacamole salad ...This Old Porch...Lyle Lovett

#353 TylerK

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Posted 11 November 2013 - 03:12 AM

Thanks caroled.  They are definitely not full sized.  Each one can hold about 2 cups of batter, so not single serving either unless you can eat a lot of fruitcake.  







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