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Suvir Saran

The Fruitcake Topic

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I've never used muslin, but cheesecloth works great. Because the tin seals, I don't think you need to worry about a moisture barrier to keep the cake from drying out, although you may want to line the tin with parchment so the metallic taste doesn't leach into your cake (voice of unhappy experience).

-L

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I would line the tin with plastic wrap.

Don't know about the hard sauce -- when I give mine away I suggest something creamy. I've used mascarpone. Whipped cream would be good. Friends I've given them to have used ice cream. Creme fraiche would work.

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Anyone wanting to make a lovely, moist fruit cake without eggs here is my Grandma's old recipe. This is an old fashioned boiled cake and I never ice it. Easy to make and great to have in your cake tin!

1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 Can Cold Water ( CM can full)

1 lb 2 oz Mixed Fruit ( I use currants, raisins and sultanas but other fruits can be used)

8 oz Butter

10 oz Flour

1 Tsp Baking Soda

Boil first 4 ingredients for 3 minutes. Cool. Add sifted flour and soda. Mix gently but well.

Spoon into a prepared tin the size of a lunch plate ( Grandma's words!) and bake at 160 deg for 1 1/2 hours.

If top browning too quickly, cover with a sheet of foil.

Pulling from sides or toothpick test to determine doneness.

Lyn

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How do you know when your fruit cake is done? Is it the same way as any cake - when the tooth pick comes out clean?


Edited by oli (log)

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For those who want a more chocolate-y flavour - as well as adding more chopped chocolate, I'm sure it would work just fine to substitute some of the flour with extra cocoa - say 1/4 cup.

Might try that myself next time around! You can never have a cake that is too chocolate-y.

The recipe you gave calls for 120°C which is 250°F, is that the correct temp?

Thanks

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For those who want a more chocolate-y flavour - as well as adding more chopped chocolate, I'm sure it would work just fine to substitute some of the flour with extra cocoa - say 1/4 cup.

Might try that myself next time around! You can never have a cake that is too chocolate-y.

The recipe you gave calls for 120°C which is 250°F, is that the correct temp?

Thanks

That's the correct temp in my oven, which runs pretty "hot". Really, there is so much variation between domestic ovens that you have to make a judgement call about your own. Fruit cakes are much more forgiving than lighter cakes, so err on the side of a lower temp as you dont want the outside to cook too quickly.

I am sure some of the professionals can give you a more scientific guide!

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For those who want a more chocolate-y flavour - as well as adding more chopped chocolate, I'm sure it would work just fine to substitute some of the flour with extra cocoa - say 1/4 cup.

Might try that myself next time around! You can never have a cake that is too chocolate-y.

The recipe you gave calls for 120°C which is 250°F, is that the correct temp?

Thanks

That's the correct temp in my oven, which runs pretty "hot". Really, there is so much variation between domestic ovens that you have to make a judgement call about your own. Fruit cakes are much more forgiving than lighter cakes, so err on the side of a lower temp as you dont want the outside to cook too quickly.

I am sure some of the professionals can give you a more scientific guide!

Thanks for that info. I did bake it for an 1.5 hrs and figured it should be done because the recipe said to bake for 1 hour. So I upped the temp. and baked it another 0.5 before taking it out of the oven. The wife of course said "you didn't

read the rest of the sentence", and sure enough I realized my error. Nevertheless

as you said its pretty forgiving and that it is. It came out just fine, the outside was

not overly done and the innards were equal to the outside.

Thanks

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Fruitcake high: last night after I finished trimming the tree, I cut open my black cake and served it with whipped cream lightly sweetened with confectioner's sugar.

Fruitcake low: two gorgeous chocolate alchohol cakes I'd make for aunts and mailed never acheived their destinations.

:angry:

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Fruitcake high:  I found my fruitcakes!

Thank Goodness! I've been really upset about them! I had visions of your aunts being cake-less at Christmas, and some evil thieves enjoying their ill-gotten gains.

What happened or Where were they?

Janet

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Sent to a relative in West Virginia, who opened the package and sent the two cakes to two different addresses now that the aunts have parted after Thanksgiving.

Don't know what happened, but I've found the mail to be really slow this holiday.

Thanks for caring! It was heartbreaking after all that work and pride, and I decorated the tops so cunningly! We'll see how they hold up to ageing. I'm thinking a nice hot chocolate sauce will moisten them up well if necessary . . .

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Sent to a relative in West Virginia, who opened the package and sent the two cakes to two different addresses now that the aunts have parted after Thanksgiving.

Don't know what happened, but I've found the mail to be really slow this holiday.

Thanks for caring!  It was heartbreaking after all that work and pride, and I decorated the tops so cunningly!  We'll see how they hold up to ageing.  I'm thinking a nice hot chocolate sauce will moisten them up well if necessary . . .

I'm sure they'll age fine. I remember many years ago when I was younger and poorer I found in the back of the pantry some fruit cake well past its prime and very dry. I crumbled it up, 'wet' it with something (I'd use something spirity now, but it was probably just water then) and packed it into a pudding basin and steamed it and - Voila! - Steamed Christmas pudding. It was really good.

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Sent to a relative in West Virginia, who opened the package and sent the two cakes to two different addresses now that the aunts have parted after Thanksgiving.

Don't know what happened, but I've found the mail to be really slow this holiday.

Thanks for caring!  It was heartbreaking after all that work and pride, and I decorated the tops so cunningly!  We'll see how they hold up to ageing.  I'm thinking a nice hot chocolate sauce will moisten them up well if necessary . . .

please advise on the decorating technique. :smile:

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Oh, it was nothing too special -- just some cut dried fruit and nuts placed around the top just before baking. I hadn't done this before, but I was in Sicily in the spring and fell in love with cassata and got very interested in the decorating style.

So, when faced with my own fruitcakes this year (just these), I put some cut fruit and nut designs on the top. They don't get covered with cake, they don't burn, they get sort of shiny from the heat.

You can work to your heart's content, move the stuff around. Doesnt' affect the cake at all. If you can get citron in large pieces (halves or whole) and you want to work with it, it makes a really beautiful addition. Nice color (light lime green) and nice long strips to play with.

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Many thanks for all the recipes and ideas on this thread. I ended up soaking fruit in amaretto and rum for three weeks, then made a golden fruitcake with some of it & basted it 3 times every few days; made the chocolate alcohol fruitcake with more of my fruit--(fantastic taste), am letting this sit also after basting it just a couple of times; and lastly I chopped pretty fine the rest of my fruit and made a Carribbean fruitcake(this is heavenly-I'm thinking due to the fruit being chopped, a bite thus gives a taste of all the wonderous fruits). I baked the cakes in small pans so one of each I can nibble on every few days to sample--waiting for Christmas to serve them and am seeing how the cake changes as time goes by. Great info on this topic -learned a lot. Thanks!

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Viva,

I am so pleased, and I know MeeMaw would be also, with all the mileage you are getting out of her cherished receipt.  I prepared a double batch early last month and canned it in pint jars (instead of the usual quarts) because I finally figured that a pint of the stuff is quite enough for smaller cakes, steamed puddings, bread dressing as a side dish, etc.  I used it to stuff a rolled pork loin roast that I served with Cumberland sauce and everyone raved about it. 

How about posting the recipe for your cream cheese pastry dough.

My neighbor, Leila Obregon, asked for a jar and she is going to use it in empanadas.  Her dad asked if I had ever tried using it in a mix for sausages - which gave me an idea to try - I just have to order some of the narrow casing to stuff finger-sized ones.  I have some duck meat and some venison in the freezer that should make up into very tasty sausages.

The empanadas sound like a great idea! I think the mincemeat is going to be one of those things I will always have a few jars of in the cupboard. You and MeeMaw are wonderful for sharing it.

The cream cheese pastry dough is an easy one - it's just Rose Levy Berenbaum's Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust from Pie & Pastry Bible. It's one of those pie doughs that I always have a disk of in the freezer. Although I bet the mincemeat would go nicely with a lard/butter crust too.

Topic? Saveur had a nice black cake recipe this month that I'm thinking of trying next year. I think it's funny how all the magazines publish their fruitcake recipes in December, when really you need to make them a couple of months earlier!!

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I have had my fruit soaking for a year. I always start it in Jan for the following Christmas, soaking the fruit in overproof rum (Wray and Nephew), and Red Label jamaican wine. I use Laurie Colwins recipe as a start. I will probably start on this batch of fruit late, as work has been crazy busy. A dear friend from the islands lost her mom last year, and she brought home her mom's jar of fruit that has been soaking since last year as well. I have the honor of cooking up this cake and only hope to come close to hers!

Edited later in the day to add that I made the cakes today. All this reading about it MADE me get to them. (OK, so nobody gets Christmas cards this year!!!!)

Made three 8 inch and five 6 inch cakes. Took a nibble of one, and am loopy already!!! Mixed kosher wine and J Wray to soak them in, and couldn't wait another minute. STRONG, but delicious! They'll mellow in a few days and be ready to give out!

Thanks for the inspiration! :laugh:


Edited by ncorrigbl (log)

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I think I've finished baking fruit cakes - 6 cakes and 3 dozen muffin-sized cakes.

I started thinking about the chocolate issue, and so included big chunks of dark 6% chocolate and lightly toasted walnuts in the muffin cakes. A nice variation!

I am happy to report that even my advanced English class ate them (Japanese people are usually a bit wary about fruit cake). The beginners missed out, because they meet in the language lab, where food is forbidden :rolleyes: (as I regularly have to remind them).

The 3 fruit cakes that I took in for the other English teachers, however, kept getting kidnapped, though they finally made it to their intended destinations!

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EMERGENCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOW DO I WRAP THIS THING!!!!!!!!!!

I have some black cakes and some round tins...should I wrap the cakes in muslin and then....something? and then place them in the tin?? I'm just not sure how the inside of the tin arangement should work out.

Also, do these things get frosted or anything? Should I make a hard sauce to give with it?

Help please...today is one of my last days to get these things finished!

I then thought I'd tie the tins with bows...

I also have some rectangular ones that don't fit into tins any suggestions for those would be great too..

Sorry about the late reply, but I wrap my black cakes in a large piece of plastic food wrap. Then I place them inside the tin/plastic container (whatever I'm using to store them in).

I'm happy to report that even though I got a late start with baking my black cakes, they were a hit. I only made 9 but I sold all of them without any leftover. Actually I ran short this year since a few of my customers came back to ask if I had any more left. Maybe next year I'll make a full dozen of them.

Of the 6 mini bundt sized ones I made, I gave 4 to my mom and kept 2 for myself.

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...Saveur had a nice black cake recipe this month that I'm thinking of trying next year.  I think it's funny how all the magazines publish their fruitcake recipes in December, when really you need to make them a couple of months earlier!!

This does seem rather shortsighted doesn't it? LOL But I guess publishing a black cake recipe in the summertime (when most people aren't even thinking of Christmas cakes) would seem premature. :laugh:

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I've organised (think out combining several recipes) great fruitcake without eggs and butter to keep the fast and I love it very much!

gallery_42184_3598_19674.jpg

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Recently a friend gave me a Block of fruit cake wrapped in Foil and when I unfolded it, the alcohol gushed out. That fruit cake create a deep impression in me eversince. My wife liked it so much that she pursuaded me to learn and make it ourselves so that we can have it fresh from the oven. I told her wait! i have to be online and ask the expert in egullet for help. Can anyone enlightens me?

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Hee, hee. I think Janet and I are the resident fruitcake supporters. We support your ravenous chase for fruitcake.

Try this book -- Favorite Fruitcakes: Recipes, Legends and Lore from the World's Best Cooks and Eaters by Moira Hodgson. You can get it from Amazon. Dolores Casella's World of Baking (also out of print, but available from Amazon or eBay) has a healthy section on fruitcake.

Enjoy your quest for the perfect fruitcake.

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