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Suvir Saran

The Fruitcake Topic

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On ‎10‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 8:53 AM, oli said:

 

When you say soak it, how do you do it?  Do you just pour slowly over the top?

I don't know how you do it, but my way is to do it is to inject it with a large gauge needle.

 

Well I didn't get to making any fruitcake last year because I was recovering from a broken arm, (in 4 places).  But I do have some vintage 2016 fruitcakes aging in cheesecloth soaked in brandy and some "light fruitcakes" in the pantry.  But I'll get back to making some new dark fruitcakes this year.  As my Great Aunt Bertie used to say, a "good" fruitcake is just coming of age at 5 years old and 10-year old cakes are even better.....

IMG_2438_thumb_JPG_88062904d990289696339a2a0da7645a.jpg

 

gallery_41580_4407_39023.jpg

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The best fruit cake I grew up with is called "Black Cake," and is made from wine-soaked dark fruits.  My mother is Trinidadian, and she bakes it for all celebrations, especially Christmas.  It is a very wet cake--almost a pudding--and so rich that it's best enjoyed in slivers and nibbles with a cup of tea.  

 

 

20131208_Black_Cake_stand.jpg


Edited by Scones&Rain (log)
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13 minutes ago, Scones&Rain said:

The best fruit cake I grew up with is called "Black Cake," and is made from wine-soaked dark fruits.  My mother is Trinidadian, and she bakes it for all celebrations, especially Christmas.  It is a very wet cake--almost a pudding--and so rich that it's best enjoyed in slivers and nibbles with a cup of tea.  

 

 

20131208_Black_Cake_stand.jpg

 

That is a beauty!

 

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Indeed. I may have to put some fruit on to soak after Christmas to be prepped for next year....Sounds wonderful!

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On 10/31/2018 at 8:29 AM, David Ross said:

Well I didn't get to making any fruitcake last year because I was recovering from a broken arm, (in 4 places).  But I do have some vintage 2016 fruitcakes aging in cheesecloth soaked in brandy and some "light fruitcakes" in the pantry.  But I'll get back to making some new dark fruitcakes this year.  As my Great Aunt Bertie used to say, a "good" fruitcake is just coming of age at 5 years old and 10-year old cakes are even better.....

IMG_2438_thumb_JPG_88062904d990289696339a2a0da7645a.jpg

 

gallery_41580_4407_39023.jpg

I have only kept a cake for a year.  How often do you have to apply more booze to keep it from drying out.  What is the ambient temperature where the coke is kept.??

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13 hours ago, Okanagancook said:

I have only kept a cake for a year.  How often do you have to apply more booze to keep it from drying out.  What is the ambient temperature where the coke is kept.??

I douse it with liquor about every 3 months.  It's kept in a sealed Tupperware bin and stowed in a pantry closet where it's dark.  I haven't tested the temperature, but it's toward the back porch so cool in the winter and I doubt it gets maybe above 50 in the summer.  The liquor probably helps.

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Thanks.  Our wine cellar is probably the best place I have to store a cake.  Excellent.

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On 10/31/2018 at 8:29 AM, David Ross said:

Well I didn't get to making any fruitcake last year because I was recovering from a broken arm, (in 4 places).  But I do have some vintage 2016 fruitcakes aging in cheesecloth soaked in brandy and some "light fruitcakes" in the pantry.  But I'll get back to making some new dark fruitcakes this year.  As my Great Aunt Bertie used to say, a "good" fruitcake is just coming of age at 5 years old and 10-year old cakes are even better.....

IMG_2438_thumb_JPG_88062904d990289696339a2a0da7645a.jpg

 

David, where are you getting the fruit? I used to some years ago, go to TJs and they would have chopped fruit packages. When they stopped selling this product that's when I stopped making fruit cake.

 

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I usually just buy the standard candied fruits from the grocery store.  Then I use bottled maraschino cherries for decorating the top of the fruitcake.  Sometimes I'll make my own candied orange peel to add to the fruit cake.  This is the brand we see most in our local stores:

617+5XIJnEL__SL1024_.jpg

 

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I cheated and bought a few. I often will buy whoever is said to be the best. Here's the Bien Fait and Robert Lambert.

IMG_20181110_150220.thumb.jpg.081235ce441ac9b0b9dc9f7fb543a5c7.jpg


Edited by gfron1 (log)
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On 11/9/2018 at 12:39 PM, David Ross said:

I usually just buy the standard candied fruits from the grocery store.  Then I use bottled maraschino cherries for decorating the top of the fruitcake.  Sometimes I'll make my own candied orange peel to add to the fruit cake.  This is the brand we see most in our local stores:

617+5XIJnEL__SL1024_.jpg

 

Was just hoping there was a healthier version. I could just buy a bunch of dried fruit and chop them up, but it does get pricey when its all said and done.

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I've made Black Cake a few times -  it is *wonderful* and now I am wishing I had this thought a month or so ago so I could have started the fruit. 

 

Which brings me to a question for all of you seasoned fruitcake makers:  how long can you macerate the fruit - maybe it would make sense to buy a pound or so of different fruits and just keep them in a glass jar with the alcohol year round so you can make the cake when you want to and with your favorite fruits (I am not fond of citron or the green cherries LOL) ?

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4 hours ago, JeanneCake said:

I've made Black Cake a few times -  it is *wonderful* and now I am wishing I had this thought a month or so ago so I could have started the fruit. 

 

Which brings me to a question for all of you seasoned fruitcake makers:  how long can you macerate the fruit - maybe it would make sense to buy a pound or so of different fruits and just keep them in a glass jar with the alcohol year round so you can make the cake when you want to and with your favorite fruits (I am not fond of citron or the green cherries LOL) ?

I'm thinking about experimenting with using my vacuum sealer to macerate. I have a FoodSaver and the wide-mouth canning jar attachment. Gonna just partially fill a jar and see how it goes against a test jar without vacuum.

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For those looking to buy GLAZED fruits for fruit cakes, NUTS.COM  now carries an excellent product.  Far superior to the supermarket stuff.

 

Glazed fruit.

 

For anyone who needs similar baking ingredients in larger quantities, (5 pound minimum for the fruits & et) there is  Baking Authority.  Their web site is a bit confusing but they do have Live Chat,  which is very helpful if one gets lost.

Their candied fruits are sourced from The Netherlands - I have not seen any from China, (which I absolutely will not use.)

The tutti frutti  is the "fruitcake mix" 

Their WHOLE glacé fruits are sourced from ITALY and they are wonderful!  

A CAVEAT -  Know exactly what you want and stick to it because they carry a lot of very attractive items and one can get a bit carried away.  Which is one reason the whole candied fruit is now "out of stock."

 

 

 

I used to order from another source but L;epicerie is now defunct.

 

 


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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13 hours ago, Lisa Shock said:

I'm thinking about experimenting with using my vacuum sealer to macerate. I have a FoodSaver and the wide-mouth canning jar attachment. Gonna just partially fill a jar and see how it goes against a test jar without vacuum.

That will speed up the maceration process - just like the "instant" marinating of meats with the vac sealer.

I did it for a black cake three years ago - the year I had my open heart surgery and wasn't thinking about baking until the last minute.

As I recall, it was only 6 days and I repeated the process 3 days after the initial vac process.  I used the Kosher "sacramental" red fortified wine. 

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52 minutes ago, andiesenji said:

For those looking to buy GLAZED fruits for fruit cakes, NUTS.COM  now carries an excellent product.  Far superior to the supermarket stuff.

 

Glazed fruit.

 

For anyone who needs similar baking ingredients in larger quantities, (5 pound minimum for the fruits & et) there is  Baking Authority.  Their web site is a bit confusing but they do have Live Chat,  which is very helpful if one gets lost.

Their candied fruits are sourced from The Netherlands - I have not seen any from China, (which I absolutely will not use.)

The tutti frutti  is the "fruitcake mix" 

Their WHOLE glacé fruits are sourced from ITALY and they are wonderful!  

A CAVEAT -  Know exactly what you want and stick to it because they carry a lot of very attractive items and one can get a bit carried away.  Which is one reason the whole candied fruit is now "out of stock."

 

 

 

I used to order from another source but L;epicerie is now defunct.

 

 

 

What fruits exactly did you purchase for your cake?

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2 hours ago, andiesenji said:

I used to order from another source but L;epicerie is now defunct. 

 

@andiesenji it looks like l'epicerie's website is still working. Have you tried ordering from them lately and had a problem? I sure hope not!

 

Just did a search and it looks like some of the Agrimontana candied fruits are available from Market Hall Foods (https://www.markethallfoods.com/collections/agrimontana). I'll probably give them a try when I need to resupply.

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I only did a form of the black cake once for my Panamanian. It was less dense. You could slice it. Heavenly thinly sliced. Honestly after wallowing in booze for months the generic stuff is pretty tasty. I did hike over to Grand Central Market to get citron separately. It has been 40 years and I still think about it!

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6 hours ago, oli said:

What fruits exactly did you purchase for your cake?

I got some glazed mixed peel, some lemon, some orange (diced),  some orange strips, and some red cherries.  I skipped the pineapple as I already have some dried slices I made and I will steam them which produces a sort of self-glazed result.

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4 hours ago, curls said:

 

@andiesenji it looks like l'epicerie's website is still working. Have you tried ordering from them lately and had a problem? I sure hope not!

The old owners aren't there any more.  The new people don't seem to be very helpful.

 

Just did a search and it looks like some of the Agrimontana candied fruits are available from Market Hall Foods (https://www.markethallfoods.com/collections/agrimontana). I'll probably give them a try when I need to resupply.

I haven't ordered from them since last year when I ordered some chestnuts and the product had expired in 2012.  And they would not take them back or refund me.


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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35 minutes ago, andiesenji said:

I got some glazed mixed peel, some lemon, some orange (diced),  some orange strips, and some red cherries.  I skipped the pineapple as I already have some dried slices I made and I will steam them which produces a sort of self-glazed result.

Didn't that cost a small fortune?

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4 hours ago, oli said:

Didn't that cost a small fortune?

No. The prices at Nuts.com are quite reasonable.  I also bought some nuts.

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10 minutes ago, andiesenji said:

No. The prices at Nuts.com are quite reasonable.  I also bought some nuts.

Okay I see now. I thought you were buying them separatly and I was adding it all up and I just couldn't see buying it that way . I see the mixed glazed peel is more reasonable, so I think I will jump on it and purchase some.

Do you think I should make the fruitcake this year to be eaten the following year, or consumed this year?

 


Edited by oli (log)
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11 hours ago, oli said:

Okay I see now. I thought you were buying them separatly and I was adding it all up and I just couldn't see buying it that way . I see the mixed glazed peel is more reasonable, so I think I will jump on it and purchase some.

Do you think I should make the fruitcake this year to be eaten the following year, or consumed this year?

 

 

I am going to make one and wrap it up till Christmas and then consume it over the next few months.  I have other uses for the mixed peel.  I will be making some stollen and also panettone, some fruitcake cookies. Mostly for gifting to others.   I also ordered 2 pounds of the Crimson raisins and will use some of those and some of the mixed peel in a DUNDEE CAKE (the recipe calls for currents but I omit them), which is another sort-of "fruit cake" that I like and we always had them when I was a child in the 1940s, even during the war years. 

I will also make my fruited cocoa cake, which is from an old family recipe, for a friend who has done some favors for me and doesn't like regular fruitcake.  

This is what the Dundee cake looks like, if you are unfamiliar with it.  It's a traditional British "tea" cake, which keeps well if wrapped and stored in a cake tin (never in plastic).  Not as dense as a fruitcake.

607058179_Dindeecake5.JPG.94bad313e93b8254111327a56dabcda0.JPG

1345588855_Dindeecake6.JPG.9223a57d3bb89c7e393e1e77bfec27d2.JPG

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