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Suvir Saran

The Fruitcake Topic

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I'm a lover of fruitcake and never got the fruitcake jokes, maybe because my mom always made wonderful ones. I always make them about now for Christmas; but what is left over only gets better. I was appalled once when a partner threw away two six-month-old fruitcakes, because they were "too old..."

My suggestion would be just to make several fruitcakes, soak them in different kinds of booze, and sample them at intervals. Then you'll see what you like, and how it changes. Of course that won't answer the immediate question (but as someone else has said, it's a matter of personal taste anyway). Still you'll have fun tasting them. :smile:


Edited by sazji (log)

"Los Angeles is the only city in the world where there are two separate lines at holy communion. One line is for the regular body of Christ. One line is for the fat-free body of Christ. Our Lady of Malibu Beach serves a great free-range body of Christ over angel-hair pasta."

-Lea de Laria

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I have a chocolate-cherry-coffee-pecan fruitcake in the fridge, waiting to be splashed with a little more bourbon when I get back from the liquor store tonight. Last year we made a white chocolate fruitcake which was fantastic -- essentially using the fruitcake recipe in one of Steingarten's books, with a bunch of white chocolate and Benedictine -- but we've made it twice since then and it didn't fly. We've decided the white chocolate itself was the key, but the stuff we used for the first one was bought out of town, and neither of us can remember what brand it was.

I think I like the new one better, even if it's less traditional -- none of the glace fruits (I would have used them, mind you, but I started the fruitcake in October and no one here had them for sale yet), just dried tart cherries, pecans and hickory nuts. It's still unmistakably fruitcake -- but I'm going to buy some of the glace fruit this season and put it aside for next year.

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what exactly is passover wine? i have looked for this but haven't been able to find it, labelled as such, in any case.

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what exactly is passover wine? i have looked for this but haven't been able to find it, labelled as such, in any case.

Carmel, Mogen David, Manishevitz are all brands of Passover or "Sacramental" wine.

White, red, concord grape, and come others all available at many stores. Wal-Mart local to me has it in white and red.


"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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I am adding the link to this thread on Pork Cake

because it is a type of fruitcake. Check out Viva's photos of the process.

It is technically a fruitcake but is different enough to be interesting. It does require more preparation but it is tasty and it does not have to be "aged" to develop the complex flavors one expects in a fruitcake.


"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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I found this thread very interesting and informative, since I am making the wedding cake for a friend's wedding (a 3 tier fruit cake). If the wedding is at the end of April next year, when should I make the cakes to allow for proper maturation? How crucial is the maturation?


"I'll just die if I don't get this recipe."

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I have a chocolate-cherry-coffee-pecan fruitcake in the fridge, waiting to be splashed with a little more bourbon when I get back from the liquor store tonight. 

That chocolate-cherry-coffee-pecan fruitcake sounds great! Would you mind posting the recipe?

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That chocolate-cherry-coffee-pecan fruitcake sounds great! Would you mind posting the recipe?

Oh, sure thing:

Caligula

(It's dark, it's decadent, it's a fruitcake.)

1 pound dried tart cherries. Not Bings, but Montmorencies or the like. Sometimes hard to find -- I ordered mine from Kokopelli's Kitchen, cheaper than other places I saw.

You can use other fruit, and in fact I ordinarily would have used a small container of mixed glace fruit, or at least citron -- but it wasn't on sale here when I made the fruitcake. Currants could be good, too.

1 teaspoon lemon zest, chopped fine.

1 Tablespoon candied ginger, chopped fine. You can use more than this -- I was afraid of it coming out too gingerbready, but it isn't strong at all.

About a cup of bourbon.

2 sticks butter

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3 eggs

2 cups flour, divided

A triple shot of espresso. I'm not sure how much this is by volume; I just ordered it at Starbuck's.

1 pound Callebaut semi-sweet chocolate. If I'd been able to find it, I would have used something a little higher in cocoa content, towards the 70-80% range, but I'm a dark chocolate person.

2 cups chopped pecans.

Special equipment -- parchment paper.

Soak cherries in 1/4 cup bourbon in Zip-Loc bag; soak lemon zest and ginger in another 1/4 cup bourbon in separate container (to keep the cherries from becoming ginger-flavored). Soak overnight. The cherries will probably soak all the bourbon up.

Preheat oven to 300.

Butter two loaf pans or a medium-size casserole dish and line them with parchment paper.

Chop the chocolate up pretty rough so you've got both big pieces and small, which is pretty much what happens on its own anyway.

Cream the butter and add the following, beating to incorporate after each: the sugar; 2 eggs; 1 cup flour; remaining egg; cocoa remaining flour; espresso.

Drain the bourbon off the soaked things and reserve it. Stir the fruit, ginger, chocolate, and pecans into the batter and pour into pan(s).

Bake for 35 minutes, cover tightly with foil, and bake for another 50 minutes or so; cake will look slightly underdone.

Sprinkle a little bourbon and let cool completely in the pan before inverting it onto a plate; brush with the rest of the bourbon you used for soaking (this leaves you with 1/2 cup as yet untouched) and pop into a Zip-Loc bag, keeping it in the fridge.

Brush, spritz, or sprinkle with remaining bourbon once a week until you're ready to serve it -- I made mine about six weeks in advance.

(Edited to insert a missing step.)


Edited by Ktepi (log)

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My fruit and nuts are soaking in grandmarnier on top of the fridge. This year I have gotten so excited that I am ahead of myself. Normally I soak the fruit for 10 days and then bake around December 1. It will be interesting to see if it makes it any better than usual.

Re the cherries, I hate them too. My cake only calls for glace apricots and pineapple, but this year I threw in glace peaches too. Very very exciting.

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The best source for dried fruits is www.oldriverfruits.com in northern California...apricots, pluots, several varieties of peaches, cherries, raisins. Reasonably priced, free shipping for orders over $24. Vastly superior to Trader Joes or any other source.

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I baked my fruit cake in August in New Zealand, soaked it in beer, and shipped it back to myself in Japan...for the past 8 weeks, I've been dousing it in rum every 10 days. It's just reached the stage where past applications of rum have softened the cake enough that the fresh dose of rum soaks into the cake immediately.

I'm thinking that I might soon taper off the rum and let it just sit, wrapped and undisturbed, for a month...

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I want to make a Christmas cake this year. I don’t want to just get a recipe on the net I want a hand me down recipe. Who in your family has been baking a Christmas cake for the festive season and has a tried and true recipe. I can still remember my nana’s Christmas cake which was full of bandy soaked fruit and crunchy almonds and it was heavy to hold. Do you have a Christmas cake recipe you would be willing to share.


Edited by Taubear (log)

Smell and taste are in fact but a single composite sense, whose laboratory is the mouth and its chimney the nose. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

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This is the cake that my family always had for Christmas, for as long as I can remember (beginning in the early 1940s) Christmas Cake

It goes back much, much longer than that, and is very close to the original.

My great grandmother died when I was 10, having lived nearly 105 years, born in 1844, died in 1949.

I make the cake in either a tree-shaped pan or in a wreath-shaped pan. I often make a double batch and use a pan that makes 4 little trees or bake part of it in a sheet pan and cut out trees of different sizes (I have several tree-shaped cutters).

I then assemble the big cake with the smaller ones on a large tray to make a scene, using macaroon coconut for "snow" and Christmas decorative candies to decorate the trees - silver and gold dragees, etc.


"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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I've already baked my fruitcakes (black cake) for this year. I have 12 of them sitting in my kitchen and 11 of them are already spoken for. :)


Edited by Kris (log)

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A few years ago I whined until a friend gave me his family's Christmas cake recipe... and then I later lost it. :sad: By then, the friend had moved away.

It was baked in a tube pan. It was a date cake, with lots of spice, and red and green maraschino cherries in it. If anyone has a recipe like this, please please please will you post it? :wub:

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This is the cake that my family always had for Christmas, for as long as I can remember (beginning in the early 1940s) Christmas Cake

It goes back much, much longer than that, and is very close to the original.

My great grandmother died when I was 10, having lived nearly 105 years, born in 1844, died in 1949. 

I make the cake in either a tree-shaped pan or in a wreath-shaped pan.  I often make a double batch and use a pan that makes 4 little trees or bake part of it in a sheet pan and cut out trees of different sizes (I have several tree-shaped cutters).

I then assemble the big cake with the smaller ones on a large tray to make a scene, using macaroon coconut for "snow" and Christmas decorative candies to decorate the trees - silver and gold dragees, etc.

I would like to try your christmas cake recipe using some sour cherries which i pitted and preserved in brandy last summer. Since these cherries are already full of moisture, do you think I would need to reduce the amount of applesauce in the recipe?

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I want to make a Christmas cake this year. I don’t want to just get a recipe on the net I want a hand me down recipe. Who in your family has been baking a Christmas cake for the festive season and has a tried and true recipe. I can still remember my nana’s Christmas cake which was full of bandy soaked fruit and crunchy almonds and it was heavy to hold. Do you have a Christmas cake recipe you would be willing to share.

Mine is my mothers recipe. Her mother didn't cook well at all and had no drive to do it. If you like orange flavours with the fruit, you may like it.

NB An Australian cup is slightly larger than an imperial one. It is 250 ml versus 237ml.

Grand Marnier Christmas Cake

3 cups sultanas (I believe also known as Golden Raisins)

1 cup mixed peel

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped dates

1 cup chopped prunes

3/4 cup chopped glace apriots

3/4 cup chopped glace pineapple

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup Grand Marnier

1/2 cup castor sugar

1/4 cup orange juice

250 g butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

5 eggs

2 cups plain flour

3 Tbs Grand Marnier (extra)

1 Combine fruit, nuts and Grand Marnier. Heat castor sugar and orange juice over a low heat until sugar dissolves. Cool. Poor over fruit and stand for 10 days. I usually put it in a container with a good lid and shake about once a day or so.

2 Preheat oven to 150C

3 Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time until well combined.

4 Add sifted flour and fruit mixture, mix well.

5 Prepare a 20cm deep square cake tin or a 23 cm round tin by greasing and lining with greaseproof paper.

6 Place mixxture in tin and bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Once done remove from oven and pour additional Grand Marnier over the cake. Wrap with foil and allow to cool in the tin.

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Just made mine today, with the rest (sob!) of my macerated fruits and black sugar from last year. Both held up perfectly, the latter in the fridge in a glass container.

I chronicled my making of the black sugar on my blog last year, with photos of the brown sugar turning lava-like as it burnt:

http://tenacity.net/2004/12/gifts-final-edition.html

I *like* the burnt flavor - perhaps because I love coffee?

But now if I want to make it again next year I need to start another jar of fruit soaking....

Oh, and this year the cakes turned out a lot lighter. Not exactly sure why, but there were two differences from last year: smaller mini-loaf pans, and when I creamed the butter and sugar it did not cream successfully and actually broke and looked curdled when I added the eggs. I couldn't recover from that, so I just forged on and baked the cakes with the weirdo looking batter.

Resulting cakes are more cake-y than dense (which bf likes, I do not). So perhaps I will just souse them extra to add some density. Hehe.

Miss Tenacity

http://tenacity.net


"You can't taste the beauty and energy of the Earth in a Twinkie." - Astrid Alauda

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Food Lovers' Guide to Santa Fe, Albuquerque & Taos: OMG I wrote a book. Woo!

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my "secret" fruitcake recipe includes sparkling grape juice, coffee, and apricot juice. it's very dark, moist, and ENGLISH. it's a standing rule that ONLY brandy may be used to soak the cake.

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I chronicled my making of the black sugar on my blog last year, with photos of the brown sugar turning lava-like as it burnt:

http://tenacity.net/2004/12/gifts-final-edition.html

I *like* the burnt flavor - perhaps because I love coffee?

This sounds terrific. We're making a second fruitcake on New Year's Eve (the idea is to let it age a year and hopefully eat it next New Year's with the same friends who'll be here this year), and I think I'll borrow a lot from yours for it -- certainly the black sugar.

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This is the cake that my family always had for Christmas, for as long as I can remember (beginning in the early 1940s) [url=http://

I would like to try your christmas cake recipe using some sour cherries which i pitted and preserved in brandy last summer. Since these cherries are already full of moisture, do you think I would need to reduce the amount of applesauce in the recipe?

I am sorry I didn't see your post a few days ago. As long as you drain the cherries well, keep everything the same, test it and bake a little longer if necessary. This is a very forgiving recipe.

I have from time to time added additional fruit or nuts, used apple butter instead of applesauce, used plum butter once - great flavor but it was too sweet for some.


"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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I made TEA FRUITCAKE given in this topic. it was GREAT! The only problem I had was the flour - I had to add a little more. But the taste is really good. I have to try some other one too! :)

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Every year is "that time of year"!

Sketch of the saffron-cherry fruitcake currently in the oven:

Basic white fruitcake batter, minus any flavorings like vanilla. Melt half of the butter with a hefty pinch of saffron -- I probably used a quarter of a gram for a small fruitcake -- and let cool before creaming with the rest of the butter and continuing.

For the fruit, I used dried sweetened cherries soaked for a few days in bourbon until they were reconstituted. I'd prefer home-candied tart cherries, but can't get tart cherries here; dried tart cherries would be a second choice, but they don't have those in the store here either, and I didn't feel like waiting for mail order.

The batter has a strong "cherry vanilla" flavor to it -- I don't know how many people have played with saffron in sweet dishes, but to my palate it's like a complicated, brooding vanilla. I was hoping it would go well with the cherries, and if the final product is anything like the batter, it's exactly what I wanted.

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