Festive Fruitcake

Cakes and Cupcakes

Yield: one 9×5 inch fruitcake
Recipe: 109/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 270

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      For Christmas I made this recipe for my dad who is a huge fan of fruitcake. I was long overdue to post this recipe, but unfortunately time has gotten away from me these past few months. Better late than never! We only ever get him the commercial one with the bright green and red cherries, so I thought that I would adapt this recipe so that he would get those bright pops of colour and taste that he is used to. So I made half the loaf with the exact recipe cited below from the cookbook, and for the other half I replaced the dried cherries with the same amount of green and red cherries, and then baked the whole thing as one loaf.

    The loaf did not quite turn out as planned. Due to the fact that the green and red cherries are not dried but rather hydrated, the mixture was too wet and the cake took a long time to bake. He tasted both halves of the fruitcake and told me that he actually loved the original recipe (left in the picture), but didn’t like my modified version (right in the picture) because it ended up being very tough and dry. The lesson here is to follow the original recipe if you have never made it before, and then try and make modifications if necessary.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups Thompson raisins
  • 1 ½ cups Candied Citrus Peel
  • ½ cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Bring the water and orange juice up to a boil. Pour over the raisins, citrus peel, and dried cherries, and stir. Cool the mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir the sugar and oil into the fruit, then sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt overtop and stir in.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread to level. Bake the fruitcake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake for 20 minutes in the pan, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.

Valerie

Light Fruitcake Ring

Cakes and Cupcakes

Yield: one 8-cup bundt cake
Recipe: 60/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 250

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   My dad is generally not a huge fan of desserts, but one thing he adores during the holiday season is fruitcake. He always receives the store-bought fruitcakes as a gift (the ones with the red and green cherries). I thought that this year I would make him a big fruitcake that he could enjoy endlessly. I am not an avid eater of fruitcake myself, but according to him this fruitcake is delicious and very tasty. Much better than the ones sold in stores, he claims. What I further like about this recipe is that it has many small steps but in the end, it is not so complicated. The hardest part, I think, is the 5-day waiting period before tasting it! I urge you to try this recipe if you or someone you know like fruitcakes. 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup diced Candied Citrus Peel
  • 3 oz. (85 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup amber rum (e.g. Bacardi Gold), plus extra for brushing cake
  • 2  1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 2  1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Stir the pecans, prunes, figs, dates, apricots, citrus peel and chocolate with the rum. Cover and let sit for one hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F and grease an 8-cup bundt pan.
  3. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, cloves and salt together. Add the fruit and rum mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, honey, milk and egg yolks. Stir this into the fruit mixture.
  5. Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the egg whites until the hold a medium peak when the beaters are lifted. Fold this into the cake batter in two additions.
  6. Spread this mixture into the prepared bundt pan and bake for about an hour, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake for 20 minutes in the pan, then turn it out to cool.
  7. While still warm, brush the surface of the cake with rum. Once completely cooled, brush the cake again with rum. Wrap and store the cake for 5 days before slicing.

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Valerie