Fruitcake, to be precise. Who likes it?
Well, I do. I love fruitcake and I’m not ashamed to admit it. The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a slice or two of the dark, moist, fragrant confection.
The best fruitcakes are baked early to allow flavours to develop and intensify. I start mine at least a month before Christmas.
Firstly, dried fruits are dumped in a bowl and doused with a glug or two of booze. Some use rum. Some use brandy. I use whisky. Canadian Club Rye Whisky to be precise.
Tasting of the fruit at this stage is mandatory. <grin>
After allowing the fruit to soak up the booze for at least twelve hours (I give it an entire day [more time to taste test the fruit]) it’s stirred into a batter rich with butter, eggs and sugar. Also those warm spices that scream holiday baking – nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and allspice.
The batter is plunked in a lined baking pan and baked at a low temperature for hours. 285 degrees Fahrenheit for four hours to be precise. The house smells divine. It smells like the holidays of my childhood.
Then the cake needs to cool completely. Given its density, that takes a couple hours.
To help keep the cake moist, and to aid in its longevity, the cake is “fed” with additional booze, whisky in this case, at regular intervals. I feed mine weekly by sprinkling a few tablespoons of whisky over the top of the cake before tightly re-wrapping it in parchment paper and tin foil. Normally I’d store the cake in a large cake tin but IT’S STILL IN STORAGE!
Perhaps it’s time for another cake feeding. And I might just have a tipple, too.
Do you like fruitcake? Have you tried a homemade version that’s nicely steeped in spirits?
P.S. Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow to all my American friends and relations!
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