I LOVE fruitcake. Can we still be friends?
Why this hatred toward fruitcake?
I absolutely love it. But it has to be made right, with quality candied or dried fruit, nuts and LIQUOR. My mom used to make it by soaking the cake in cheese cloth and turned it for weeks until it was ready. Just a tiny slice, that's all you needed.
The Italians also love their holiday fruitcake called Panforte from Siena, which I also love.
I know you have probably been traumatized as a child from that holiday fruit cake that is dry with the maraschino cherries sent from an aunt whom you never really liked anyway, or that gross pineapple and macadamia nut cake that comes from some factory in the red box, but I think this recipe might convert you.
It is from that lovely Rose Bakery Cookbook, and the British (though the bakery is located in Paris) know how to do fruit cake.
I changed only a few things in the recipe, like instead of whiskey, I used Grand Marnier (cause my mom used it and it's nice w/ the dried fruit). I also took out some of the raisins and threw in some chopped dried figs along w/ some chopped raw almonds for a nice crunch.
Fruit cake is very forgiving, you can add a little of this or that and it lasts forever. You can make it 3 weeks before Christmas and the longer it sits, the better it gets.
Rose Bakery Fruitcake: YUM
1 1/2 cups of golden raisins
1 cup of Zante currants
1/2 cup of chopped dried figs
generous 1/2 cup of mixed candied citrus peel
1 apple, peeled & grated
3 tbsp orange marmalade
1/4 cup of whisky, brandy or Grand Marnier
grated zest & juice of a lemon
grated zest & juice of an orange
1 stick (1/2 cup) softened unsalted butter plus more for greasing the cake tin
2/3 cup of soft brown sugar
2 tbsp treacle or molasses
1 cup of all purpose flour
1 cup of ground almonds (or almond meal)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
In a large bowl, mix all the raisins and fruit w/ the lemon and orange zest and juice. Add the liquor and marmalade and let the mixture sit and macerate for an hour on the counter.
Beat the butter and sugar until light in color then beat in the treacle. Next, beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Fold in the flour and ground almonds, cinnamon and allspice and salt. Finally, fold in the fruit mixture.
Butter a 10" cake tin and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper so you can lift the cake out easily.
Bake in a 325F oven for 1 hour. You may need 5 more minutes, ovens and baking tins vary in cooking times. Cool the cake in the cake tin then remove and wrap tightly in foil.
You really don't need a hard sauce or icing on this cake unless you want your fillings to fall out.
Stays well for weeks and you only need a little slice with coffee.
Maybe now that you are all grown up you might revisit this scary thing called "Fruit Cake"!
Merry Christmas!!!!! xo