Hey baker buddies, Welcome to my first post on my little space on the net. Before getting on to it… A big Thank you for popping over here.
First of all a happy new year, I know am a little late, but then, My website crashed ( don’t know how… Not a technical person)…! So i had to pull it up together… and it took a lot of time for me to get back into one piece.
So why this fruit cake as my first post, because it has childhood memories for me and baking a fruit cake means starting my new year with nostalgia and happy memories.
What is a fruit cake ?
A fruit Cake is usually a Dark Rich Dense Cake made with the best dried fruits soaked in alcohol( whisky, rum or gin) for months or in cranberry or apple juice. Generally baked for Christmas, in the month of December; and fed by alcohol.
Fruit cakes are also great for Weddings and a very common cake variety in the United Kingdom.
A little history to the fruit cake
A traditional Christmas fruit bake dates back to the ancient Rome. The fruit cake had pine nuts, raisins mixed into mashed barley. Gradually with time, the cake recipe started evolving, and preserved fruits were used. Optionally soaking in alcohol. Now, people use candied peels, dried fruits, nuts and spices.
The Fruit Cake takes various names, forms and recipes from around the world, considering the different fruits and nuts available locally. Like in Milan Italy there is Panettone, Panforte is another version, which are all called as Sweetened breads and use yeast in them. Then there is Germany’s Stollen. In Uk these fruit cake is called Dundee in Scotland. In Poland it is loaf shaped called the Ket, containing figs, raisins. India’s Plum Cake usually dark brown in colour. Most importantly every country’s fruit cake is closely determined by the type of fruits and spices used in them. Fruit cakes are dark or light coloured.
The taste depends on what goes into the cake, the fruits, nuts, spices and alcohol.
Fruit cakes are generally covered with Marzipan and Royal Icing.
The Easy Fruit Cake
This Easy Fruit Cake, is easy, simple, quick. Yeah you read that right… !! Fruit Cake and simple ? yes, yes because the traditional fruit cake is soaked in alcohol for months – so its time consuming and a little heavier on the pocket, as we need to keep topping it up with alcohol as and when the fruits completely absorb the alcohol. Alternatively, We have a different way of making a fruit cake. It is Simple, Easy and Quick. We call it the boiled fruit cake.
More about THE EASY FRUIT CAKE
With no soaking time, the cake is still rich dark dense and moist. Its loaded with the best of dark fruits, some light fruits. But these fruits aren’t soaked in alcohol or juice for months. They are boiled with spices, until the fruits are plumped up. In addition to being easy and quick it gives a moist texture.
The fruit cake batter … !! What goes in ?
The taste and flavour of any fruit cake is based on the fruits and the spices. so here it goes
- We have prunes, apricots, candied ginger, raisins dark and golden sultanas, candied kiwi, figs,
- Nuts – walnuts, pecans, almonds. Can be optional. ( I have not used them)
- spices – ground ginger, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.
- all purpose flour, dark brown sugar, treacle syrup
- baking powder
- molasses – for the rich dark colour
Get Your Tools Ready… Nothing Fancy just basic Stuff
- Large stock pot
- Medium size bowl
- 9 inch round Pan
- Parchment sheet.
The fruits are boiled with butter, water, sugar and spices, giving the cake the moist texture.
Baking the Cake
The batter is heavy, and thick so bake this for a longer time at lower temperature. That ways, the cake stays moist and is thoroughly baked.
EASY Fruit Cake
- 220 grams brown sugar dark or light
- 60 grams butter unsalted
- 250 ml water
- 450 grams raisins, prunes, apricots, ginger peel, sultanas, figs all chopped
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground clove optional
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg optional
- 1.5 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 210 grams all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp molasses optional
- 2 large eggs beaten
- In a large saucepan or a stock pot, melt the butter with sugar, water, ground spices and the dried fruits. Bring it to a boil, until the raisins are all plumped up.
- Leave aside and let it cool down. Around 10 – 15 mins
- Meanwhile prepare pans. Grease and line a 9 inch round pan. In another bowl whisk flour, baking soda and salt. Set Aside. Preheat oven at 160 degree celsius.
- Once the mixture cools down. Add in the eggs, mix well until the egg is well incorporated. Then add in the flour mixture and fold in well using a spatula. Mix just enough until there is no flour specks
- Pour the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for about 40 to 50 mins. Until it is completely done or a tooth pick inserted comes out clean
- Once done, remove from the oven and place on the wire rack for 10 mins, and then remove from the cake pan. Let it completely cool, before serving.
- They are’nt any hard and fast rules, but this fruit cake requires raisins.
- All ovens are different, use an oven thermometer and also check for doneness in between 40 to 60 mins.
- This batter is heavy, so baking long at low temperature does the trick.
Storing Baked Cakes
This Fruit cakes stays absolutely good at room temperature around 24 to 28 deg. for whole 2 months. this is tried and tested.
And thats a wind up with my first post, Hop over for more simple and traditional baking recipes.
Meanwhile, Take Care.. !! Happy Baking
Good Day & Much Love