Monday, November 12, 2012

Fruitcake

Bring on the jokes. That's what fruitcakes are for, right?  Everyone has a fruitcake joke. Looking for a hockey puck? Here, use a slice of my grandma's fruitcake. Stuck in the snow? Weigh down your trunk with mom's fruitcake. These are the jokes of my childhood.

My mom used to make fruitcake in mid-October, then wrap it in cheesecloth and douse it with brandy. She'd keep feeding it booze for the next 2 months and then bring it out on Christmas, only to throw it away a few weeks later. We all hated it.

Fast forward to Christmas Season 2011. All my British blogging friends were talking about Christmas Cake. When they explained it to me I said, "Ah, fruitcake". What was I missing? Had I never had a truly good piece of fruitcake? Well, truth be told, I guess I hadn't until Katy sent me a slice of her mom's traditional recipe. You can read about it here. She also sent me the recipe.

The recipe calls for a special spice blend called of all things, Mixed Spice. Annabella sent me some in my swap package from this past summer.



Yesterday, I decided to make my Christmas Cake. I am not calling this a fruitcake. It is a true British Christmas Cake. Susan sent me her recipe and I already had Katy's recipe, so I combined the two to what I thought would make a great recipe and made Diane's Christmas Cake.

I understand from Katy and Susan that the paper is an important part of the process in making this cake. Three layers of buttered parchment paper, tied around the outside of the spring form pan and a double layer on the inside.


It was cold yesterday, so the butter and sugar took a while to cream well.


Add 8 eggs. This is going to be a huge cake.


All the flour, dried fruit and nuts are added. This is when I am really glad I have the extra big bowl on my Mixmaster.


Opps, forgot to add the Golden Raisins, so I stirred them in by hand.


Poured into the prepared pan.


It smelled so good while it was baking (for four hours). The spices, the fruit, the sugar, yum! I would cut into it today.  But, I let it cool and then doused it with a mixture of brandy and Grand Marnier. Then I wrapped it up and put it away for about 5 weeks. I will coat it in Marzipan and add a Royal icing to it as well, a few days before Christmas.



Thanks to Susan, Annabella,  Katy and her mom for talking me through this cake.
All I can say is this cake better be good because it took a while to make. It also took the  input of people from three continents (including me), it was a true team project. 

Come Christmas we'll see if my cake becomes a family joke or a family tradition. 





15 comments:

Trudi said...

Love a good Christmas cake! My mum still,feeds hers with best brandy! If you run short of spice, let me know :)

Patchwork and Play said...

It will definitely be a family tradition! I can almost smell it from here! My Mum made THE best Christmas cake....I sure miss it!

Annabella said...

This post has really cheered me up Di...I think Di's Christmas cake is going to be the best! It certainly looks good and with such an awesome collaborative effort it had better be good!

Linda Coleman said...

Diane, you brought back so many memories with this post. It was a big thing in our house making the Christmas cake and Christmas puddings when I was smaller. We weren't allowed run in or out the back door in case we banged it and the cake would drop in the oven. The smell was fantastic and the big treat was to lick the spoon afterwards. My mother used to take the cake down every week and spoon whiskey onto it. I feel I need to make a cake now.

Susan Standen said...

Yay! So pleased the collective effort worked. Remember, Christmas cake does not go off so don't worry if it doesn't get eaten in the first week or two. It will be fine for ages. Don't bin it!

Quilter in the Gap said...

So what do you do with it between now and then? Freeze it? Now you have me curious, is it moist like w.e know fruitcake?

Cindy said...

I'm still scared of Christmas Cake just b/c of my experience with fruit cake. I really really hope this goes well for you and you love every bit of it!

Run Quilt Knit Write said...

Now I'm feeling guilty because I haven't done mine yet!

Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts said...

I saw that picture on instagram and wondered what you were making. I remember the piece Katy sent you last year too. Hope it is great! However it turned out, this was a fun post!

Dianne Neale said...

I saw the picture yesterday and had no idea what it was about! Some English woman I am! Itlooks beautiful and I can smell it from here. I don't think you'll be throwing this one away!

suemac said...

Very interesting. Hope the fam likes it. I used to make Swedish Christmas pastry with dried fruit and cardamon. They were nummy.

Geri said...

I am definitely not a fan of fruit cake/Christmas cake but maybe I haven't tasted a good recipe either. I wonder if they'll like it!

Katy Cameron said...

Slightly salivating here at the thought, only a month and a bit to go before I can have some of my mum's!

Flying Blind... said...

Make sure you make the real break-your-teeth hard icing in peaks, none of that thin layered and rolled nonsence!

Leanne said...

I hope it is good, as they seem to consume a lot of booze along the way. I look forward to your reviews.