Though I am sure that I have had Christmas fruit cake before I did not really remember it. Given that and the controversy around fruit cake when I saw some posts about Christmas cake I knew that I would have to try making one to find out. All of the recipes that I saw called for making the cake a few weeks ahead of time to let it mature. Many of the recipes called for "feeding" the cake brandy on a regular basis while it matured. I did not want my cake to end up being too heavy with brandy so I decided to just soak the fruits in some brandy and then I wrapped the cake in cheese cloth that was soaked in brandy while it matured. Some of the recipes that I came across called for adding a layer of marzipan and a layer of icing but I wanted to keep my fruit cake nice and simple so I skipped the frosting layers. After waiting for over a month I finally unwrapped the fruit cake to try today. I am not really sure why fruit cakes have such a bad wrap as this fruit cake was really good. It was nice and moist and full flavour! The cake had a hint of booze without being overwhelmed by it. I think that I will be making a Christmas fruit cake again next year.
Christmas Fruit Cake
- 1 cup currants
- 1 cup mixed candied peel
- 3/4 cup candied pineapple (chopped)
- 3/4 cup red candied cherries (halved)
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cups walnuts (chopped)
- Mix the currants, mixed peel, pineapple, cherries, raisins and the brandy in a bowl, cover and let sit for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl.
- Mix 1/4 cup of the dry mixture into the wet mixture.
- Mix the butter, sugar, jam and molasses in a bowl.
- Mix the eggs into the butter mixture one at a time.
- Mix the remaining flour mixture into the butter and egg mixture.
- Mix in the fruit mixture along with the nuts.
- Pour the mixture into baking pans lined with double parchment paper.
- Place a baking pan with water on the lower rack of the oven.
- Cover the cake pans with foil and bake on the middle racks of a preheated 300F/150C oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean, about 45-60 minutes.
- Let cool.
- Soak some cheese cloth in some brandy and wrap it around the cake.
- Wrap the cake in foil and refrigerate for 30 days.