Tag: fruitcake


Fruitcake Heaven

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I’m guessing you never thought you’d see “fruitcake” and “heaven” in the same sentence. Until this holiday season, that would certainly be true for me. And no one is more surprised than I am.

You may recall my first foray into making fruitcake. Not only was this the opportunity to break a lifelong almost hatred of this holiday cake, it was a chance to use a family recipe. Oh all right, not my family, but who’s nitpicking? Many people make their fruitcakes months in advance, so there’s plenty of time for the cake to age. As usual, I got off to a late start, making mine in November. As I wrote in the original post, the cake batter itself is very tasty and without the fruit and nuts, would make a great basic spice cake. But how would the cake be?

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I know the idea is to let the cakes age for months, but patience is not one of my virtues. So on the first of December, I cut into the first cake (the recipe made 2). The smell was amazing. I’ve eaten fruitcake before, but none has such a wonderful smell. Better yet, the taste was even better.

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The cake was incredibly moist and the flavor intense. What a happy surprise.

Now my intent was to let the other cake age another month or so. Yeh, didn’t happen. I cut it on Christmas Eve. Again, it was moist, and though the smell wasn’t as intense, I found it more pleasing. The taste had mellowed, and again I found it more agreeable than the first cake–though that cake was better than any I’d had before. To my tastes, the second one was better.

I alter the recipe from that given to me. Partially it reflects what is available in my area. Mostly, it has to do with my preferences. I think when I make it again, I’ll use rum for both the batter and the soaking liquids. Incidentally, I only “basted” the cake a couple of times during its aging phase. And I think I’ll add pistachios. They seem to be a common fruitcake ingredient, and they are among my favorite nuts.

Don’t let a bad experience with fruitcake turn you off them forever. I almost did, and I would have missed out on a great cake. Remember, when you make your own, you can add what you like. No electric-colored fruit in my cake. And I used lots of nuts. Add cardamom–or don’t. Don’t like nutmeg? Leave it out. If you like neon fruit, use it. I guess . . .

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