One of my in house taste testers favourite holiday treats is Fruit Cake. He buys one at the store every year and every year he is disappointed. They are never quite what he wants, too fruity, too dense too boozy.
So, I decided to try and make one that he would love. I sat him down and made him tell me all the things he likes about fruit cake and then I scoured the Internet to find some recipes that I could take from to make the perfect fruit cake.
I think I may have done it, this fruit cake is beautiful. It is really quite simple to make and it tastes amazing! It is the perfect Christmas treat!
What you need,
For the Fruit Mix,
1 cup dried currents
1 cup mixed candied peel
¾ cup candied pineapple, diced
¾ cup red/green candied cherries, halved
¾ cup raisins
½ cup spiced rum (or regular rum or brandy or bourbon whatever makes you happy!)
Combine all the dried fruits in a large bowl with a lid. Pour the spiced rum over the fruits and stir well to coat. Put the lid on the bowl and let the fruit sit for 24 hours. You can give the bowl a shake a couple times just to mix it up a bit.
For the Cake Batter,
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. each ground all spice & nutmeg
Pinch of salt
6 tbsp. room temperature butter
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. strawberry jam (all I had was strawberry rhubarb it was fine)
1 tbsp. molasses
3 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup pecans, roughly chopped
In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg and salt. Stir ¼ cup of the flour mixture into the fruit mixture.
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together. Add the jam and molasses stir well to combine. Add the eggs and beat well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir gently just to combine.
Add the fruit mixture and the nuts and fold together.
Line 4 mini loaf pans with parchment paper and spray liberally with non-stick spray.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
Divide the dough evenly between the prepared pans and cover them tightly with tin foil.
Place one oven rack right in the center of the oven and one on the lowest rack.
Add water to a 9x13 metal baking dish, about halfway up and place it on the lowest rack.
Place the loaf pans on the middle rack and bake for 50-60 minutes.
Remove the foil from the cakes and test them with a toothpick. If they are still too moist in the middle, cook in 5 minute intervals until the tooth pick comes out with moist crumbs only. I think mine took about an extra 10 minutes uncovered.
Let the cakes cool in the pan until they are cool enough to turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile you can soak 4 pieces of cheese cloth in about ½ cup of spiced rum. Make sure the cheese cloth pieces are big enough to wrap your loaves in.
Once the cakes are totally cool wrap each cake in the rum soaked cheese cloth and then tightly in 2 layers of tin foil
Stash the cakes in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
Once you unwrap one you are going to be so pleased! They are so festive! And man they taste really good.
My in house taste tester said they were the best fruit cakes he had ever had. The cake is tender and moist with a perfect cake to fruit ratio. There is a hint of spice and a touch of booze and that makes them perfection.
I have a feeling I will be making these every year now!
I was never a huge fan of fruit cake until I had this one. Now I love it, a lot! Give it a try, I bet that you will love it too!
Recipe adapted from a bunch of recipes all cobbled together to get all the fruit cake components that my sweet wanted!