Nutty as a fruitcake

It turns out that the husband, unbeknownst to me, is one of about five people in North America who actually likes fruit cake. He eats his neat, and I serve mine with sharp Cheddar cheese. No wonder the jeans are getting tighter.

But tight jeans or no,  it seemed an excuse to revive a tradition from few decades back when my mother and I made fruit cakes from scratch and then doused the finished product with alcohol until it almost wobbled off the table. And those were seriously good cakes. But the last one I actually remember was on my 21st birthday. (If memory serves me serves me correctly it arrived in the mail, and then formed part of a party that started with tea (and cake) around 4pm, and ended when they kicked us out of the Selly Oak curry house at 4am. I digress.)

Of course the recipe for that cake, from the 1960-something Kenwood Chef recipe book, is lost in the mists of time, so I was flying blind.

After a lot of internet surfing and a trip through the memory lane library, I settled on a recipe from Delia Smith, and while it seemed heavy on the currants and light on the alcohol, it’s not a book that’s let me down, so I hit the market for mixed peel and other fruits and decided to give it a try.

Let’s just say that making a fruit cake is pretty much an all-day adventure, given that it needs to bake for 4-5 hours in a really cool oven. By four hours it smelled done, and a skewer came out dry, so I decided to risk it. It had its first brandy bath today, and we’ll repeat that every couple of weeks til mid-December.

The proof of the pudding (or the cake) is in the eating,  so you’ll have to watch this space for feedback.

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3 Comments »

  1. bernadette said

    janet, the cake looks gorgeous! someone once posted part of her christmas cake to me from canada when i lived in singapore.. (hint hint) looking forward to reading part II.

  2. I take it you are another one of those five people who like fruit cake? Maybe there are six of ’em in the end. Let’s see if it succeeds before I start sending it around.

  3. […] 20, 2009 at 20:59 · Filed under posts So it’s a month since I tried my luck with first Christmas cake for a couple of decades, and while I fed it carefully with brandy to keep it moist, I admit I did […]

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