Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Fruit Cake Fix

Fruit cake really has a bad reputation. By the time they mix in that hard stuff they call fruit, wrap it in plastic, box it and sit it on a shelf, fruit cake becomes nothing but a nasty tasting brick. 
Cake doesn’t belong in plastic or a box!  In order to truly appreciate a fruit cake, it cannot be commercially prepared; you have to make it yourself.
Making a fruit cake isn't really as complicated as it seems.  Plus, it's a great family activity. You're in the kitchen and the kids are prepping the fruit and nuts with Christmas music playing in the background.  
What a fun new family tradition and you’ll be amazed with the outcome. The key is not to use that hard fruit rind mix that shows up on the shelves at holiday time. We use dried fruit like cherries, cranberries, raisins and tropical fruit mix. 
But there's still the issue of fruit cake's bad rep.  How do you get people to try it?  That's why Mom added a New Age Twist.
We introduce it as a spice cake.  Sure it's got the fruit in it, but our cake is very moist, rich and tastes more like gingerbread.  
OH! And make sure you bake a Rated R and a PG 13 version.  Cause you want the adults to get plenty of liquor in theirs.
That may be the real reason Grandma can't wait to get our fruit cakes every year.
Yep and I always sneak in extra liquor for Gram.  Her cake is so strong its Not Yet Rated.

Merry Christmas & Happy Hanukkah from our family to yours!

Angelique & Joyce

8 - 10 Slices
Note: Do not purchase the fruit mixes typically associated with fruit cakes, buy the individual dried fruit packages that are normally found in supermarkets. 

For the Kids version, use apple cider or apple juice instead of liquor
2 cups chopped dried tropical fruit mix
1 cup raisins
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup dried cranberries
2 cups brandy or rum
1 teaspoon dried lemon peel
1 teaspoon dried orange peel
1 stick butter
1 cup unfiltered apple juice
1 cup sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
½ cup walnut pieces

Heat oven 325 degrees F
grease and flour a bundt  or loaf pan
Combine dried fruit, brandy, lemon peel and orange peel in a saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer 5 minutes stirring occasionally. 
Add the butter mixing until melted; add apple juice, sugar, cloves, allspice, ginger and cinnamon.  Mix thoroughly and let simmer 10 minutes stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Let sit until mixture is completely cooled.
Place flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a fine wire mesh colander and sift ingredients into the cooled fruit mixture. The object is not to over work the batter, fold in the ingredients just enough to combine then quickly fold in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the nuts and transfer batter to floured loaf pans.
Cook 1 hour, remove from oven, baste top with brandy or rum and let cake cool in the pan on a rack.
Store cake in an air tight container, if storing for any length of time, once a week spritz the cake with brandy or rum to keep it moist.

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