How do you spell Christmas? "Fruitcake"

Once upon a time,

custom had it, that during the festive season, people gave fruitcakes as gifts along with exchange Christmas cookie baskets. This thought had created an opportunity for stores and bakers to create an item that seasonally becomes “Hot Commodity” and spills “Big Bucks”! Unfortunately most of these store-bought cakes and cookies are candy for the eyes but mostly horrid to the taste buds!! It has therefore become customary to place them on the tables as part of the decoration and toss them (untouched) right after!

It was a long while until, the home bakers decided enough waste and enough bad food, and took matters back into their own hands. The homes smelled of spices, citrus rinds and stewing fruits and tables were spread with delicious foods including, absolutely incredible fruit cakes that were there for the eating. Those cakes were so marvelous and delicious that not one crumb found its way to waste! These cakes even made it to wedding cakes menus and became so popular and loved…

True Story! Here is how they made them….

 

Happy Festive Baking…

Ingredients

  • 340g Cake flour
  • 340g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 340g caster Sugar
  • 6 egg yolks at room temperature
  • about 6 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (recipe on this link)
  • 2 tsp DS Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix (christmas spices will work here too)
  • 1 tsp DS Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 100g candied orange peel, chopped
  • 100g candied lemon peel, chopped
  • 100g chopped pitted dates
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • Marzipan (optional)
  • Apricot glaze (optional)

Preheat Oven to 375F-190C. Line your tins with baking paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, place the chopped orange and lemon peels, dates and cranberries then top with the vanilla extract and stir to coat all. Cover the bowl and let sit in room temperature for 1 hour.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream butter, 170g sugar and egg yolks until pale and fluffy. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice mix and salt. Stir to mix. Add the flour mixture to the fruits mixture and mix to coat all fruits with the flour mixture. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat together the egg whites with the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Stir half of the egg white mixture into the butter mixture. Fold in the fruits and flour mixture just until combined. Fold in the remaining egg white mixture.

Divide the batter between the prepared tins and evenly spread it out. Bake in the preheated oven for almost 1 hour or until baked through.

 

Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on wire racks.

Once completely cooled, brush the fruit cake with Apricot glaze. Roll marzipan between marzipan spacers and cover the cake as you would with fondant, which can be used here too.

“Always keep a lookout for basic recipes that are open for your interpretations. Then have your say with them and own those recipes.” Seriously the best piece of cooking advice I can give you. “We learn from the basics, we build on them then we fly once we have mastered those basics. And that is when we start creating. So make sure to invest your time in the good basics! That is all you need to do to own your kitchen”.

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