Sunday, December 24, 2006

Here, have some fruitcake

What's that? You don't care for fruitcake? I can understand that. You either love the stuff or you hate it. I've never been partial to the brick-like variety with the brandy, nuts, green cherries and all that nasty, nasty candied citron peel. That's why I make a fruitcake that looks like this.

The recipe was submitted to the Friendly Freezer mailing list about five years ago by a Swedish woman called Bella. The recipe had been in her family for generations, probably with several modifications, and I've modified it even further to suit our taste. The nuts originally called for were the first thing to go, and I varied the dried fruit to give it a prettier, almost stained-glass look. You'll notice that there's no baking powder called for in the recipe and that's not an oversight on my part. The Way the Swedes Do It, I guess, is to beat the eggs and sugar together for several minutes to act as a leavening agent. It works.

I'm leaving the amounts here in metric form for you to figure out by yourselves.

Bella's Family Fruitcake (makes one loaf)

250 g soft butter
3 medium eggs
250 g sugar
2 Tbsp rum (or orange juice and 1 tsp rum extract)
300 g flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups mixed dried fruit - equal parts raisins, currants, chopped red candied cherries and chopped dried apricots

Preheat oven to 150°C (325°F) and grease and flour a loaf pan.

In small bowl, cream butter. In another larger bowl beat eggs and sugar at high speed with an electric mixer for 4 - 5 minutes until thick and pale yellow. Stir in butter and rum. Mix flour and dried fruit and blend into butter mixture. Batter will be very stiff. Transfer batter to loaf pan and smooth top. Bake for about 1 hr 20 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan and wait until the next day to cut.

As you can tell by the picture, I use a mini-loaf pan (6 cakes in total) to make my fruitcakes because I like to give them as presents and prefer not to dump a giant cake on someone who is probably already swimming in Christmas goodies. The miniature fruitcakes look very cute wrapped up in a little cellophane bag tied with a festive ribbon.

Here's another fruitcake recipe that's been circulating on the internet for years. I haven't tried it yet, but at times I've been very tempted.

Easiest Fruitcake Ever

You'll need the following: a cup of water, a cup of sugar, four large brown eggs, two cups of dried fruit, a teaspoon of salt, a cup of brown sugar, lemon juice, nuts, and a bottle of whiskey.

1.Sample the whiskey to check for quality.

2.Take a large bowl. Check the whiskey again. To be sure it's the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and beat again.

3.Make sure the whiskey is still okay. Cry another tup.

4.Turn off the mixer. Beat two leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the tuner. If the fired druit gets stuck in the beaterers, pry it loose with a drewscriver.

5.Sample the whiskey to check for tonsisticity.

6.Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whiskey. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar or something. Whatever you can find.

7.Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out the window.

8.Check the whiskey again and go to bed.


At December 25, 2006 4:40 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

I just happen to be one who LOVES fruitcake. Speaking of which, I haven't seen a piece all season until this post. Hmm. Wonder if anyone will bring some to the shindig at Donica's family gathering today? I'm not gonna hold my breath.

At December 26, 2006 2:06 a.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

now that looks so yummy!

At December 26, 2006 5:30 p.m., Blogger Angie said...

Finally, a recipe I can get behind! :)

At December 29, 2006 10:28 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Ginnie - Maybe there's some kind of fruitcake conspiracy going on. Hope you managed to run into some in your travels. :-)

Expat - It's a really easy recipe, you should try it.

Angie - Go for it and make Shane your taste tester.


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