Updated post on 5-12-2016
Upload of new pictures and include a method of steaming fruit cakes such that the cake has no crust and moister as compared to the baked version
This is the traditional fruit cake baked in a rather traditional way. It is one type of fruit cakes that can be served during Christmas.
Am I crazy to bake fruit cake for Christmas now? My answer is no and in fact it is just the right time to bake this cake. You can keep this cake for at least three months in the refrigerator. You can take out your fruit cake and periodically (may be once in a month) add rums to your fruit cake, and by the time when Christmas arrives, the fruit cake will be aromatic enough to make you drunk.
TRADITIONAL APPROACH IN MAKING THE FRUIT CAKE
I got this recipe from one of my favourite old cookbooks – “The Essential Baking Cookbook” published by Murdoch Books in year 2000. The recipe is using the boiling method in the preparation of the cake batter and requires additional protection during the baking process.
Two days ago, when I am clearing my kitchen self, I found some mixed fruits in the self that I have purchased a few month’s ago. As it is occupying a space in my shelf, I thought I might as well prepare a traditional fruit cake for the coming Christmas.
I have made minimal changes to the recipe except the substitution of some cherries with nuts and the addition of some rum. Therefore, I should say, this is a TRADITIONAL FRUITS AND NUTS CAKE.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Recipe adapted from : Boiled Fruit Cake from “The Essential Baking Cookbook” published by Murdoch Books in year 2000 page 80
- 250 grams of unsalted butter
- 185 grams of soft brown sugar
- 185 grams of self raising flour
- 125 grams of plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of mixed spices (can use those of Indonesia layered cake)
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 175 grams of plain water (not in picture)
- 1/8 cups of rum
- 750 grams of mixed fruits
- 250 grams of mixed nuts (I have used cashew nuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds)
- 4 eggs lightly beaten
- Some old newspapers and some baking paper.
- 9 inches round baking tin
STEPS OF PREPARATION
Special Lining of Cake Tin
Because of the long cooking time, fruit cakes requires extra protection.
- Preheat the oven to 160 degree Celsius. Place a few layers of newspaper on the oven rack just before the baking starts.
- Line your 9 inches baking tray with DOUBLE LAYERS OF BAKING PAPERS for both bottom and side.For the side, it has to be higher, about 2 inches above the cake tin. Join 2 pieces of newspapers together using stapler. Overlap the newspapers (1/3 of the width of newspaper) and use a stapler to staple together. Wrap around the side. Cover with another piece of clean paper and staple the baking paper, newspaper and clean paper at the top of the collar. Note that you can used clean paper instead of newspapers. The main purpose of this step is to provide extra protection to the fruit cake due to its long baking process.
Preparation of Batter
- In a big sauce pan, put together butter, water, sugar and mixed fruits. Stir over low heat until the butter has melted and sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil and reduce the heat, simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Let it cool and set aside.
- Once cooled, add in beaten eggs, rums and stir well.
- In another big mixing bowl, sift the flour together with the spices. Make a well in the centre. Pour the mixed fruits into the well and mix well. Add the nuts and pour the batter into the cake tin. Smooth the surface with the spatula. Lightly knock the bottom to ensure that there are no trapped air inside.
Baking the Cakes
- Bake the cake in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted come out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake. Leave the cake in the tin for at least one hour before taking out from the cake tin.
- Flavours and textures start to improve after 3 days and it can keep for 2-3 months in the freezer section. If desired, add a few tablespoons of rum periodically to the fruit cake (once in a month) to enhance the alcoholic fragrance.
- Keeping of fruit cake, consider the following method: 1st layer – clingy wrap, 2nd layer – kitchen towel, 3rd layer – aluminium foil, 4th layer – plastic bag. Store in freezer section. This will avoid the moisture lost. Defrost on room temperature, meaning take your cake from freezer and let it defrost at room temperature a few hours before consumption.
Steaming the cakes
You can also steam the cakes until cooked. Steamed cakes yield much moister cakes and basically has no thick crust. However, you have to ensure that the cake did not drip with water. Always steam at medium heat . For better colour , after steaming, you can take out the cake, and put in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius and bake for 15 minutes to get the colour and slightly burnt fragrance.
The cake is prepared using a traditional method but because of the extra protection given to the cake, the cake is very moist. Flavour will be enhanced after another few days.
Don’t worry about the shelf life of the cake, as long as it is properly kept, it can keep for months and I have ever keep fruit cakes for a period of more than 6 months in a deep freezer. In addition, alcohol is another preservation agent.
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