This straightforward fruitcake is ideal for the holidays. It is loaded with nuts and dried fruits and is light and delicate. Brandy can be added to the loaf or left out. This fruitcake is an excellent addition to the Christmas table in either case. The history of the fruit cake may be traced back to the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians. It is a dense cake packed with nuts and dried fruit and fragrant with sweet spices. Dates and nuts may have been used to fill this dessert in the Middle East, and Pomegranates may have served as the primary fruit in ancient Greece.
What is Fruit Cake?
The only significant difference between fruitcakes and other quick bread or loaf cakes is the addition of significantly more fruit and nuts. A basic cake batter is prepared, the fruits and nuts are added, and the cake is baked until a tester in the center comes out clean.
The last cake is dense and has fruits and nuts in each mouthful. When cut, it resembles a lovely mosaic. You can leave the cake alcohol-free or sprinkle it with booze (we enjoy brandy). The fruitcake will become moister and last longer thanks to the alcohol.
Tips for the Best Fruit Cake
- Before incorporating the fruits and nuts into the batter, toss them in flour; they bake up equally dispersed throughout the cake.
- Place the fruitcake and a pan of water in the oven. Cooking will be more equal and gentle as a result.
- Use a serrated tool, like a bread knife, to slice this fruitcake.
- One teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 cup (236ml) total fat sour cream
- 1 cup (130g) chopped dates
- 2 cups (280g) of raisins
- 1/2 cup (75g) chopped glazed cherries (can sub dried sweetened cranberries)
- 1 cup (100g) chopped walnuts
- 2 cups (260g) all-purpose flour, divided
- Eight tablespoons (113g) of unsalted butter
- 1 cup (200g) sugar
- One large egg
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- One teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 ounces (30 to 60ml) brandy, optional
1. Preheat the oven and prepare the pan:
Set the oven’s temperature to 325°F (160°C). Greased parchment or brown baking paper should be used to line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. To fit the pan, trim the paper.
One piece should be put in the pan, running the entire length and standing about an inch above the rim. To cover the other sides, place the additional piece or pieces. By grasping the paper’s edges and taking the cake out of the pan when it has finished baking, you may easily take it out of the oven.
2. Combine the sour cream and baking soda:
Combine the sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl. Place aside.
3 . Toss the fruits and nuts with flour:
1/4 cup (30g) of the flour and the dates, raisins, cherries, and nuts should be combined. Toss to distribute the flour over the fruit and nuts evenly. Place aside.
4. Make the fruitcake batter:
The butter and sugar should be bubbly after being combined. After adding the orange rind and sour cream/baking soda mixture, add the egg. Mix the salt and the remaining 1 3/4 cups (230g) of flour. Mix the batter thoroughly after adding the fruit and nut mixture to ensure that the fruit and nuts are distributed equally.
5. Bake the fruitcake:
Scoop the mixture into a 5 x 9-inch loaf pan that has been preheated, and flatten the top with your hands. In the preheated oven, put the pan. Put a different pan of water in the oven, either next to or below the fruitcake. (The water allows for a smoother, more even cooking.)
A wooden skewer put into the center of the dish should come out clean after baking at 325°F (160°C) for approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, or until the internal temperature is between 205°F and 209°F. If the water evaporates while baking, it might need to be replaced. Tent the fruitcake with aluminum foil if the top is becoming overly browned while baking.
6. Cool on a rack, then sprinkle with brandy:
Take out of the oven, then let cool for five minutes. The cake should then be removed from the pan using the parchment paper’s edges and placed on a rack to finish cooling. Aluminum should be wrapped tightly before being stored. If you like, make a few holes in the cake’s top and add some brandy or bourbon to it. The fruitcake will become moister, extending its shelf life.
How Long does Fruitcake Last?
Because fruitcake is loaded with nuts and candied fruit, it keeps better than most other cakes. If you sprinkle it with alcohol like brandy, it will last even longer. Just make sure it’s well-wrapped.
- The cake will keep for a week or longer if it is firmly covered without brandy.
- The cake can keep for a month or longer with brandy.
How to Store and Freeze Fruitcake?
Completely cool the fruitcake, make a few slits in the top, and, if preferred, cover with brandy. The bread should be wrapped carefully in aluminum foil and on the counter. Wrap the bread in aluminum foil and plastic before freezing it. After that, freeze for up to three months.
Substitutes for Citron in Fruitcake
Your fruitcake doesn’t have to contain citron. You can use any candied fruit you like; you can find a wide variety in the grocery store’s baking aisle. You are welcome to make your candied fruit if you desire. Consider a pineapple, cherry, orange, or lemon. Fruit pieces are prepared by dipping or boiling them in thick syrup, followed by drying. After drying, they are frequently rolled in granulated sugar.
Try replacing everyday dried fruit pieces in your fruitcake if you don’t like candied fruits or peels. Numerous varieties of dried fruit, such as raisins, currants, apricots, peaches, bananas, mangos, papaya, and much more, can be found at grocery stores.
How to Cure Fruitcake with Alcohol?
Alcohol can be used to preserve fruitcakes for between one and three months. A yard or more of cheesecloth should be soaked in brandy, whisky, bourbon, rum, or another alcoholic beverage. When your fruitcake is cooked (and thoroughly cooled), wrap it around before covering it with plastic. Depending on how long you want your fruitcake to mature, re-soak the cheesecloth every six to three weeks.
Alternately, brush your fruitcake with your preferred liqueur before enclosing it in plastic wrap. For the first two months of aging, it was brushed with additional alcohol daily. While the fruitcake is being cured, store it in a cool, dry area. You can consume it straight away or store it in the refrigerator for months or even years after it has been aged appropriately. The alcohol stops the growth of bacteria when it is adequately cured. Fruitcake that has aged can be frozen, but interestingly enough, it keeps longer in the fridge after fixing.
Why is my Fruitcake a Bit Dry?
Adding oil The moisture content of a cake is based on the wet to dry ingredients ratio. A cake will taste dry if there is too much flour and not enough butter. On the other side, a cake will taste excessively wet if there is too much milk and not enough flour. Dry fruit cakes are frequently the result of overbaking. The proper temperature must be used to bake a fruit cake, and the cake will become dry from an overheated oven. Keep to the baking times specified in the recipe.
A fruit cake should be created three to four weeks before presenting or gifting as a gift. Chefs advise keeping the cake in the fridge if apple juice is used in place of alcohol to prevent mold. Alcohol-soaked cake can be kept outside the refrigerator, but it needs to be covered with cheesecloth or wrapped tightly in wax paper and foil.