Sunday, December 11, 2005

Xmas Fruitcake Project - Step 2 -

I know. I said three weeks. I said that I wanted to let my Christmas fruitcake mature for at least three weeks this year. Well, I WAS going to bake the cake last Sunday, honestly. But I got too tired after climbing up the slope by bicycle and being wet, smoked, nearly roasted and then frozen that day. (Details here.) Then my attention was drawn to the slow cooker for the rest of the busy week, and I kept procrastinating the cake-baking until yesterday. Sorry.

Anyway, yesterday I finally baked my Christmas fruitcake. I used this recipe this time, because it says “less dense and more cake-like than many fruitcake recipes” and I thought that was the kind I like. 

I was so excited when I opened the jar of mincemeat I made at the end of October. It smelled nice… not so much of rum, because I used more of orange curacao than rum.

With this recipe, I was able to make one loaf using my 18 cm (apx. 7 inch?) loaf pan. It is good because I don’t have much space in my fridge, and this year I’m going to try more cookie recipes from the “cookie swap” entries, so I didn’t want to use too much flour/butter/eggs for the cake.

When I baked Christmas fruitcake last year, it took a long time for the cake to be done, and I wondered if it was because of the moist (liquor) coming out from the mincemeat while baking. The same thing happened this year again.
I thought the cake was done, because it looked pretty brown, but when checked with a toothpick, I found that it wasn’t. And I needed to keep checking it and putting it back in the oven for quite a while, with the top of the cake covered with aluminum foil.

This is how it looked when it was finally done. Pretty dark, (well, not so much in the photo but actually it was) ... maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be with the molasses? I brushed generous amount of white rum on top and sides of the cake and wrapped it up. Now it’s resting in my fridge. Two more weeks to wait!

Well, I might as well make a cookie dough today and freeze it. Next weekend I’m visiting my parents’ to help them with harvesting oranges, so no time for Xmas baking then. I’ve decided to use freezer effectively this year to enjoy cookie-making whenever it’s convenient for me, and I’m not making a gingerbread house this year. It’s not that I don’t have time for it… It’s just too hard for me to break it down to eat after spending so much energy into making it. ;)


Anonymous said...

Good Lord, woman ... do you remember the Energizer Bunny commercials from your time in the US??? that's YOU!!! you keep going, and going, and going ... every day something new ... and you refer to yourself as 'middle aged' AND have two jobs. Well, I'm at home all day, and you put me to shame, because I don't do anything.
Perhaps my New Year's resolution should be to start cooking each day ... you certainly give us great ideas.
God bless, Christine in Los Angeles

Jennie Durren said...

I meant to bake a fruitcake this year but somehow my hectic schedule got the better of me. I admire the fact that you seem to follow up on many complex cooking and baking projects!

Looks pretty good... I can't wait to hear how it tastes.

Anonymous said...

I have a real problem with baking breads. I made Hummingbird Bread last year and it was to die for, but it was a lot of hit and miss. It had bananas in it and I had to chalk it up to that being the reason it won't get done. I would put in a toothpick and it would come out fine, then in the very middle where you could never reach there would be mush places, and it had to be the banana. I'm not sure what I did to fix it, but breads discourage me!
Your fruitcake looks really good though.

obachan said...

Christine in LA
Oh, I LOVE those Energizer commercials! Are they still on over there? That annoying pink bunny! :D
Come on, I’m not that persistent. My two jobs are both on a part-time basis, and I’m not really posting every day. And you know what? Doing nothing special in this time of the year is harder for me… The whole world is getting ready for Xmas, there’s only several weeks left in 2005 and I’m getting one year older pretty soon…how could I stay sane? Gotta do something festive otherwise I’d go really depressed! ;)

This fruitcake wasn’t too complex, actually, compared to things like sponge or chiffon cakes for which you have to beat eggs well and mix in flour very carefully...

To tell you the truth, I use a bamboo skewer to test cakes, but wrote “toothpick” all the time when the word “skewer” didn’t come to my mind right away. I often have problems with quick-breads --- I mean, not really a problem, but I just have to keep putting it back into the oven for a while and it sometimes drives me nuts. BTW, Hummingbird Bread sounds really yummy! Wonder what kind of bread it is.

obachan said...

Maybe what you really want is not the fruitcake itself.

Anonymous said...

Fruitcake looks gorgeous, Obachan. I always wanted to bake this kind of fruitcake with rum etc., Perhaps next year. I will keep your recipe in my folder to try.
Thanks for sharing this recipe.

obachan said...

Thanks for the invitation. I'll work on it sometime soon.

Well, let's see how mine would turn out. ;)

Anonymous said...

The fruitcake looks good but I wonder why you are refrigerating it? We never refrigerate the cake in our family. It is just wrapped up (in cheesecloth, plastic wrap and/or tinfoil) and kept in a tin on the counter or in the cupboard so it can mature faster. Of course I always poke a few small skewer holes and drizzle it with more liquor every few days or so and we usually store it with apple slices on it to keep it even moister. Also we never pre-soak the fruit in liquor, that's always added to the cake after it's baked. Anyway, just a few notes in case you're interested. :)

obachan said...

Hi inlandchi,
Thanks for your comment. : ) I sure don’t know why. Several fruitcake recipes said “wrap it up and refrigerate”so I did so. And it is convenient for me because there’s no space in the cupboard or on the kitchen table to keep the cake for a few weeks. Maybe people make fruitcake differently in different areas. I guess making mincemeat is pretty popular in many countries, and I definitely like pre-soaking fruit.

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