Tuesday, September 29, 2009
English Christmas Fruit Cake
My hubby simply loves any form of fruit cake : those that are chock a block with nuts, or those without , or fruit cake drenched in rum or brandy or the ones that are totally alcohol free. It must have been the raisins that he is so much addicted to.
To satisfy his craving and since Christmas is around the corner - yes, my calender has big corners, now being September - I have decided to give the fruit cake recipe another try.
In spite of the much reduced temperature at the second bake time, the cake still turned out a tad dry and the bottom slightly charred. Overall, it tasted pretty much predictable but a layer of brandy varnish gave it an added oomph. Also, most likely, I will have to tweak the temperature/baking time in future so that it will turn out perfect.
227 grams unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons brandy , extra for varnishing the cake with
Zest of one lemon
65 grams ground almonds
1 cup walnuts,chopped
680 grams of an assortment of dried fruits
340 grams of an assortment of raisins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Butter an 8 inch spring form pan with a removable bottom. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with buttered parchment paper. ( I use a black color springform pan for this recipe )
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
In the bowl of the mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the brandy and zest of the lemon. Fold in the ground almonds, chopped nuts, and all the dried fruits.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder and fold this into the cake batter.
Transfer the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for **1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 130 degrees C and continue to bake the cake for another 1 hour 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out with just a few moist crumbs. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Poke holes in the surface of the cake and brush with brandy.
This cake will keep several weeks or it can be frozen.
** Note : As evaluated, the cake is a tad too dry, bottom slightly charred. Since my oven has settings for 160C, 130C with nothing in between, I may instead have to adjust the time for the first round of baking down to 50 minutes. At the second bake time of 130 degree C, I will reduce the baking time to 1 hour 15 min. Will provide updates if I bake again!