Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Christmas Cake/White Fruitcake-Better Homes and Gardens Pie and Cake Cookbook, 1966



I baked the first two Christmas cakes today. Mr. ETB requested a "white" fruitcake this year and I was stumped. I'd never made one. Not that inexperience has ever been a deterrent to me (memories of going skiing where I spent more time on my arse than upright on skis comes to mind)but I didn't have a recipe for one. I do however, have a large collection of cookbooks, and I settled on this one from 1966. I made a few changes because I've baked enough to know you need a bit of baking powder-not a lot mind, but a bit. I also added salt, and some spices. I thought about substituting golden syrup for the corn syrup in the recipe, but at over 9 bucks a jar here, I figured you wouldn't taste the difference with all the other sugar. I also substituted brandy for the sherry because sherry is for old ladies that want to drink at 10 AM but think it would be socially unacceptable, so they serve sherry. I also increased the amount called for because...well, because. And I omitted the nuts, added some fruit, and overall used the basic recipe as a template. They turned out lovely. Of course, they are wrapped in booze soaked cheesecloth and foil waiting for Christmas, so we'll see how good they are next month, but I'm optimistic. If nothing else, they certainly are pretty.

You Will Need:

Two 5 1/2 cup ring moulds (I used 2 Bundt tins) generously greased and lightly floured
1 1/2 cup candied cherries, chopped
1 cup sultanas, chopped
1 cup candied pineapple, chopped
1/2 cup candied citron, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
1/4 cup dates, chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup candied orange peel, chopped
3 cups plain flour, divided
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup brandy

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Grese and flour pans. Mix 1 cup of the flour with the fruits and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time. Combine brandy, corn syrup, and orange juice. Mix dry ingredients together and add, alternating with the liquid. Mix well. Fold in fruit. Divide into pans, and smooth tops. Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes (mine took an extra 15 minutes. Cool in pan, then remove. With a skewer, poke the cake in several places. Brush lightly with brandy. Cover with cheesecloth, then brush again. Wrap in wax paper, then foil. Store, tightly sealed in a cool place. In about two weeks, check it, adding more brandy (or alternating rum) if it looks dry.

 You'll probably want more booze than that for two cakes.

No comments: