The festive season is here and that means it is time to start baking those fruitcakes.
A fruitcake is the perfect family treat during the festive season, although they can be daunting to bake.
She said for a cake to be considered a fruit cake, the fruit must be preserved in some way.
Below are Stevens's tips on how you can go about baking and storing your fruitcakes these holidays.
Soak your fruit for at least twenty four hours hours in alcohol. The fruit should soak up the moisture and become plump.
Use low temperature
Bake your fruit cake at a low oven temperature, between 130 and 150 degrees for up to five hours depending on the size of your cake. Too high an oven temperature will burn the sugar in the fruit.
Line your cake tin well with at least three layers of baking paper. Wrap damp newspaper around the outside of the tin to prevent the outside of your fruit cake from drying out before the middle is cooked.
Allow your fruit cake to cool completely in the tin before turning it out, wrapping it in baking paper and foil.
Preserve and prevent
Fruit cakes can be stored at room temperature and fed brandy or rum once a week to preserve and prevent drying out. Freeze fruit cakes after wrapping tightly in baking paper, foil and placed in a freezer bag.
Fruitcake is a type of cake that contains dried fruits, nuts, and spices. It is often associated with holiday traditions and is known for its dense and moist texture. Here are some key points about fruitcakes:
1. Ingredients: Fruitcakes typically include a variety of dried fruits such as raisins, currants, candied citrus peels, cherries, and sometimes dried apricots or figs. Chopped nuts, such as walnuts or almonds, are also commonly added. The fruits and nuts are mixed into a rich cake batter, often flavored with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice.
2. Soaking: Fruitcakes are often soaked in alcohol, such as brandy or rum, which helps to preserve the cake and enhance its flavor. Some recipes call for the fruit and nuts to be soaked in the alcohol before baking, while others involve brushing the cake with the alcohol after it has been baked.
3. Aging: Fruitcakes are known for their long shelf life. Many people believe that aging the cake for a period of time—often weeks or even months—allows the flavors to meld and intensify. The cakes are often wrapped in alcohol-soaked cheesecloth or foil and stored in an airtight container to keep them moist.
4. Cultural Significance: Fruitcakes have cultural significance in many countries. They are commonly associated with Christmas traditions, where they are often exchanged as gifts or served as a festive dessert. In some cultures, fruitcakes are also enjoyed during weddings or other special occasions.
5. Variations: Fruitcake recipes can vary by region and personal preferences. Some recipes may include additional ingredients like molasses, honey, or spices such as cloves or ginger. There are also variations that cater to dietary restrictions, such as vegan or gluten-free fruitcakes.
6. Controversy: Fruitcakes have gained a reputation for being polarizing, with some people loving them and others not enjoying their taste or texture. The dense and fruit-packed nature of the cake can be an acquired taste.
Fruitcakes can be homemade or store-bought, and they come in different sizes and shapes. Whether you enjoy fruitcakes or not, they have a long history and continue to be a part of festive traditions for many people.