Christmas Fruit Cake is a traditional Christmas cake, with a history that begins in Roman times. Back then, the cake was actually a mixture of pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and raisins, all chopped and mixed well. Later, in the Middle Ages, the recipe has been enriched with honey, spices and dried fruits.
In the 18 century Fruit Cake has become synonymous with decadence and was, for a long time, outlawed, being considered “sinfully rich.” In the Victorian era, Fruit Cake becomes very popular, the tea moment not being complete without the addition of the fruitcake.
Neither last year nor this year, although I wanted, I couldn`t prepare this cake as written in the recipe, 3 weeks before Christmas. So I`ll have a sort of just slightly “drunk” Fruit Cake.
I`m not sure what I love more: the cake itself or its preparation ritual. Preparing the candied orange peel, the longer baking time that allows sweet flavors to enter in every corner of the house, the careful brushing and putting in some safe place where the cake can mix its rich flavors. I will meditate deeply on this sweet dilemma, at least until I find the answer in the first slice of this beautiful cake. Unless Santa Claus eats it!
Christmas Fruit Cake
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 cups dried fruit, nuts, candied orange peel (total)
1 3/4 cup flour
juice of one orange
2 tbsp brandy or rum (plus extra for brushing)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tbsp cardamom
1/4 tbsp ginger
Preheat the oven. Mix butter with sugar until you have a creamy composition. Add eggs, mixing well after each one. Add orange juice, brandy and vanilla extract. Sift flour (mixed with the baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and salt) and mix gently. Add dried fruits and nuts mixture and blend composition.
Grease the pan you will use with butter or line it with a baking paper , pour the mixture in the pan and bake the cake for 40 minutes at 180 degrees C. Reduce the temperature to 150 degrees C and bake it for another 50-60 minutes (test occasionally with a toothpick).
After complete cooling, poke holes in the top surface of the cake and brush it with brandy. Then wrap it with plastic wrap, then with aluminum foil and put it in a cool place. Next day you repeat the brushing process (at least 4-5 times before serving). If you fail to resist the temptation, it`s fine. I heard that the “sober” version is as good as this one.