Recipe is from my aunt’s traditional tried and true recipe. We like to soak the dried fruits in rum and use some of the leftover rum for the batter (provided it is not murky). We’ve experimented with a variety of dried fruits including the traditional glace cherries (not to be missed, dried strawberries, and orange peel for Italian panettone flavor). Pre-soaking the dried fruits also takes away the sugary sweetness. Make sure to use good quality fruits for less artificial taste. My personal favorite is hint of molasses, rum/brandy infused glace cherries and apricot, warm spices and vanilla, and brushed with extra rum syrup for extra moistness.
The original recipe is not dry (provided it is not overbaked), but make sure you achieve the dark crust and caramelized aroma of the warm spices before you remove it from the oven. Feel free to make a rum syrup by reducing rum and sprinkle of sugar (cook away the sharp alcohol), and brush it on the cake either sliced or on top while it is still warm.
Christmas Spiced Fruitcake adapted from Guai Shu Shu
180 g cake flour
|To make Fruitcake
Pre-heat the oven to 160 degree Celsius and put a baking tray at the lowest rack with 1 cm of water in it (note that the baking is not done at the lowest rack but at the middle rack). Line the baking tin with baking paper or lightly grease the baking tin.
Pour the alcohol into the dried mixed fruits (you can do it after you take your measurements or you can do it as early as you can).
Melt the butter. In a whisking bowl, lightly beat your eggs, add in the cooled melted butter and whisk well.
In another bowl, sift your self raising flour, baking soda and mixed spice. Add in the brown sugar, mix and make a well in the centre. Pour the cooled butter and egg mixture into the well. Use a spatula to mix well. Add in the mixed fruit and ensure that it is well mixed
Transfer to the baking tin. Bake in the oven at middle rack at 160 degree Celsius for the first 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, down the oven temperature to 145 degree Celsius and continue to bake for another 25 minutes. Use a skewer to insert into the cake center and ensure that it comes out clean.*
Let the cake rest for at least 3-4 hours before actual decoration of the cake (I let it rest overnight).
* As fruit cake is a dense cake, you may have to constantly check the readiness of the cake at the last 10-15 minutes of the baking process. If your skewer comes out unclean after the prescribed baking time, don’t worry, as the baking temperature is rather low, continue your baking until the skewer inserted comes out clean. Insert the skewer at various positions particularly at the centre to counter ensure the readiness of the cake.