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Fruitcake--monstrous or marvelous??
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best fruitcake I ever ate was one I bought in November 2000 at a special Christmas Market with lots of fruitcakes stands in Covent Garden, London. Actually i bought two:one cheap ( relatively)- good, but not more than that- and one really very expensive, soaked in brandy or whisky, I don't remember.
I brought it back to israel and ate it at hannuka with the family: the kids ( grandchildren)) of course didn't like it- Hannuka is greasy jelly doughnuts, -, but all the adults were delighted: it was moist, rich, flavourful , in short- delicious. Reading this topic made me realize that I've not been in London since , and I found myself browsing for theaters, museums etc in London . Maybe in November, maybe in February. I love winter in Europe. If November, I'll certainly go and look for that fruitcake again. Griffin, you don't need a passport to come to London, do you?

No more war, more fruitcakes from London, NOW!!!
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, finally I will try the Alton Brown "Free Range Fruitcake" I've been meaning (for years, according to this nice old thread) to bake. The booze and or-gan-ic sun-dried if-you-please ingredients cost me a bit--no, cost me a lot! But it will be fun. I'll bake today, then wait-- "The cake's flavor will enhance considerably over the next two weeks," according to the recipe.
Georgia, if you're out there, I'll post to let you know what I think.
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Mmel'ours



Joined: 10 Nov 2009
Posts: 41
Location: Chicago suburbs

PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We salute thee, intrepid Gingerpale! I always wondered where the other people who like fruitcake (the real dark and moist kind, not the ones with all the little red and green bits that make me wonder if I should have it with tea or plug it in and place it in a window for decoration) hung out. Cool
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georgia



Joined: 16 May 2006
Posts: 456
Location: california

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gingerpale, you're a sweetheart. I AM out here...sometimes really far out here, but that's another story...and am eagerly awaiting your assessment of the fabled fruitcake recipe. I've given up. I'm the only one who eats it, so I'm moving on. Actually, my grandmother who couldn't cook worth a damn (as opposed to the one who cooked and baked divinely) made a swell fruitcake. I think I made them all those years in homage to her one great talent.

The past few years, I've included David Lebovitz's pan forte in my holiday baking in lieu of fruitcake. In fact, I've already baked one for this year. It's rich, chocolately, full of nuts and candied orange peel. You can find it in his "Room for Dessert". A sliver is enough to keep me happy and not missing traditional fruitcake too terribly much.

Geez. Is Christmas upon us already??? Rolling Eyes
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for resurrecting this thread! I was looking for my James Beard recipe, and here it is from a while back.

I had almost decided to skip this year, but maybe I'll make a few loaves.

Can't wait to hear your review of Alton Brown's recipe!
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol, "resurrecting threads" ... that phrase would have made NO sense 10 years ago. (Unless of course you were discussing mummies!) But now it is instant personal history and an excellent source of lost / forgotten recipes.
The Alton Brown fruitcake is made. It's supposed to be "spritzed" with brandy periodically for next 2 weeks at least. I'm researching how much total brandy to use--I think about 1 1/2 tablespoonsful every other day. Too timid? I read about people's grandmas who make the fruitcakes in January--for the next Christmas! Debbie (of this forum) starts in June. Laurie Colwin (late & loved "Home Cooking" author) said her "Black Cake" fruits should soak in rum and wine for 6 months.
This recipe is quite a bit more streamlined. I trust A. Brown to know the science behind the method, and not compromise the flavor.
Very frustrating to have a whole cooled cake that can't be sliced/tasted for weeks. The smell of the hot berries cherries etc. steeped in rum made me think I should open-for-business a fruitcakery immediately!
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be first in line gingerpale!
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile extra brandy for you!
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sherri



Joined: 20 Oct 2009
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My grandmother used to make christmas puddings 6 months in advance and hang them to 'cure'. The rest of the family swore by them but I've never liked fruitcake. The one exception was at a past boyfriends house whose mother made one as a teacake which was light and moist and a bit spicey.

If I could have gotten the recipe I'd make it but otherwise will probably just stick to eating the icing off other peoples wedding cakes.
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dory



Joined: 11 Nov 2007
Posts: 236
Location: Madison, WI

PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My family used to make a fruitcake which I was quite fond of. I liked the batter which was lighter than some fruitcakes and made with bourbon but not soaked in liquor like some fruitcakes. What made me finally stop making it was the technicolor candied fruits. I am kind of nostalgic for it, though.

What I am more nostalgic for, however is something that I make a substitute for to this day. That is steamed Christmas pudding with hard sauce. We used to make an enormous, heavy version with suet steamed in a bag. I now make a smaller, lighter version steamed in a basin, and made with butter, as my guests are often a little uncomfortable with the suet. The suet was tasty, but my new version rarely fails to please.
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Alton Brown "Free Range Fruitcake" I posted about earlier is done now, now being served. It's made with organic dried apricots, blueberries, cherries, cranberries (& more) instead of candied dyed glaceed cherries, pineapple, citron, etc.
Very nice! I waited 3 weeks to taste, brushing with brandy every other day. There's a nice just-barely-alcohol-burn aftertaste. Each fruit can be tasted individually, but only if you think about it. Will not hesitate to do this again--now that I've done the original recipe I can play. Mini- cakes with personalized fruit combos/pairings!
The cake itself--batter/baking time and temp/ -- all of that went well.
One thing--I don't think it's right with coffee, I like it with wine.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gingerpale that sounds most excellent!
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