|Jennie June’s American Cookery Book, 1870|
|The muscovado sugar is the dark one on top. Compare its intensity to the commercially mass produced |
dark and light brown sugars on the bottom. (Photo Source: Wikipedia)
To make this fruitcake, you will need to plan ahead and start your cake 2-3 weeks before you want to serve it. There are lots of steps but they are all quite easy, so all you need is good organizational skills and a calendar with notifications to remind you to tend your cake!
Now, Let's Make This Fruitcake . . .
- 1¼ pounds (20 ounces) dried fruit, such as currants, golden raisins, candied citrus peel (I do not like glazed cherries in bright green and red colors).
- 3 Tablespoons Brandy
- Place the fruit in an airtight container and pour the brandy over it. Stir thoroughly and cover.
- Set aside in a cool, dry place for at least 12 hours, but longer if possible.
- 4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2½ Teaspoons Ground Mace
- 2½ Teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
- 10 Large Eggs
- 1 Pound Salted Butter (Softened)
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Cup Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar
- ¼ Cup White Sweet Wine
- 1/4 Cup French Brandy (or Madeira, or Sherry)
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 10" round cake pan with removable bottom. Place the cake pan on a parchment-lined baking tin.
4. Add the remaining 1/2 cup flour to the brandy-soaked fruit and stir to completely coat all of the fruit. (This is important--the fruit will all sink to the bottom if you do not do this!)
9. Measure out the wine & brandy and add them to the wet ingredients.
10. Add the flour and spice mixture to the wet ingredients. Beat until well mixed, but do not overbeat.
12. Put batter into pan & place in oven. Bake for about 75 minutes if using one springform pan or 50-60 minutes if using two 9" cake rounds. Make sure a toothpick inserted is clean before removing from oven. Since oven temperatures can vary, you must monitor cooking time carefully.
Step 3: Feed the Cake
- 1 Baked Cake
- Plastic Wrap
- One Wooden Skewer
- 2 Tablespoons Brandy Needed Each and Every Time You Feed the Cake
- Pastry Brush
- Cake Box or Storage Container
2. Poke holes in the cake using the wooded skewer.
3. Take the brandy and pour some over the cake. Use the pastry brush to spread the brandy. Keep pouring and brushing the brandy over the entire top of the cake.
4. Completely wrap the cake with the plastic wrap and place in the cake storage box. Store in a cool, dry room for about 1 week.
5. After the first week, follow direction #3 above again to feed the cake another 2 tablespoons of brandy. Then, follow direction #4 to store it again.
6. Wait another week and feed the cake one more time.
- 8 ounces Almond Paste or Marzipan (marzipan is sweeter than plain almond paste)
- Confectioner's Sugar (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Jelly
- Icing (see step 3 for options)
- Cake Decorations
1. About 1-2 days before you plan to serve the cake (which should be after feeding the cake with spirits for three consecutive weeks), you are ready to finish it.
2. Roll out the almond paste or marzipan on a board dusted with confectioner's sugar to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut it in strips to fit around the sides and top of the cake. Adhere the almond paste with melted apple jelly as a glue. This takes a fairly long time but is worth it as it adds a distinctive flavor.