November has rolled around in the blink of an eye and everyone is starting to catch onto that Christmas fever! Although you may not have thought about your Christmas cooking yet, with a little preplanning and a few tips from us, you could definitely get a beautiful and rich fruit cake ticked off the list now. In fact, a good fruit cake is enhanced over time so why not kick start a family tradition and soak your fruits this week: some of our fruit cakes have been maturing since Boxing Day 2018!
Over the years, we’ve made A LOT of fruit cakes- in fact for Christmas 2019 alone we’ve baked over 42,000, and across the year have also made a few very special cakes indeed. This means that throughout this process, we’ve now nailed all of our fruit cake recipes: here are a few tips from the very bakers who are making these delicious cakes all year:
1) Start now if you haven’t already! The longer a fruit cake is matured for, the more intense the flavour will be. But don’t worry if you haven’t had the cake maturing since last year, if you start now you can still get something scrumptious out for your guests.
2) Choosing a good alcohol to soak your fruits in and douse your cake with is important as it affects the final flavour payoff. Commonly used are brandy or whisky, but you can also try amaretto or spiced rum for an alternative kick. Ensure that you pick the best quality ingredients you can afford: we like to stick to free-range eggs, high quality plump fruits, and a good alcohol.
4) Leaving your fruits to soak for enough time is important as it will affect the final consistency of your cake. Getting a good ratio of fruit to batter is also important so as to keep the whole cake compact and moist. We’ve got a recipe here that you can follow.
5) When putting your cake mixture into the oven, depending on the size, we recommend to wrap your cake tin in layers of brown paper or cardboard to protect the cake when baking for long periods of time. This will help it to cook evenly by not burning the outside too fast.
6) If you want to skip on the marzipan and icing decoration then before putting in to bake pre-top with nuts and dried fruits in a pattern on top. You can get really creative here!
7) Once baked and cooled, douse the cake again in your chosen alcohol then wrap tightly in baking parchment and tin foil: you don’t want all your hard work to dry out! Keep until needed.
Remember, baking is all about having fun and putting love into what you’re making. If this is your first time venturing into the world of fruit cake, don’t worry about using special alcohols and crazy designs; simple is often best. This should really help you get in the Christmas spirit!
Be sure to share your creations with us and tag us on Instagram @fionacairnsltd