Monday, December 8, 2014
BB: English Dried Fruit Cake
"Fruit Cake" is deceptive, to American ears--that phrase means the sticky dense cake with all the candied cherries. Call this a "nut cake with dried fruit" maybe. Or an apple cake, for the hefty component of fresh apples. Whatever you call it, it's easy and good. Maybe if I'd left my dried fruit in a little larger pieces it would have been more prominent, but the main impression in my version is moist pecan cake. This is a batter cake that doesn't need a mixer--the butter is melted to mix with the sugars, then the other wet ingredients are mixed in. The dry ingredients go in another bowl, and are tossed with the pre-soaked dried fruit and the pecans. My dried fruits were mostly pear and apricot, a few prunes and golden raisins to fill out the amount. Add wet to dry, fold it all together, and pour into a 13x9" pan--I used my insulated one so I didn't need to fuss with baking strips. I did use the optional dark rum, brushing it on the bottom of the cake after it came out of the pan, then all over the top after skewering the cake to aid the rum dispersion. It gave a nice bit of extra flavor, but I'd like to make this again with a few weeks of lead time, and baste the cake with rum periodically to get a more alcoholic version. I sent half of the cake off with sister-in-law for her pre-school training session Friday, and took the rest to my office where several people who remember the Heavenly Cake Bake-Through have been asking when cake-of-the-week will start appearing. I didn't get any comment from my office, and s-i-l reported that one person said it had too many nuts (is this possible? not in my world...), but otherwise it was well received. However, s-i-l herself apparently got a wad of orange peel that didn't mix in well, so she had an overwhelming orange 'hit' in her piece. I'll just have to watch for that if I make this again, as the grated peel had plenty of opportunity to disperse in the wet mixture early in the mixing process.