I’ve been making fruitcake [almost] annually for at least seven years. I don’t think I’m getting better at it, though. Results are inconsistent. Maybe I should make it throughout the year as practice …
I know lots of people claim to hate fruitcake, and some people honestly do. Those people also tend to hate raisins in general, or nuts in their food. Some people don’t like anything with molasses. Fine, these people won’t ever like fruitcake. I accept that.
The rest of you who claim to hate the fruit might simply dislike crappy candied fruit. I do. Which is exactly why I started buying the best dried and candied fruit I could, which should never be purchased pre-diced. And most commercially available candied orange peel is awful, so I make my own (though not always with success). As a result, making fruitcake is admittedly a time-consuming task. This year, I cheated and bought candied kumquats (that I know to be yummy enough to eat out of hand) and I halved the recipe, which both cut my prep time and made the whole thing much more manageable.
I usually make something I insist on calling “boozy froots”. Even the years I skipped making a cake, I bought the best looking store-bought cake I could find to make the boozy froots.
- Crumble cake into a bowl and moisten with rum and brandy
- Form into balls and arrange on baking sheet
- Melt dark chocolate over a double boiler
- In small batches, removed balls from the freezer and immediately dip in chocolate (you want the balls to stay frozen)
- Place on waxed paper to cool
These will stay good at room temperature for at least a week, but I prefer to keep them in the freezer, where they stay good for months. Enjoy throughout the year with coffee.
The cost of home-made fruitcake
It’s not such a secret that one day I’d like to open a sandwich shop. In anticipation of selling fruitcake at my dream shop, I once priced out a batch. Here are my notes from 4 years ago in Toronto. All prices therefore are CAD and from 2006.
For 3kg of cake:
- Ingredients for orange peel (2.00)
- All other fruit + nuts + 2 cups of sugar (13.00)
- 1/2 lb butter (2.00)
- 1/2 cup brandy (5.00)
- 2 cups flour + spices (1.00)
- 6 eggs (1.00)
- 1 orange + 1 lemon (1.00)
- 1/2 cup molasses (2.00)
$27 => $9 per kg (without adding more brandy after)