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Thursday, 13 December 2012

Whiskey/Brandy Celebration Fruit Cake

 



This recipe was given to me by Mary-Jane Mumford, the sales manager of Milly's kitchen shop in Ponsonby, a fantastic place to go for any kind of baking equipment. At the time I was the resident foodie on the TV3 website and went to MIlly's to get some hints on how to bake the best Christmas cake.
 
As we got talking, Mary- Jane divulged that she makes a Whiskey cake at home and generously promised to send me the recipe.  It is been my favourite Christmas/celebration cake ever since.
It is easy to make: no need to soak the dried fruit beforehand, or cream the butter and sugar. You simply boil, simmer and stir. But what set this cake recipe apart is that it contains loads of ginger and apricots which are two of my favourite ingredients. I use brandy instead of whiskey. Either is good.
Before putting it in the oven I make a decorative pattern with almonds on the top so I don't need to ice it. The batter is dense enough to prevent them from sinking. After baking I brush a little more brandy over the top.

It’s a light fruit cake which I think is perfect for summer weather. It does need to be cut carefully with a sharp knife.

Christmas cakes are the kind of cakes you can be creative with. You can exchange the white sugar for brown, or add a little cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice (or even curry?!)

Next time I bake this cake, instead of a pattern of almonds I’d like to try another easy topping from Delia Smith which she created for people who don’t like the extra sweetness of icing. For this you brush the cake with a glaze made by heating a heaped tablespoon of apricot jam and two tablespoons of brandy. Make a pattern of toasted pecans, Brazil nuts and walnut halves over the top of the cake. Then glaze again.

To keep the cake moist I wrap it in glad wrap before storing it in an airtight tin.  I may feed it a couple of times by poking holes into it with a sate stick and dribbling over a little more brandy.



WHISKEY CAKE

In a saucepan
1/2 lb butter
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
1 1/4 lb of mixed fruit ( I used sultanas, raisins and apricots)
1 packet of crystalised ginger ( finely chopped)
  • I chopped the apricots and ginger in the food processor
Method:
Bring to the boil and simmer a few minutes
Take off stove and add 1 teaspoon of baking soda and let cool for about 1/2 hour
Beat 2 eggs well and add to mixture
Stir in 2 cups of sifted flour , and add 1 teaspoon each of vanilla/lemon and almond essence and 2 tablespoons of whiskey ( or can use brandy)
Mix and put in an 8 inch ( 20 cm) square tin lined with baking paper
Cook at about 300F for about 1 1/2 hours, dependant on oven.
 
Check after 1 hour.



 

 
 
 

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