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Fruit cake

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone !

I like to bake fruitcake but each time it comes out to be dry and when I cut it, it crumbles.

I have tried using some fruit jam and fruit juice in the recipe but that does not help much.
My recipe involves
1.0 kg mixed dried fruits and 100 gm chopped almond
1 cup brandy (sometimes I use rum)
1 TBL honey
150 gm fruit jam
125 gm brown sugar
1/2 Tbl treacle
2 tsp vanilla essence
1.5 tsp mixed spice
The above items are mixed and kept for 2 weeks before baking

250 gm butter
5 egg white (beaten sperately and added onto mixture after flour)
5 egg yolks
175 gm plain flour
75 gm self raising flour
Bake 1 hour at 150C (300F) and 2 hours at 140C(285F)
Pour 2 TBl brandy after removed from oven
Cover with aluminium foil to cool

Can anyone tell me what is missing in the recipe and how can I solve the dry factor.
Thanks
yuesang:look:

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post #2 of 18
I can't tell from your recipe what might be wrong, and i'm sure others could. But each recipe for fruitcake is different, and i've made them in many different ways, with differetn proportions, different methods, etc, and they were all pretty moist. If you want i can give you another recipe whcih is incredibly moist and after years of trying one or another, i have settled on this one. What this recipe has, though, could be applied to others. The fruit is soaked in grand marnier overnight (you could do it with anything) and then a part of it is pureed in a blender or food processor.
I also suggest using lots of dates, which are sticky and moist, and candied pineapple also. I think the pre-packaged candied fruits are pretty dry and lousy, and prefer to choose my candied fruits myself, buying them whole and cutting up. You donm;t specify what you used, so i can't say.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #3 of 18

gorgeous fruit cake

NEW ZEALAND BUTTER CAKE
Read recipe and method first. Remember the cake is only as good as what goes in it, meaning butter is good, margarine makes the flavour yucky. As with all cakes every thing must be at room temperature. It's best that this cake has the butter and sugar creamed so well that the sugar almost dissolves into the butter, and the rest of the procedure is by hand only.
Oven temp 300', well line an 8 inch cake pan with buttered paper, bottom and sides.

10 oz butter, I use salted, as there is no added salt to recipe
5 oz soft brown sugar
5 oz white sugar
5 eggs

12 oz all purpose flour
8 oz each, currants, dark raisins, light raisins, chopped walnuts, glaze cherries, all red or red and green,
1 tsp powdered mace.

Method:
Sift mace into flour, mix all the fruits and walnuts together.
As I said above, cream butter and sugar well, add eggs one at a time and beat in well by hand, after egg 3, add a little of the four to stop any curdling, continue to add other 2 eggs, with a little more of the flour if needed.
Stir in remaining flour, and the fruits, and spoon mixture into baking pan. Cook for 2 hours, then carefully open oven door, place a roasting pan below cake, close door, boil kettle water, carefully open oven again and pour some of the boiling water into roasting pan, about 1-1/2 inches will do, this has to be done fairly fast and carefully, so that the cake doesn't know what you are doing, is the best way to describe it, cook another 1-1/2 hours. Cool in pan. Place tin foil on top of pan while cake is still hot, hot, and try and seal it to pan, so that the steam goes back into cake.
Leave to cool completely, then remove cake from pan, wrap, and save, Do not put in freezer.
The cake needs to mature, and cannot do this in the freezer.
This is called as you can see New Zealand butter cake, as that was the butter that was first used for it.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Fruit cake

Hi Siduri

Good to know your recipe. I buy the candied fruits wholesale in loose form and cut them up myself. However, I have not used dates before and I will try this.

The idea of putting warm water in the oven suggested by Gahtan is interesting and I suppose this keep the oven moist all the time during baking.

Thanks again for the suggestions
yuesang:lol:
post #5 of 18

Off the top of my head.

As an example, from what I know the more eggs you have in a brownie recipe the 'cakier' it becomes.

Reading your recipe you have a lot of eggs and other ingredients and only about a cup of flour for how many loaves?

Do your dry ingredients absorb all of the liquid? Dried fruit gets really thirsty. Check every couple of days, stir, and add more if necessary. You might want to put all of your ingredients in a large ziplock with liquids, squish all of the air out and turn every couple of days

I can't say exactly but I'd guess too little flour, too little fluid and <maybe> too many eggs.

Where did the recipe you use come from?

April
post #6 of 18
Yuesang, I have questions:
Are you washing your fruit?
how are you baking the fruit cake, what is the preparation of your tins?
Have you considered a "moisture retaining" ingredient ? - honey is ok, but it is probably not enough for 1kg of fruit.
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post #7 of 18

My New Zealand cake.

As you can see I haven't put any dates in my cake, as I believe this makes for a darker cake. this one is not dark and not overly rich. if it's a rich cake you want I will look out my other cake and post it.. qahtan
post #8 of 18

Fruit cake...

Sorry I can't post the dark fruit cake as promised in my previous post, as a couple weeks ago I lost every thing on my hard drive, , but a friend who is in Italy at the moment will send it to me on her return......

PS, I don't wash or pick over my fruit as I always buy SunMaid fruit, ready to go...
PPS. If recipe calls for brandy in the soaking of the fruit, and not all is soaked up, I add ground almond as a mop up, blends in with the rest of the mix well... qahtan.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

Fruit cakes

Hi everyone

Thanks for the response

I got the recipe from an Australian magazine some years ago.
Two loaves (8"x4")can be made from this recipe and with the quantity of fruits used in this recipe, it sure has a lot of fruit fillings.

I rotate the ingredients every morning to ensure the fruits get the rum and the spices etc
I wash all the fruits before drying them in the open (not direct sunlight) but dry enough as not to leave any water on my fingers, before I put in the rum etc.
Sometimes I use non stick tins with flour sprinkled on the sides and bottom but I also use ordinary tins with cookie paper.

Maybe I should reduce the egges to three (3) ? and increase the honey by another one tablespoon ?

Have a good weekend everyone
yuesang:crazy:
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Fruit cakes

Hi qahtan

Sorry to hear you have lost your recipe.

I used dates once in my cake and the cake turned bad within 3 days.

If I use dates in the fruit cake will I get the same problem ? Is it also possible that with rum in the fruit cake, I may avoid same problem as the date cake ?

Thanks
yuesang:beer:
post #11 of 18
I use dates in all my fruit cakes and they last months, as they're supposed to, and i don;t soak in alcohol either. I think maybe it was the kind of batter that you used that made it go bad, that is, a regular cake with some dates in it perhaps. Fruitcake is very sweet, and maybe the sugar protects it too.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #12 of 18

the promised fruit cake,

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y58...e/bc9ad501.jpg
Enjoy qahtan

INGREDIENTS
2 (8 ounce) containers candied cherries
1 (8 ounce) container candied mixed citrus peel
2 cups raisins
1 cup dried currants
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
2 (2.25 ounce) packages blanched slivered almonds
1/2 cup brandy
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
6 eggs
3/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup apple juice
DIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, combine cherries, citrus peel, raisins, currants, dates, and almonds. Stir in brandy; let stand 2 hours, or overnight. Dredge soaked fruit with 1/2 cup flour.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Grease an 8x8x3 inch fruit cake pan, line with parchment paper, and grease again. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter until light. Gradually blend in brown sugar and eggs. Mix together molasses and apple juice. Beat into butter mixture alternately with flour mixture, making 4 dry and 3 liquid additions. Fold in floured fruit. Turn into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cake comes out clean. Remove from pan, and lift off paper. Cool cake completely, and then wrap loosely in wax paper. Store in an airtight container.




Total Fat: 28.6g
Cholesterol: 177mg
Sodium: 467mg
Total Carbs: 181.8g
Dietary Fiber: 6.5g
Protein: 11.8g
post #13 of 18
My favorite fruit cake recipes are very dry. I bake the cakes by the last week in October. When cool, I wrap in a an old piece of sheeting, sprinkle with a little dark rum and seal in a plastic rubbermaid type container. Once or twice a week I flip the cakes over and sprinkle with more rum. By the holidays the cakes have mellowed, are very moist and are delightfully tipsy.

The drier the cake, the more rum they can drink.:roll:
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Fruit cakes

Hi gahtan
Thanks for the recipe. Will try this out.

yuesang:bounce:
post #15 of 18
Yuesang,
I'm thinking maybe the eggs should not be seperated.
Or move the brown sugar down with the butter and mix the butt,sug and yolks
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post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

Fruit cakes

Hi Panini

You could be right because most fruit cake recipes do not need to separate the eggs.

yuesang:lips:
post #17 of 18
Just remember this, the purpose of washing fruit is to:
remove grit and dirt.
Increase the moisture content in the fruit so it does not draw moisture from the cake - leading to early staling.
Increases the yield of the fruit and therefore the yield of the cake.
Water is (still so far) cheap and washing fruit gives plump moist fruit and a moist cake. Don't wash and then dry the fruit again.
Also, increase the rate of inverted sugar, whether it be invert sugar, fruitcose, honey or glycerine. All of these have moisture retaining properties and help to slow down staling.
You should also add a small % of fruitcose/glycerine to your fruit to aid in moisture retention after washing.
But, too much leads to excessive sweetness and quicker browning of the cake.
I hope this helps.:D
Finally - always check and test any recipe out of a magazine - you can never completely trust the source.:eek:
Leading the global ban on cup and spoon measurements in recipes!
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Leading the global ban on cup and spoon measurements in recipes!
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post #18 of 18
I like to "massage" my dried fruit: All the fruit other than the cherries go into a mixing bowl, orange juice, (water? water tastes like water) fresh citrus zest, and booze, if required, are added, then stick in the dough hook and "massage" for about 5 minutes on low speed. This will speed up the process of the fruit soaking up liquids, and ensure that the fruit is properly hydrated.
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