Here is how to become a fruitcake master: The Ingredients:
3 cups of flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 ¾ cup of brown sugar dark or light, dark is better
1 ¾ cup of melted butter
1 cup of orange juice, I like high pulp Florida orange juice
16 oz of chopped mixed candies
8 oz of chopped dates
15 oz of raisins (I like to use 8 oz of dark raisins and 8 oz of golden raisins)
4 oz of red cherries
4 oz of green cherries
¼ cup of candied pineapple
2 cups of chopped nuts, I use ½ cup walnuts, ½ cup of slivered almonds, ½ cup pecans, ½ cup macadamias (this is where you become a fruitcake master, vary the nuts to your liking but always use 2 cups)
Strips of brown paper, cheesecloth and Lots of alcohol
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
Pick out enough good, unbroken nuts to use for making identifying designs, save these for later (this is another step that makes you a fruitcake master)
If the candies and nuts are not chopped, use a food processor to chop them (not the ones you will be using for designs) (this is another step that will make you a fruitcake master and set your cakes apart from the rest)
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and spices with a whisk until thoroughly combined
With a mixer and whisk, whisk the eggs until frothy, then start adding the sugar, a little at a time, then add the butter and orange juice
Pour the candies and nuts into a large bowl, a very large bowl, if you don’t have one, get one. (all fruitcake masters have very large bowls for mixing ingredients)
Pour the flour mixture over the nuts and stir until evenly coated
Pour the egg mixture over this and stir until evenly coated
Line your pans with Crisco coated brown paper
Fill to about ¾ full
Make designs on top with the extra nuts and cherries, this will allow you to identify the cakes for basting
Bake at 300 for about an hour and a half, use the toothpick test.
If you don’t know what the toothpick test is you shouldn’t be baking
Just kidding, stick a clean toothpick into the cake and if it comes out with cake stuck to it, the cakes aren’t done yet
After the cakes are done, take them out of the pans, cool them
When cool, wrap in cheesecloth and baste with alcohol or your choice (another choice that makes you a fruitcake master), I like to use rum, brandy, Jack Daniels, wine, amaretto, even orange juice for the teetotalers. Put a different alcohol on each cake. It is not a bad idea to leave some plain without the basting.
This is why you make different designs on the cakes, they identify which liquor you will be using to baste the cakes, just be sure to write it down so you don’t forget. For instance I use pecan halves to make a leaf pattern then use three half green cherries for the flower, I will baste this one with brandy, then I make a pattern and use red cherries, I will baste this one with Jack Daniels, make a different pattern using slivered almonds for leaves and baste this one with orange juice, get the idea.
Don’t give anyone a fruitcake who says they don’t like fruitcake. Charge them an outrageous sum of money if they ask for a cake.
I got this recipe from an old Betty Crocker Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, and it is one of the best, it is however the technique and choices that will make you a fruitcake master. Don’t expect to arrive at this master level on your first attempt. After a few years of making these and hearing cliche people with their pat “I don’t like fruitcake” comment you will know that you have arrived. I put these under Recipes, Dieting and Exercise because they are so good for you. Just don’t eat a lot of it!