This year, the Beard household is having a big, whiskey-soaked fruitcake. In years past I’ve made small fruitcakes, one pounders that were tasty and spirited, but this year it’s a bundt cake. The small loaf is gone too fast!
We were a store-bought, tea-totalling fruitcake family growing up. Nobody liked them, and nobody ate them. When I began making them my opinion of fruitcake changed. I went to all lengths, soaking brown paper and wrapping it tightly, tying in cheesecloth and keeping in a pot, baking in a Bain Marie. To my relief, I’ve found that regular baking techniques work just fine. A standard spice cake recipe with alcohol-soaked fruit bakes up perfectly. I continue “feeding” the cake every other day until serving.
This year I found no citron, but added apricot preserves and lingonberries. Instead of a vegetable oil I used coconut oil. This spice cake is a bit heavy on ginger, but that goes well with whiskey. I’m not a fan of chocolate fruitcake after having made one. It’s too much to me, gilding a lily, so to speak. I prefer the lighter zest in a spice cake, and it’s rich in flavor without being heavy to the palate. Fruitcakes are fed all sorts of alcohol to taste- rum, brandy, sherry, even liqueurs- but I like the whiskey’s headiness best.
In addition to the fruitcake, there is still sweet whiskey butter, homemade Irish cream and truffles yet to be made. But there’s plenty of time to have it all done before company arrives to indulge.
What are you making for your holidays? Any daring new recipes you’re trying? Any foodie traditions you’re working on? Please share them!
From the Beard house to yours, all the best for your holidays and the coming new year. Peace.