Sinikka's snippets

Finland and travelling, a woman's life, cultures, languages, photography plus family recipes

Christmas baking: English-style fruitcake

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Here is another family recipe that I found somewhere – don’t remember exactly where, some women’s magazine most likely – that has stuck with our family over the years. On the whole, I must admit I’m not too keen on the British idea of a fruitcake. Sorry to say but I just find them too dry and bitter, for some reason, even with the frosting! For example, I could never imagine a fruitcake for a wedding, no matter how nice the idea of keeping some of it for when your first baby is born. As a steadfast and stubborn Finn, I insisted that at our Finnish-British wedding, we had a Finnish-style cream and cloudberry cake, which would not keep for more than maximum one day!

But back the this Christmas cake recipe. I particularly like this one as it makes a lovely, rich and, most importantly, MOIST cake that just keeps maturing and getting better over the holidays. When I first baked one, 20+ years ago, it became an instant  favourite for my dear hubby. This year, the first time ever that we are spending Christmas just the two of us, I suggested what if we skipped the cake. After all, too many sweet things are not good for us at this age, you know. You should have seen hubby’s face of disappointment! Okey, I don’t mind, let’s bake one anyway.

Every year, the cake comes out slightly different. It depends on the amount and type of fruit, and the spirit I use. After many experiments, I must say dark rum works the best for me. But I’ve tried brandy – fine, or like this year, some rum punch from the Île de la Réunion in the Indian Ocean. Look forward to tasting this year’s edition! Another candle-lit baking session, here we go.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 240 gr baking margarine (or butter)
  • 240 gr brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs dark syrup
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 dl plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tbs dark rum (or spirit of your choice)
  • 250 gr mixed dried fruit – cut into small pieces
  • 125 gr raisins
  • 1 tbs candied orange peel
  • 1 dl crushed hazelnuts
  • 3 slices of tinned pineapple – cut into chunks
  • c. 20 red and green candied cherries

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THIS IS WHAT YOU DO

  • Cream the butter and brown sugar.
  • Add the syrup and eggs, one at a time. Add about 1 tbs of flour with each egg to prevent curdling.
  • Mix the flour and baking powder, dry spices, vanilla and salt. Add to the mixture.
  • Add all the fruit, the nuts and the spirit.
  • Spoon half of the mixture into a traditional round cake tin that has been carefully buttered and dusted with breadcrumbs.
  • Even the surface and stick the candied cherries in the middle. Then spoon in the rest of the mixture.
  • Bake in 150 degrees Celsius for 1.5 hours.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for a while before removing it onto a tin foil. Let it cool down properly overnight, before wrapping it in the foil, and placing in the fridge.
  • Let the cake “mature” for preferably at least one week before cutting the first slices.

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I wish I had a “scratch and smell” picture here as the spicy, aromatic, Christmasy smell filling our kitchen was so very inviting and festive. The sort of family memory that will hopefully stay in everybody’s minds for ever!

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 MERRY CHRISTMAS ❤

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Author: sinikka

From Finland to the world, I teach English and French and try to be a model of a lifelong learner to my students, I love nature and photography, and enjoy travelling

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