Christmas Fruits Cake

I tried to make this recipe based on A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. Classic!

What you need:for one pound cake form

Colored, candied cherries, 100g (or 50g of red and 50 g of green)
Candied ginger, 30g
Candied pineapple,  50g
Raisin, 100g
Walnuts, 40g
Pecan nuts, 40g
Lemon zest from one lemon 
Orange zest from one orange

Butter, softened,  200g
Sugar, 70g
Brown suar,  70g 
Eggs, 4 
All purpose flour, 200g
Vanilla extract, 1/4 ts
Baking soda, 1/4 ts
Baking powder, 1/2 ts
Cinnamon,clove, nutmeg, allspice – as much as you like!
Whiskey or rum, up to 1/2 cup

Butter and flour for the cake form.

How to make:

1)We first prepare the fruits and nuts.
Chop the candied fruits.

I usually do not like an artificially colored food but this is one of a few exceptions, I particularly look for the red and green cherries.

Roast the nuts until it smells good, then chop it.

I would use candied lemon peel and orange peel when they are available. If you could not find it at nearby shops, you can wash a fresh lemon/orange and zest it.

A tool helps, but you can simply use a small knife or a cheese grater to zest a lemon or an orange.

Place all the chopped fruits and nuts in a bowl.

You can also put all the dried/candied fruits in a jar and pour rum or whiskey and wait for a few days… or years to enhance its flavor. In that case, I would first pour hot water over the fruits to wash off the oil and sugar, then drain and squeeze off the water before put it in a jar. Usually dried fruits have a small amount of oil on its surface so they do not get sticky in the package.

2)Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices in a bowl with a whisk. Set it aside.

3)The butter needs to be out of a refrigerator for hours so it is as soft as mayo. Mix it with a whisk, and add sugar, a few table spoons at once.

You can use only white sugar but I love the depth the brown sugar can provide…

4)Beat the eggs in a small bowl, then add it slowly to the bowl of butter. Whisk well to allow each part to get well incorporated before adding more.

5)Add vanilla extract, as well.

6)Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.

Mix carefully with a spatula but do not worry too much. This recipe uses enough amount of baking soda and baking powder, it will rise well anyway.

Repeat it 4-5 times or until all the dry ingredients are mixed in and well incorporated.

OMG the batter already tastes goooood….

7)Spread butter or spray oil into the cake form, then flour it.

8)Heat the oven to 340 F (170 C).

9)Transfer the batter into the cake form. It is not running soft, so you will need to use a spatula to smooth the surface of the batter.

10)Decorate it! It is completely optional to do but this is the fun part of this cake.

11)Put it in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes.

12)Try to insert a wooden skewer in the center of the thickest part of the cake. When it comes out clean or ideally with a few moist crumbs, it is done.

13)While the cake is still warm, pour whiskey/rum over it.

The cake will absorb the liquid very well. You do not need to worry if it gets wet, you can pour liquor as much as a half a cup (but please be careful if you plan to share it with children).

When the cake is completely cool, wrap it with aluminum foil tightly. You can eat the cake as soon as a few hours but it will taste great for weeks.

Happy holidays!

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