This is an updated version.
I was actually thinking of making panettone for this Xmas, but the shipping charges of getting the molds to Singapore is insane. So, I decided to recreate my Xmas fruit cake. If you can remember, I made a fruit cake last Xmas, for 2019, I am gonna amp things up a bit. A bit, I mean with gingerbread houses and some decor.
To make life easier, I am using a dried fruits mix from Foodsterr. You can of cos use your desired mix of dried fruits. Just make sure the measurements are the same. I am also using a combination of hazelnuts and walnuts; you can use pecans, pistachios, cashews, whichever you desired. This is your fruit cake afterall.
One of my goals for 2019 is to bake up a storm. I am glad I decided to bake more and it had led me to have my own online cakeshop. Yes, when it comes to baking, there are lots of failures. But without failures, there wouldn't be success. Am I right? So, if ever you got it wrong, you just discovered something new. This is what makes baking so exciting. Anyway, I really hope you will give this recipe a try.
(Make one 8 inch cake)
Dried Fruits Mix Preferably Foodsterr, 163g
Dates Pitted Quartered, 75g
Glazed Cherries Halved, 50g
Crystallized Ginger Quartered, 50g
Cointreau / Brandy / Dark Rum, 180ml + More For Feeding
Unsalted Butter Softened, 138g + More For Greasing
Light Muscovado Sugar, 69g
Demerara Sugar, 69g
Almond Meal, 38g
Fresh Orange Zest, 1 Orange
Ground Cloves, 1/4 TSP
Ground Cinnamon, 1/4 TSP
Nutmeg Freshly Grated, Pinch
All Spice Powder, 1/4 TSP
Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 138g
Roasted Hazelnuts Halved, 20g
Roasted Walnuts Quartered, 20g
Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 350g
Baking Powder, 10g
Demerara Sugar, 170g
Sea Salt, Pinch
All Spice Powder, 1/2 TSP
Unsalted Butter Cubed, 100g
Pure Honey, 70g
Blackstrap Molasses, 20g
Egg White, 1
Cream of Tartar, Pinch
Icing Sugar, 200g
8 Inch Spring Form Cake Pan
Hand / Stand Mixer
Soaking the fruits.
Transfer everything into a large bowl.
Toss to mix well.
Cover with cling film and set aside in a cool and dry place for at least 24 hrs.
Prepare the cake.
Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius or 300 fahrenheit.
Grease cake pan with butter.
Lay parchment paper on the bottom and the sides of the cake pan.
Cut out a large piece of aluminium foil.
Fold the foil into a strap with a width almost the same as your cake pan.
Wrap the cake pan with that folded foil and tied it tightly with a thread.
This is to allow even browning.
In a large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy with a hand or stand mixer.
Add in sugar and cream until well combined.
Add in eggs and continue whisking.
Add in almond meal, orange zest and the spices.
*You can make your own almond meal by grinding almond in a spice blender.*
Continue whisking until well combined.
Fold in the flour with a spatula 1/3 portion at a time until fully incorporated.
Next, fold in the nuts.
Lastly, the dried fruits mix with any leftover alcohol.
Transfer into the cake pan.
Using an offset spatula to level the top.
Wack into the oven and bake for 2 to 3 hrs.
Check regularly after the 1 hr mark.
The internal temperature should read 90 degree celsius or 200 fahrenheit.
The cake should also pass a skewer test.
You should have a dark brown color on the cake.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely before unmolding about 5 hrs.
Once the cake is completely cooled, unmold and transfer onto surface lined with cling film.
Poke a few holes on the cake with a skewer.
Feed the cake with 1 TBSP of Cointreau or any liqueur of your choice.
Cover and wrap the cake with parchment paper.
You can store the cake for a couple of months in a cool and dry place. The flavors will intensify.
Feed the cake once every week,
Feeding the cake will keep the cake moist and dense.
Making gingerbread houses.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and all spice well.
Add in the butter.
You can cream everything together with a fork, but I prefer using my hands.
You should get a crumbly mixture resembling wet sand.
Add in honey, molasses and egg.
Mix until it comes together into a dough.
Wrap it with cling film and chill in the fridge for about 1 hr.
Remove from fridge and divide the dough into half.
You can freeze the other half. It will last for 3 months.
Transfer the dough onto a parchment paper.
Place another parchment paper over the dough.
Roll the dough into a large rectangle with a thickness of 1/8 inch.
Freeze the dough for 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius or 360 fahrenheit.
I measured the circumference of my cake which reads 64cm.
So I divided 64 into 8 = 8cm. Each house is 8cm in width.
I also measured the height of my cake with is about 4cm. So, each house will be more than 4cm in height.
I use cupboard to draw and design the houses.
After 30 mins, remove the dough from the freezer.
The dough should be big enuff for all the houses.
Place another baking tray on top of the dough.
Wack into the oven and bake for 12 mins.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Place the houses onto the gingerbread and using a sharp knife and cut out the houses.
Transfer the houses onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Wack into the oven and bake for another 10 to 12 mins or until deep brownish.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.
Prepare the royal icing.
In a large bowl, add in egg whites and cream of tartar.
Using a hand or stand mixer, whisk until stiff peaks.
Add in icing sugar, 1 tbsp at at a time, while still whisking.
Once it gets thick, shiny and glossy, stop adding the sugar.
You should have a honey-syrupy consistency, but not runny and not too thick.
Transfer into a piping bag with a small circle tip.
Pipe the designs on the gingerbread.
The royal icing will harden overtime.
You can freeze any remaining royal icing for up to 1 month.
Assemble the cake.
Brush the whole cake lightly with apricot jam.
Transfer the fruit cake on a cake stand or a serving plate.
Pipe some more royal icing on the back of the gingerbread houses. This will act as a glue.
Stick the gingerbread houses onto the side of the cake.
Roll out the marzipan into a 1/8 inch thickness. If your marzipan gets too sticky and difficult to roll, dust the surface + rolling pin with some icing sugar.
Using your desired Xmas theme cookie cutter and cut out the marzipan. I am using snowflakes cookie cutter.
Transfer the marzipan onto the fruit cake.
Lastly dust with your desired edible glisters.
Slice and serve.
The fruit cake will keep well in the fridge for a few weeks.