My colleague requested for a fruit cake last xmas. I bought the mixed fruits and promptly basked them in a glass jar with cointreau with a view to bake it in time for xmas. But that never happens with the hectic travelling, deadlines, and 2 birthday cakes to go in Dec.
Since I now need to clear some space for the CNY bakes, I decided to bake this off. And I had to do it in the morning cos once I start my medication at noon, the splitting headache will comes. Well, then it's time for afternoon nap! That's why medical leave is for... for beauty sleeps!
I am just glad that I had used a good recipe - this requires mixing of the batter with meringue. A little more troublesome to whip up the meringue but the result says all!
Mixed Fruit Cake
adapted from Gourmet Living Magazine Dec/Jan 2010 (contributed by Yeo Li Li)
180g mixed fruit
290g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp all spice powder
100g brown sugar
5 egg yolk
1 tbsp maple or golden syrup
2 tbsp cointreau
5 egg white
50g castor sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- preheat oven to 170C. Prepare cupcake cases or loaf pan. Line loaf pan with greaseproof paper if using.
- soak A overnight or longer. I soak mine for a month at room temperature. Though it is not necessary, I want to point out that it will not go bad/mouldy... so no need to store it in fridge.
- sieve B together in a mixing bowl.
- cream C together until creamy, light and fluffy. Slowly add D and mix well.
- whisk egg white & cream of tartar in E until big bubbles form. Continue to beat at high speed, adding castor sugar slowly until soft peak. Mix 1/3 of the meringue into butter mixture (in step 4), add 1/3 of the flour mixture (in step 3). Repeat until all the batter is well mixed. Fold in drained mixed fruits.
- Pour batter into baking pan or cases. Gently tap the cake/loaf pan on the table top to release any air bubbles. The original recipe do not have this step, and I found big bubble in my cake which is not so nice. Bake, bain marie, for approx.45 min for cupcakes, 80min for loaf pan.
- When done, spray the balance cointreau on the surface of the cake. It keeps the cake moist and it keeps better than cake without this step. Skip this step if the cake is to be served to children.
see the air bubble on the side of the cake?
- While most fruit cake requires double lining the pan, I bought a thick steel pan which is for making fruit cake. It enables the cake to bake evenly without teh extra lining. Of course, you can still get nicely baked fruit cake with normal pan - just need to wrap the outside with baking papers (or old newspapers).... I only bought the pan out of whim!
- bain marie (water bath) provides steam in the oven so that the cake will be moist.
- Cointreau can be replaced with any liquor brandy, rum etc.
- While the alcohol increases the flavour and shelf life of the cake, do not ever serve spiked-cake to kids; kids do not have a fully developed liver to handle the alcohol... if you must give them, lightly toast them in the oven to burn off any spirit content.