Oct 26, 2020

Another first for us

I have always loved fruit cake.  I remember helping my grandmother make it. I really can’t recall if my mother ever made it but something tells me she did. Christmas cake or fruit cake is something I have missed over the years once we started traveling in the RV for the winter. So now that we are here for the winter, why not make one? I don’t have any of my mom’s or grandmother’s ( she wanted to be called grandmother ) recipes so I checked out the best Christmas cake on Google. I clicked on just the one and that is the one I went with.  Mainly because it was so easy to make.  Check out the video here and the recipe can be printed out by clicking on the ‘show more’ just a few inches below the video. I even read the 232 comments and made notes. Everyone loves it because it is rich and moist, not to mention easy to make.

So first thing was to make a list of the ingredients we needed.  I also needed to buy a 9 inch springform pan as well as an air tight container to store the cake in. Amazingly I found both as well as parchment paper at a dollar store for less than $10.00 for all three. I also will be making my special Old English short bread and fruit cake cookies.

The cherry brandy is for the Christmas cake while those 4 cups of pecans ($23.05 ) and the maraschino cherries are for the fruit cake cookies.

Rather than buy large containers of spices that I seldom use I went shopping in the bulk  food section of Save On Foods.  I needed a pinch of coriander  ( on the left ) and that cost me 6 cents, the 1/4 teaspoon of allspice cost 14 cents while the very fresh ground ginger on the right cost me 10 cents for 1/2 teaspoon.  I even bought  2 cups of icing sugar ( for the shortbread ) for 87 cents.  Why spend $2.00 – 3.00 for something I only need a few cups of.

It took 2.5 hours to prep the ingredients and mix, cook, cool, add more ingredients and then place in the parchment lined pan. That last bit took a while to get it right.

Instead of soaking the fruit I simply simmered it for 30 minutes. Yes those are bits of zest of lemon and orange all done by hand.

The cake was in the oven for an hour and three quarters at two different temperatures. First thing we had to do was make a dozen holes in the cake in which 1/2 cup of cherry brandy ( there already was 1/2 cup in the cake ) was slowly poured into the cake. Then cooled for a few hours.

So while the cake was cooling I made us a veggie stir fry with almost the last of our Mazatlan shrimp. We have another 1/2 kilo in the freezer.  Had I known I would have certainly brought more back with us. Several of the veggies were from our garden and it was a delicious meal. A special end to the cake making.

We than had to double wrap the Christmas cake in a double layer of parchment paper and then a double layer of foil.

So now every Sunday for the next seven or eight weeks ( until we can no longer stand waiting and just have to have a slice ) we get to feed our creation. Yes we get to feed the cake once per week with 2 tablespoons of cherry brandy. Unwrap it with great care, feed it and then rewrap for another week. You can use rum or whisky instead of the cherry brandy if you prefer. The only cherry brandy we can get here is 24% alcohol so I just may add real brandy or rum for the final few weeks.  Between the wrapping and the ‘feeding’ this cake is guaranteed to be very moist. Don’t worry I will be sure to share the first taste with you all.



<< Older Posts        Home        Newer Posts >>

28 responses so far

28 Responses to “Another first for us”

  1. Kay says:

    Well, I have to share this… about 45 years ago, my father-in-law decided to “gift” us with a “Fruit Cake”. We kept that lovely fruit cake all year, and we gifted it back to “grandpa”. He kept it for the next year, and he gifted it back to us. This fruit cake was gifted back and forth for over twenty years. When he called me and told me he had stomach cancer and would not make it to Christmas to receive our “Family” Fruit Cake, I was quick to tell my dear old ex-father in law, that I would send it with him into eternity. He laughed, told me he was being cremated to which I replied “Well, grandpa, then the Fruit Cake must go with you, and be cremated too. He said “Well little one, I will ask that you send it now so it’s here when I go. I sent the fruit cake back to him, and when he passed, the funeral home called me and asked if my father in law was serious in his written instructions and I said YES! Burn that Fruit Cake with that man, so it sweetens his ashes for the Big Horns, as he requested!!!

    • contessa says:

      I just love that story. I wonder how it wold have tasted. A very special memorial that you have. It brought me a few tears.

  2. Dolores says:

    Ooooo looks SO good, I too LOVE fruitcake!!!
    So many people don’t…. Can’t understand that…. Just taste I guess… And we have good taste ?

  3. Dee Tillotson says:

    You are getting into the Holiday spirit when you bake fruit cake; that’s the only time we have it around here. The new fresh fallen snow probably helped put you in the mood. Fresh home baked fruit cake always tastes better than the ones you buy in the store.

    When Beach and I were married in the 1960s, I took him to a small farming town where my Dad and Mom grew up, Claxton, Georgia; we stopped at the large Claxton Fruit Cake bakery/factory, and I introduced him to the owner of the company, Albert Parker. (Yes, everyone who grew up in that town of 2 to 3,000 are related to each other and, therefore, know each other.) By the 1960s, the company had a great marketing strategy, and these cakes were being sent all over the world. He sent us home with a lot of freebies; but I have to tell you that those cakes are awful and are hard as brick bats. Beach always jokes that Mr. Parker only has to make one fruit cake at Christmas, and it’s passed around to friends and family all over the globe at Christmas time. My point is that the very best fruit cakes are the home made ones; The Parkers lost the “home made” flavors and tastes when they added preservatives and resorted to high volume production.

    Would love to try your recipe once you and Colin have given it a good taste test. Of course, I would need to make two, one for God-fearing people and one for heathens. Ha!

    • contessa says:

      Well if I have to be here in the cold and the snow I will be totally into Christmas and all that it entails. Remember I have 7 bins of decorations under the house that I haven’t seen for 20 years. So true what you say when companies go international. At least you were able to have some of the good fruit cake before it all changed. I am hoping that we can hold out until December 15th before we try it.

  4. I would love to dig into that Christmas cake when it is ready. I tasted once a similar one made with spiced rum and it was to die for.

  5. Kathryn Tycho says:

    My don’t Christmas cakes bring out the memories for all of us “mature” ladies! Up until we started travelling I always made Christmas cakes …at least four. Three different recipes. One from Eric’s Mom and two from mine. Still have the old recipes. Eric loves fruitcake!

    • contessa says:

      Interesting how RVing interrupts certain traditions. I know that one day you will make Eric some fruit cake. I guess I could make one in September to take down with us next year except it will be much too hot for it – certainly not room temperature for storage.

  6. Maxx Trails says:

    The fruit cake sounds, and looks, yummy … I’m not sure I can wait eight weeks for you to try it 🙂

    I love the raisin/wine laugh … that was a good one!

    • contessa says:

      I have been saving that cartoon for a while and this post seemed to be the perfect place to use it. If you are lucky you just might get a wee bite.

  7. Don & Kathy McKelvay says:

    I love it and you have inspired me to also make a Christmas cake (maybe 2??) and oddly enough today in London, ON we received our first taste of snow flakes – but tomorrow it will go up to 10. Thanks for the incentive. My wife will be surprised.

    • contessa says:

      Ohh sounds wonderful. You may have to send me a recipe to try. So do you use any alcohol to feed the cake? How wonderful of you to surprise your wife. We will only get up to 6C tomorrow but by Friday we will be up to 10C and hopefully all of our snow will be gone – for a while.

  8. Linda and Russell says:

    Everything looks delicious!
    Can’t wait for the tasting…lol

  9. Karen says:

    OMG! That looks amazing,I certainly miss Christmas cake as my mother called it and remember her making many every year,such a tedious job,she would top hers off with marzipan. You certainly hit a memory for me! I would love (if you can find time) your English shortbread recipe,I’m probably not the only person asking so possibly a post in the making. Enjoy that cake my mouth is watering,I’m so jealous.

    • contessa says:

      It is good deal of work but ever so worth it once you have that first bite. Happy to share the shortbread recipe but not until the second week of November. We have a huge project starting Friday and the snow is starting to melt. We still have more prep for winter, little odds and ends including putting my car back in storage. Have diarized to send you the recipe.

  10. Sharon says:

    My recipe is very similar to this and we all love it! Have made it and given it as gifts many times over the years. Always a big success! Enjoy!

    • contessa says:

      Well that gives me hope that we will love this cake. Were there many differences in the recipe or anything that stands out. I am curious to know if you used cherry brandy or something else to feed the cake.

  11. SandyM says:

    Your cake looks beautiful and is sure to taste delicious – what a treat it will be. You have inspired me to dig out my Mom’s Applesauce Cake recipe and make it for Christmas – it has been far too many years since I have made it. While it is not a fruit cake it does have lots of raisins in it. Oh yum….

    • Contessa says:

      So happy that I have in a small part motivated you to create a recipe that brings back special memories. This is the year to dig deep and treat ourselves. Be sure to let me know how it turns out.

  12. Looks like you had fun making the Fruit Cake. Wise not to get bogged down with leftover ingredients.
    Remember my Grandmother’s Fruit Cake. There was so much Rum in it that as a child it made us choke but after the meal was over all the grandchildren were quiet in corners sleeping. We like our Fruit Cake as well but simply buy it at the stores.
    That Stir Fry looks very tasty.
    Playing catch up.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

  13. livingrichonthecheap says:

    I love Christmas cake and fruitcake cookies. Never made the cake before, that looks amazing! I usually buy one from Costco but I imagine yours will be 100 times better. Your stirfry looks excellent as well. Here’s hoping next year you can enjoy shrimp while in Mazatlan. We just got notification of cancellation of our November flights to Zihuatanejo from Westjet which I was waiting for so hopefully will get points/taxes back in a few months. Either way, we obviously weren’t going but If I have surgery and have a few years with health-free issues we will go back to Mexico when it is safe to do so.

    • contessa says:

      I have never ever had a store bought cake that comes anywhere near as good homemade. Yeah,so glad that you will at least get your points back. I am fully confident that you will get back to Mexico. It is for certain in your future. I read something today that says travel won’t be normal until April, 2023. You have lots of time to heal and get ready for you next trip.

  14. Jannose says:

    Looks like you are making great use of all your free time. My daughter in law works at a bakery and we get their rum soaked Christmas cake every year. It is delicious and we get a family discount so no fuss here.

Leave a Reply