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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Christmas Cake Fruit

It's that time of year.....
                          (Yes, it really is)

Please do not scream at the computer screen.

It really is time to start soaking your
fruit for your Christmas cake.

I know, I know,
you are shaking your head in disbelief,
but the longer you can leave
these jewelled gems to soak,
the better your cake will taste.

I have followed this recipe
for many years now,
and after playing around
 with it several times,
I feel I have finally cracked it.

I first read about a
'good, long soak'
in The Bourke Street Bakery recipe book.

It is a lovely,
if somewhat large,

With some delicious recipes,
it was their advice about fruit loaf
which really caught my eye.

They suggest a six week soak of the fruit,
in an alcohol and sugar syrup mixture,
so as to really get the fruit infused with all
the delicious flavours we
associate with Christmas.

The fruit is so soft and plump when
you come to bake with it.

I work on the basis of trying
to bake the cakes on
so counting back six weeks from
that is about now.

I pencil this into my calendar for September
every year.

It is terribly simple to do
and the rewards are well worth the little
bit of effort it requires.

You will need :

200g Sultanas
200g Raisins
175g Dried Apricots
100g Dried Dates
55g Glace Cherries
Juice (55ml) and zest of an orange
Cinnamon stick
170ml Dark Rum (or alcohol of your choice)
55g Caster sugar

You can use any combination
of dried fruits you prefer,
as long as the combined weight
is 730g.

1. Place the orange juice and caster sugar into a
pan over a low heat.
Warm gently until the sugar
has completely dissolved.

2. leave to cool for a few minutes and
add the rum.
Mix together and pour over the dried fruits,
cinnamon stick and orange zest.
Stir well until the liquid has coated all
the fruits.

Place into an airtight container .

3. Stir the fruit mixture every day for the first week,
and then once a week thereafter.

You will notice every time you open the
lid to stir up these glistening fruit gems,
the quite heady aroma that hits
It is delicious.

After approximately six weeks of lovingly
tending your rum soaked fruits,
they are ready for baking.

I will be posting details of the cake recipe
a little later,
so until then,

enjoy your day.


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