30 November, 2011
Operation Domestic Goddess : Fruitcake
I have often thought that there are entirely too many raisins in the world. Making fruitcake for the first time did not help endear them to me.
Fruitcake is a multi-step process that requires some advance planning. First, all the fruit soaks in brandy (or whatever form of alcohol you're using) overnight...or over two nights if, like we did, you forget about it because you tucked the bowl in an obscure corner. This is going to be one potent fruitcake.
Next, you make a proper cake batter and stir in the boozy fruit. After mixing everything together according to Nigella's instructions, we were really concerned that there was nowhere near enough dough to hold all that fruit. It was just a mass of raisins with a bit of batter binding them together. We decided to not trust Nigella on this one, and added another cup of flour. I think this was a good decision; the final product looked more like a cake and less like a raisin landslide.
After baking the cake, you brush more brandy over the top, wrap it up tightly, and promptly set it aside for several weeks. My authoritative sources over at Wikipedia tell me that the alcohol helps prevent mold, and that the flavor of the cake obviously improves with aging. Since we plan to give this particular cake away as a Christmas gift, I guess we'll never know...