Monday, June 16, 2008
Solstice Cake 2008
A few weeks ago I mentioned my intention of baking my family fruit cake for the Solstice, as laid down by AOF over at Confessions of a Food Nazi. And I did it! As I'm off to Canberra this week for several weeks I'm throwing up this post now.
I can't give away all the secrets, otherwise my mother may disown me. I don't like dried peel in my fruitcake, so I modified the fruit ingredients to just be dates, sultanas, currants, and glace cherries. It's a very rich cake, and I think the secret is in the booze - you soak the fruit overnight in a rather nice amount of rum :-) You just have to be careful when you remove the plastic wrap the next day - the alcomohol fumes are impressive. Brown sugar, treacle, a bit of flour, some mixed spices... you build up some impressive muscles folding everything together.
While mum usually ices this cake, she assured me that it wasn't mandatory. She advised putting some whole almonds on top before I baked it, as decoration. Note the brown paper - 3 layers of it wrapped around the tin. This cake is cooked incredibly slowly - for one this size about 30-40 minutes at 180C until it starts rising, then you knock it down to 130C for another couple of hours, until the centre feels firm.
Once it comes out you leave it in the tin until it's completely cooled, then wrap it in cling wrap so it's air tight, then put it in a container. Generally you should leave it for at least a month to cure before you even THINK of eating it, but I didn't have a month! After a mere week and a few days this baby had to come back out into the light of day.
Here's a cross-section. And these two chunks are all that is left! So, while I wasn't 100% happy with it, it seems the punters didn't mind :-)