Monday, 24 December 2007
Fruit Cake - a Christmas Tradition
At Christmas time, one of the cakes that we always look forward to is the Fruit Cake or as my aunts and my mother call it - Rich Cake - simply because it is quite decadent.
The recipes all come from my Grandmother but each of her four daughters and one daughter-in-law (my Mother of course!) somehow have made their own variations as they all turn out differently. I, of course, am partial to my Mother's Fruit Cake and swear it is the best.
The difference with this Fruit Cake, as compared to other kinds of Fruit Cake, is that it is made with Sujee (Semolina). Lots of fruits and nuts go into this cake as well as lots and lots of Brandy!
Now although I have helped my mother make this cake many, many, many (can I emphasise how often!!) times, I've never ever made it myself. And quite frankly, I don't ever intend to. It just takes too much blasted trouble!
The Lovely Wife however, HAS made this cake herself. In fact, the first Christmas after we were married, she decided she would take the plunge and make this cake. She obtained the recipe from my mother and proceeded to cut the fruits and nuts and marinate said fruits in alcohol for a few days.
One evening, as I walked in the door, the smell of Brandy cut through my perpetually clogged sinuses. My wife was busy mixing the cake mixture and I did a doouble take when I noticed my prized XO brandy was substantially reduced.
"How much brandy did you put into the cake?" I asked The Lovely Wife.
"Your Grandmother's recipe says two wine glasses so I used two wine glasses." she said, very confidently.
I couldn't help but burst out laughing (even though part of me was still crying at the drastic reduction in my Brandy supply). You see, my grandmother's recipes use traditional measurements like tea-cups and wine glasses, rather than the more precise measuring tools we use today. The so called wine glasses referred to in my Grandmother's recipe were actually Sherry or Port glasses - very small as compared to the TWO FULL RED WINE GLASSES The Lovely Wife had used!
Yes, the cake was a very, very tipsy cake that year!
This year, The Lovely Wife and I helped my Mother baked the Christmas Fruit Cake. We actually baked it early to coincide with my elder brother's wedding in early December. The cake keeps a remarkably long time due to the high sugar content as well as the high Brandy content.
A very special cake indeed and you can never stop at just one piece. It somehow keeps calling at you "I'm here, I'm here, have another piece..." And you usually have more than just two pieces.
Here's wishing each and everyone of you a very Blessed and Happy Christmas with lots of love from this part of the world!
Note: The Recipe was posted later.