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Posted by
4364 posts

Erm......pretty much every married couple!

Posted by
2922 posts

What kind of savages would serve a fruitcake as the main wedding cake?

Seriously? Not a very culturally sensitive post. Fruitcake is a traditional wedding cake not only in Britain, but in some of the other Commonwealth countries as well. The use of other types of cake as a base has only come into vogue relatively recently.

PS- a properly made, and aged, fruitcake can taste wonderful, unlike the bricks that pass for fruitcake in the States.

Posted by
21195 posts

Personally our family has always enjoyed fruit cakes. Perhaps related to our English heritage dating back to the early 1700s. Never quite understood the near universal rejection of fruit cake in the US. May be related back to that revolutionary thing in the late 1700s. But we do keep ours in the closet for fearing of having judgemental neighbors like Tom judge us to harshly. And no we didn't vote for the current fruitcake.

Posted by
12480 posts

Definitely lighter and with more of an emphasis on feeding with booze.

Well. That explains it. Bring on the cake! 🤪
But what the heck is black treacle?

Frank, I'm with you regarding, er, current fruitcakes.

Posted by
2879 posts

Looking at the recipe Emma provided I think some of our taste differences are that very few U.S. fruitcakes are "fed" the way British cakes are constructed and cured. Note to self, try a British fruitcake the next time I'm in the U.K. Also no matter how much feeding a fruitcake has or on which side of the pond it's baked, if you don't care for raisins/currents/sultanas I don't think you're going to care for either fruitcake.

Posted by
8293 posts

Yes, a wedding cake is a fruit cake more or less throughout the British Commonwealth. None of those pallid white efforts as seen in the Ecstatic States. The wedding guests each get a small piece of the cake in an especially designed box, to take home and “dream on”.. Unmarried guests will dream of their future spouse. Is that not romantic!?

Posted by
3176 posts

Agnes: your Italian Christmas cake looks similar to the Norwegian version

https://www.tablespoon.com/recipes/julekake/0ccc6b0c-e6ce-4012-8332-0ce73ccada2c

Which is more of a sweet bread than a cake. I don’t care for those either but can eat an occasional slice.

Frank: By all means keep your offending fruitcake out of sight in a closet, preferably wrapped.

Kathy: I believe treacle is molasses, so it would be dark molasses.

Edit: I don’t really know, maybe corn syryp = treacle and molasses = black treacle?

Posted by
4364 posts

But what the heck is black treacle?

Treacle is a very thick liquid molasses. It is sweet, strong and slightly bitter. Long been an ingredient in rich fruit cakes and deserts such as treacle tart. It's very good as an ingredient in barbecue sauce as well, much better than the mass produced stuff utilising high fructose corn syrup.

Posted by
8235 posts

I grew up in the South where the brick fruitcake was a staple during the holidays. The only one I've ever been able to tolerate is one from a Texas bakery which was heavy on the pecans. It wasn't too bad if you could get someone to whip up some home made egg nog to go with.

https://www.collinstreet.com/online_bakery_gift/deluxe_fruitcake

I've never liked the texture of the glace fruit ....and that was before the 70's when I was a state social worker in a small town in FL where they made the stuff. It seemed like half my clients worked at the fruit plant, the other half for the shrimp packing plant. Urk.

https://www.paradisefruitco.com/

Re: Molasses - an easy substitute for US brown sugar is to mix in molasses with regular white granulated sugar. Blackstrap molasses has some good nutritional value with vitamins and minerals.

Posted by
917 posts

I make an unbelievably good fruitcake that friends beg me to bake each year. It is labor intensive since I candy my own citrus peal for it. The recipe in demand is the dark chocolate fruitcake from the cookbook The Vegetarian Epicure. I use Gosling's Black Seal rum to preserve and age it. I have some that is 2 yrs' old in the fridge just now. It is so moist and scrumptious, it falls apart. Just this week, i have had offers to purchase some of my next batch, which won't be until next fall. I am working on a lighter blond cake with just almonds and citrus right now and trying to figure out the best liquor to match it with.

So, I am a savage who would bake and serve a fruitcake for a wedding - at least for those folks aware of the incredible goodness they'll be enjoying. For the unenlightened - sorry for you, but more cake for me and my friends.

Posted by
917 posts

Emma. I have a bit of Amaretto to try. I am also contemplating Vin Santo (however, $$ in the US), brandy, Grand Marnier. My typical cake is so "sloshed" it does not dry out in the fridge. It is wrapped in cheesecloth and then stored in glass Pyrex bowls. I have tried tin foil, but some of the newer types don't react well with alcohol. I top it up from time to time. I am going to eat up the two-yr vintage this Easter and move on. In addition to the blond cake I am contemplating, I have a great recipe for an Italian Thyme & Fig Fruitcake care of The Fanny Farmer Baking Book, 1987. It calls for Madeira or Sherry. I think that might be a nice spring offering.

Cheers to Spring while we are expecting a blizzard tomorrow!

Posted by
134 posts

Emma, that Creole Cake is my kind of cake .... Any excuse to buy some cherry brandy is good.

Posted by
1238 posts

My parents insisted on fruit cake at our wedding. I don't like it, but since they were willing to pay for it I agreed. As Norma mentioned, it was packaged in little boxes for guests to take home. Nobody took theirs. My dad had a little slice of wedding cake in his lunch box every day for about a year.

Posted by
427 posts

What a wonderful read! I laughed all the way through this thread ! Great recipe suggestions. I happen to LOVE dark fruitcake, but my husband doesn't. It's a taste thing. My family's recipe is from England, where all my grandparents originated from. Some people love it, some hate it, but it was/is a very common wedding cake in Canada. Many of my friends make a batch prior to Christmas and start "feeding" it in November. It's quite a treat!

Posted by
2287 posts

Debbie - I had the Vegetarian Epicure! I tried to make the "parsleyed eggs on the half shell" for a potluck, but it was a total disaster. Happy memories of the years I spent using that cookbook.

Posted by
3418 posts

Oh this brought back some good memories! My Mom used to make fruit cake for Christmas for my Dad. We'd help crack pecans (and eat almost as many as we put aside for the batter) and chop the candied fruit. The batter had allspice, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg and cloves- very spicy. and used either molasses or cane syrup from local farms when she could get it, or dark Karo syrup when she couldn't, and was a rich , light brown. She cooked it in a tube pan (like pound cakes or angle food cakes are cooked in). We got to 'lick the bowl' at the end. We liked the raw batter, but not the cake. It wasn't as dense as some. She was raised 'good Southern Baptist' and did not "douse" her cake, but others in the area often used 'white lightning' or moonshine! When she stopped making her own, Daddy would by Claxton fruit cake. It is made near their 'native' turf in Georgia.
After I got married I was introduced to Japanese fruit cake- that's what my mother-in-law made. It had coconut and raisins and I think maraschino cherries and maybe fresh pineapple, but no candied fruit. It was lighter in texture and color, too. And you didn't age or 'douse' it, either.

Posted by
21195 posts

See what you started, Tom. At least three people like fruitcakes. There are a lot of closeted fruitcake lovers. Maybe we will come out of the closet and put it on the counter --- Damn the neighbors !!!!

Posted by
7465 posts

Call me a 'savage" and pass the cake please. Yum, yum, more for me!

To hijack this just a bit, why do some people think liver is an edible substance?

Posted by
1247 posts

People don’t like fruitcake because the store bought junk is covered with awful corn syrup to hold the nuts and candied cherries on top. I about gagged when I bought one once, the Christmas I didn’t make fruitcake.
I make good fruit cake using the circa 1970 Joy of Cooking recipe. Use brandy, lots of brandy. The trick is to soak the cakes in brandy for 3 days, then wrap in brandy soaked muslin (cloth), wrap airtight and “mellow” for six weeks.

Posted by
651 posts

I make delia Creole cake every year, its delicious! Decorated with fruit and nuts, not iced and its tasty with cheese, well i am half Yorkshire 😃

Posted by
4364 posts

Edit: I don’t really know, maybe corn syryp = treacle and molasses = black treacle?

No, we don't have corn syrup in the UK, it's only in stuff imported from the US. Treacle is a by product of the sugar manufacturing process using cane sugar. Golden syrup is a treacle and black treacle is made from molasses. Corn plays no part in treacle.

I'm wondering what's so bad about fruitcake in the US. Certainly some people in the UK don't have much time for it but there's certainly not an overwhelming dislike of it like there is in the US if the posts on here are anything to go by. Perhaps I'll have to try some when I'm there in the summer.

Posted by
2879 posts

My experience with fruitcakes is the same as Tom's, dry and hard. In the U.S. they commercially prepare non alcohol cakes so they are dry and the fruit can be hard. I've obviously had the "wrong" cake so I'm going to try to correct that the next time I'm in the U.K.!

Posted by
14323 posts

A very low key and often overlooked (or simply unknown) holiday on the Jewish calendar is Tu BiShvat (literally the 15th of the month of Shvat). It's similar to arbor day, celebrating trees. Like all the Jewish holidays, it's observed on a lunar calendar, so it can come in late January to late February. Here is Israel, it's the beginning of spring, when almond trees bloom and wild flowers abound. The traditions are planting trees and especially eating fruits and nuts which come from trees. In Europe, it was the middle of winter, so not much tree planting, or fresh fruit. So the tradition evolved into eating dried fruits and nuts . . . . which brings me to my traditional delicacy for this holiday - you guessed it, fruit cake. I make a dark fruit cake, mostly dried fruit and lots of nuts and just enough flour and egg to bind them together. There are always dates, golden raisins, and cherries (real dried cherries, not those icky maraschinos), some candied orange peel, dried peaches, and walnuts. Each time I add a couple others: candied ginger, hazelnuts, pecans, pineapple, figs. After baking I wrap the cakes in Bacardi-soaked cloth diapers (and yes, I use new ones) and age them in the fridge. After a couple of weeks, I resoak the diapers in more Bacardi and re-wrap. Another 2 weeks and I check again to see if the diapers are too dry. After 6 weeks, the cake is sufficiently moist and deliciously rummy. This is truly an adults-only cake, and you really can get tipsy eating more than a couple small pieces. All my friends look forward to the cake - Israelis, Americans, Aussies, Brits.

Posted by
8235 posts

""Bacardi-soaked cloth diapers" a phrase I wasn't expecting to read today!"

Yes Emma!!

Posted by
546 posts

Chani! My gosh that was exactly my Mothers recipe for fruitcake right down to wrapping the thing in cloth and soaking in Liquor. In her case Brandy. She did not store it in the refrigerator but on top of the refrigerator and with that much alcohol it was no problem. And when she thought the cloth was getting too dry she just poured more Brandy right over the top re-soaking the cake. That was the best cake you ever put in your mouth.

By the way my Mother was a native of Michigan and Catholic so this recipe has cultural legs for sure.

Way too many people have been making bad fruitcake from, let's say, more Puritan recipes and it has become a joke. But to those of us who know TRUE Fruitcake it is a revelation. And that revelation came every year to me as a kid at Christmas time.

Thanks for bringing back the memories.

Posted by
79 posts

You can praise fruitcake all you like, but if a person doesn't like the ingredients, they won't like the cake. It's like my personal nemesis reached into my head and pulled out all the things I dislike and mixed them into a cake without enough batter: raisins (regular and golden!), candied orange peel, cherries (maraschino or not), dried fruit in general, nuts (usually walnuts, which make my mouth itch)...and then to top it off, you soak the cake in alcohol. I like a good drink, but I don't feel the need to chew it. The only thing that you could do to make me like it less is to cover it in cream cheese frosting (do you sprinkle sugar on your bagel? No!) As I said, personal preference. I will keep trying it, though. Who knows, maybe someday I will find a fruitcake that I like. :-)

Posted by
14323 posts

Aarthur - I started with brandied cakes, then tried rum - even better. Also, it has to go in the fridge because even in the "dead" of winter, it doesn't really get cold here, but it is humid.

And for those of you who don't like raisins, or whatever, if you make your own, you can choose exactly what you want to put into it - any combination of dried fruit with or w/o nuts is fine - pineapple, papaya, coconut, mango, apple, pear, apricot, kiwi . . .

Posted by
76 posts

Meanwhile....The rest of the world is wondering (amongst other things) why Americans eat sweet potatoes with marshmallow!! Truly bizarre! :)

FYI - This part of the world likes fruit cake, and you’d likely find one at a traditional wedding. At Christmas I’d enjoy it with a slice of mature cheddar cheese. Yum.

Posted by
651 posts

Kiwi, I totally agree with you, marshmallow with a roast dinner is something I cant begin to understand and also a fan of in-iced fruitcake with cheese, delicious.
The other thing that flummoxes me is Red Velvet cake, I know I am very much in the minority and loads of people adore it, but is it not just chocolate cake with a serious amount of red food colouring added? Or am I missing something?????

Posted by
651 posts

Emma I am so glad I am not the only one who cant understand the attraction of Red Velvet cake!!!!! Your link looks delicious, though I must say my favourite is a proper home made Victoria Sponge stuffed to bursting point with good strawberry jam and lots of Guernsey cream! Second favourite would be our local Gache Melee, the Guernsey Apple cake. Though your chocolate cake does look rather splendid.....
http://thesarnian.com/essentials/vegetarian-gache-melee-guernsey-cake/

Posted by
651 posts

The WI have well and truely slapped my wrists! But the cream is so goo! To be honest any cake is good as long as it is homemade and NOT smothered in loads of butter cream :-)

Posted by
3418 posts

OK- since you all have brought in 'other' kinds of cake I have to share the wonder know as "Mississippi Mud Cake" It is a chocolate sheet cake made with LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of pecans and coconut. Only about a 1/2 cup of flour in the cake, but a good bit of coco powder. When it comes out of the oven, while still warm (and still in the 9"x13"2" pan) you top it with a whole jar of marshmallow cream. After it cools, you top that with a coco buttercream and more pecans!!!! Yummy..... but very messy.

Posted by
5628 posts

Not sure what all the fuss is about but saw this in an online Food Network article this morning: “Markle and Prince Harry have commissioned Claire Ptak, owner of London-based Violet Bakery, to make a lemon elderflower cake with buttercream frosting and decorated with fresh flowers for their big day. “

Sounds divine.

Posted by
8293 posts

emma, it is the end of the world as we know it. Nothing good can come of this.

Posted by
2785 posts

Emma, you made me laugh out loud. But honestly, I'm a fan of anything with elderflower.

Posted by
14323 posts

SoCal - definitely funny, but not really humorous. NorCal - totally normal (from this ex-Bay Area resident :-)

And back to wedding cakes - went to 2 Israeli weddings in the last two weeks - tons of food, some alcohol, lots of folk dancing and . . . . absolutely NO wedding cake. Just not a thing here. Neither are bridesmaids.

Posted by
5628 posts

Kardashians are neither funny or humorous.

Merely a sign the apocalypse is closer than we think.

Wink. Wink.

Oh and I may dwell in the Land of la but grew up, was educated and started my career in the Bay Area.

THATS home.

Proud to be from California and the best wedding cake I’ve ever eaten....baked Alaska.....couple married in Kearney, NE....

Posted by
2922 posts

best wedding cake I’ve ever eaten....baked Alaska.....

A baked Alaska is definitely a dessert. But calling it a cake? I don't think so. : ) Yes, it has cake in it. But so does a trifle, and it isn't called a cake either.

Posted by
1280 posts

I believe the Oxford Dictionary definition of Californian is “has funny ways”. The Royal family in contrast are completely normal...........

For nineteenth century Germany.