Fruitcakes

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goldfinger

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
11
Hello

I'm baking some fruitcake to give to family and friends.

The recipe I'm using calls for bourbon to be brushed onto the fruitcakes every week until using.

What happens to the alcohol and how much alcohol is too much? I'm afraid of
using to much. Hoping we have some fruitcake experts here to help.
 

blissful

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
4,911
It depends on how big of a piece of fruitcake a person will eat.
Last year we made a refined sugar free, no oil, no butter, fruitcakes, using dehydrated fruits. We rehydrated the fruit in ...um, what was it,... sweetened rum, so quite a bit. It was wrapped in plastic then foil and the alcohol evaporates at the same rate as water. We froze it so not very fast at all. It was quite 'rummy'. We only ate small pieces, very small, an ounce or two at most.



I wouldn't worry unless you are feeding it to children or people without some common sense. 1/4th cup per 2 lb loaf, should be safe for most.


We made 5 recipes, last year, each different. I'm no expert but I do enjoy our fruit cakes.
 

goldfinger

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
11
Thanks for the reply. You sound like an expert to me��.

My fruitcakes are about 2 pounds each.. 8.5" x 4.5" x 2.5". Here's what I don't understand. I wrapped them all in cheesecloth per instructions then poured to Bourbon over each cake..about 2 tablespoons each. Where would the alcohol go if each cake is wrapped in aluminum foil? Certainly it wouldn't evaporate. What happens to the alcohol?
 

blissful

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
4,911
Thanks. Well, if it is really well wrapped then no evaporation. It would go into the cake portion and into rehydrating the fruits. So my guess is it is stuck in the fruitcake.


You know how sometimes in fruitcake, you cut it and some fruits are tougher/drier than others, making it more difficult to cut without it falling apart? When you add liquid, it goes into the fruits (and nuts) slowly, softening them. So when you cut it everything has similar amounts of liquid in them, softening them, making it easier to get a good looking slice that holds together.


You could use a sugar syrup, or cordial, or whatever alcohol you prefer to do that.
 

Cooking Goddess

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
Messages
15,932
Location
Body in MA ~ Heart in OH
Hi goldfinger! My MIL made that kind of fruitcake every year. She brought one to us when they came up for our wedding, which was in late November ages ago (inlaws lived in FL, we were in OH). It was delicious, but I thought I would warn you about one thing: the aluminum foil will start to get tiny holes in it from the alcohol. All we did was replace the foil a couple of times. And while "boozy", we didn't get tipsy eating any fruitcake. Enjoy!
 

goldfinger

Assistant Cook
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
11
Hi goldfinger! My MIL made that kind of fruitcake every year. She brought one to us when they came up for our wedding, which was in late November ages ago (inlaws lived in FL, we were in OH). It was delicious, but I thought I would warn you about one thing: the aluminum foil will start to get tiny holes in it from the alcohol. All we did was replace the foil a couple of times. And while "boozy", we didn't get tipsy eating any fruitcake. Enjoy!

Hello

Are you trying to say the alcohol dissolves the aluminum? I've never heard of that before. I made them years ago but don't recall any issues with the aluminum. Thanks for letting me know. I'lll watch out for it.
 

dragnlaw

Site Team
Staff member
Joined
Feb 16, 2013
Messages
7,541
Location
Waterdown, Ontario
Acid will dissolve foil - witness vinegar.

But I'm not sure about alcohol?

I don't remember what I wrapped the one and only time I made fruitcake - as in 60 years ago! :LOL:...

Never made it since cause although it was fantastic and delicious - it was the most expensive thing to make - at least back then on a budget!
 

Bitser

Senior Cook
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
379
Location
Woods Landing, Wyoming
I recall shopping at a Nieman-Marcus where samples of several sorts of fruitcake, well soaked in various sorts of booze, were on offer. I asked the woman at the table which she liked best.

"We aren't allowed to sample them," she replied. "Too many customers complained that the staff were intoxicated."
 

blissful

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
4,911
I'm marinating dried fruit in bourbon since yesterday, for fruitcakes I'm making today. Last year I made 5 kinds, but this year we're making chocolate cherry. It seems to be everyone's favorite.
I'm using dried cherries, golden raisins, craisins, currants, walnuts, almonds, dark chocolate. It's practically a solid block of fruit/nuts/chocolate with very little batter. I'm making them in small 6 inch cake pans, bowls, casseroles. Wish me luck.
 

dcSaute

Sous Chef
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
918
that's what I do - marinate the dried/candied fruit in a cup of bourbon/cognac*/brandy/whatever... it really helps loosen&separate the fruit bits, making incorporating the batter much easier - and . . . eliminates the need to 'baste with booze'

(*) cognac can be too strong - I use 50-50 cognac + waterIMG_1038.JPG
 

blissful

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
4,911
Looks good @dcSaute

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blissful

Executive Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
4,911
Recipe requested:
This is the base recipe, for any fruit:

Batter:
3/4 cup water
3 T flax seed ground
1/2 cup WW flour
12 oz date or fruit paste (in a food processor, dates or prunes or any dehydrated fruit soaked in water)
1 t. vanilla

2 lbs 11 oz fruit and nuts
(and chocolate)
dehydrated cherries
craisins
raisins (probably using golden raisins)
currents
dark chocolate bars, chopped
1/3 of lbs is nuts, hickory nuts and or walnuts, and chocolate

Soak the dehydrated fruit in 12 oz rum for a few hours before beginning (or overnight)
Mix together with batter, press, and smooth into 2 6-inch cake pans, lined with parchment. Press decorative nuts or fruit into the top. Bake 250 deg F for 2.5-3 hours. Wrap and refrigerate or freeze.

*note: using the spiced rum seemed to bake off a little better than bourbon. The drier the fruit, use more rum, the moister the fruit, use less rum.

That recipe above is the base recipe (fruits and nuts and chocolate can be switched out, to whatever kind of dried fruits you want to use like dried mango, peaches, pineapple, apple, blueberries, banana, or candied fruits. Skip the chocolate for most of them.

This year's chocolate cherry fruit cakes.
1 lb craisins
1 lb candied cherries
14 oz dried currants
15 oz golden raisins
3 lbs of dehydrated cherries
16 oz bourbon
marinated for a day--so that all the drier fruit can soak up the bourbon.
1 lb chopped walnuts
1/2 lb chopped blanched almonds (also used whole blanched for decorations)
18 oz chopped 1/4 inch and smaller, dark chocolate bars (75-85% cocoa)
The batter for all of it:
3 cups of date paste
1 and 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
9 T ground flax seed
3 T vanilla extract
1 cup + water until it makes a batter (approx 1.5 cups water)
Mix the batter with the fruit/nuts/chocolate. It should be clumpy and not runny.
They were packed and pressed into 8 small 5-6-7 inch cakepans/casseroles/glass bowls lined with parchment. Press blanched almonds into the top for decorations. Fold the edges of the parchment over the tops.
Baked for 2.5 hours at 250 deg F, cooled, wrapped in saran then foil, frozen.
 
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