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3 Christmas Fruit Cakes - One For Everyone

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dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

3 Christmas Fruit Cakes - One For Everyone

We made 3 different kinds of fruit cakes today hoping to appeal to everyone -young or old – traditional or modern. They all basically shared the same basic ingredients.  By varying the amounts and which ones went into the mix the cake changed drastically.

 

Something is really snockered

For the kids and those of all ages who hate fruitcake, one has AP flour, melted chocolate, a little more butter and dark  brown sugar to go with a bit of cocoa powder, chocolate chips, a bit of baking powder,  less candied, dried and snockered fruits & peels and a hlf cup of rough chopped pecan and walnut mix.

 

Chocolate

One is a little more traditional in that it has more snockered fruits and peels, some molasses, is made with half again as much flour and the flour is white whole wheat instead of AP, a little more chocolate chips, no cocoa powder and we put in some SD starter.  We let this one proof on the counter for 6 hours on a heating pad before baking.  This might be similar to how American’s made their Christmas fruit cakes during the gold rush days around 1850.

 

Chocolate crumb

The third version is what copyu would call English Christmas Cake based on the recipe found here:

 http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/20062/it039s-already-october-time-start-thinking-about-xmas-cakes

 

English

This version has nearly twice the fruits as the 2nd one, no nuts except those making it, the same amount of flour as the chocolate version only half of it was white whole wheat, no molasses, half the spice of the other two and no leavening whatsoever.   This would be considered old school in my book.  We also baked this in a round as the English have a penchant for round Christmas cakes and the other two were baked in cocktail tins. 

 

English

The three things they all had it common, (and there are more like 1 egg each), was the same fruit mix, even if in various amounts, but we did put in more than twice the amount of alcohol to steep them in for 24 hours than what copyu recommends - to be more in line with how a Southern German Gal like Lucy would make.  The 2nd thing they had it common was baking them at 300 F.  The Chocolate took 70 minutes the Gold Rush one took 90 minutes and the English version took 120 minutes to get to 205 F on the inside.

 

Gold Rush

The spices included equal amounts of: cardamom, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves –our new 7 spice mix.  The snockered fruits included: candied: pineapple, green and red cherries, citron, lemon and orange peel.  The dried fruits included: cherries, apricots, cranberries, prunes and raisins.  The fruit amount for the Chocolate was 180 g, the Gold Rush was 250 g and the English had 380 g of snockered fruits.

Gold Rush Sourdough crumb.

The snockering was doe with bourbon, dark rum, arancello, limocello, brandy and amaretto - the fumes were quite intoxicating in more ways than one!  The house smelled like Christmas baking was underway due to the spices.  We also zested a lemon and an orange and added the juice of an orange to the snockering liquid.

 

Gold rush before baking - Chocolate left and English right

Hopefully we will get to taste at least the chocolate version of these beauties soon,  One, probably the English version,  will be pampered well soaked in a hooch laden cotton cloth for 10 weeks in a tin and stored outdoors so that it can ripen properly. We will also prick it with a toothpick and give it extra moisture with a rum and brandy mix.

 

Mini Oven's Walnut Rye Bread wins 'Lucy's 2013 BBB Award' for best bread baked - this year.  Here it is used for a  Rembrandt Aged Gouda, brie and coto salami grilled cheese sandwich with a great salad from the pot garden and our favorite winter soup - Butternut Squash, Carrot, Corn, Smoked Sausage & Wild Rice- served with steamed veg, refried beans, black grapes, BBQ kettle chips, avocado and tomato.

Chocolate left and Gold Rush right -   both are yummy!

Since I busted both Chocolate and Gold Rush tin versions Lucy decided to cut off the craggy cracked portions of each which allowed us to taste both of them.  The chocolate version is tremendous - the kids of all ages will love it .  The Gold Rush is more complex in flavor and you can really taste the fruits that aren't being masked by the chocolate - it could really use some aging wrapped in a rum and brandy cloth.   Now,  instead of giving each separate loaf away to two lucky friends, we can mix a chocolate and Gold Rush together so each person will get to taste both - instead of just one.  You forget how fine a fruitcake can taste when well made at home.  Sure beats Great Grandma Ester's fruit cake - or at least how I remember it 50 years later!

Red bouganvillia growing in the orange tree looks like Christmas in AZ.!

Thanks to copyu for the post, spreadsheet and inspiration for the English version that led to the other two fine taasting fruit cakes.

 

Gold Rush Sourdough Christmas Fruit Cake

 

 

 

 

Build 1

Total

%

Multigrain SD Starter

25

25

22.22%

 

 

 

 

Multigrain SD Levain

 

%

 

Whole Multi-grain Flour Mix

13

11.11%

 

Water

13

11.11%

 

Hydration

100.00%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Levain % of Total

3.86%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dough Flour

 

%

 

White Whole Wheat

100

88.89%

 

Dough Flour

100

88.89%

 

 

 

 

 

Salt

1

0.89%

 

Water in SD Starter

13

11.11%

 

Dough Hydration

12.50%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Flour

113

100.00%

 

Water

13

11.11%

 

T. Dough Hydration

11.11%

 

 

Hydration w/ Adds

40.62%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Weight

649

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add - Ins

 

%

 

Butter

80

71.11%

 

Egg (1)

50

44.44%

 

Snockered Fruits

225

200.00%

 

Chopped Pecans & Walnuts

55

48.89%

 

Chocolate Chips

50

44.44%

 

Brown Sugar

50

44.44%

 

Total

510

453.33%

 

 

 

 

 

1/2 tsp of 7 spice - Gold Rush& Chocolate

 

 

1/4 tsp of 7 spice for English version

 

 

 

Chocolate has 1/4 tsp of baking powder Engkish has no SD or BP Chocolate has no SD Starter

 

 

 

Chocolate has 10 g of cocoa powder

 

 

 

70 g AP dough flour for Chocolate

 

 

 

70 g total - AP and WWW for English

 

 

 

160 g of  liquors were used as soaker with the oarnge juice nd zests

63 g of butter for English

 

 

 

180 g of snockered fruit for Chocolate & 380 g for English

 

70 g of chocolate chips total for Chocolate version  and 0 for English

65 g Brown sugar for Chocolate version

 

 

 

Comments

CeciC's picture
CeciC

Omg they look so good. I've made one that is a comb of choc n English version. Next year I'm gonna try ur gold rush version

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

is that you can make all 3 fruit cakes for nearly the effort of 1.  You can make triple the Gold Rush recipe and put in the minimum set forth for each ingredient for the3.   Then divide the dough into 3 and add what makes each one different.  Add extra brown sugar to the GR and Choc, nuts to both of these too, add more spice to both as well, add some BP to the Choc, add some SD to the GR and add more fruits to GR and English - then you have all three.  These are all mix with a spoon and dump so - no worries.  The GR and Chocolate sure tasted great.

Glad you like them CeciC and Happy Holiday Baking 

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Gonna douse any of them with some booze? For the adults of course

Josh

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

the two tinned ones and sliced off the crags to taste I won't soak them but we will soak the English round one for sure and that is the one that could stand a couple of more hooch soaks to bring out the real traditional aged Fruit cake flavor:-). Right now it is wrapped in a brandy, bourbon and dark rum soaked cotton tea towel.  Will poke it and soak it next week.

I was really surprised how nice the Chocolate and Gold Rush versions turned out taste wise - bad fruit cakes have given the good ones a bad rap.

You would like them Josh.

Happy baking!

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

Wow!  Looks wonderful.  Let us know how they are and thanks for the recipe!  Phyllis

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I might make another batch before New Year.  They taste terrific!  There really is something for everyone to enjoy about one of these versions.  No need for one loaf to fit all!

Glad you liked the recipe Phyllis and

Happy Baking

isand66's picture
isand66

I'm usually not a big fan of fruit cakes but these look great.

Happy holidays.

Ian

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

you would like the Gold Rush and Chocolate versions of fruit cake.  They really taste great and there isn't any hint of overbearing alcohol - since it was only in the fruit and it all baked off leaving just the sweet subtle flavor behind.  I think it is the hard unbaked liquor that turns off most to traditional fruit cake.  The English version will be soaked in hooch for 10 weeks.....so that one will be much more hard core and more to Lucy's liking for sure:-) 

The sheen on top came from brushing home made golden syrup on the tops right after they came out of the oven and were still very warm.

Gald ypu liked the post Ian and Happy Baking.  Lucy says Hi to Max and your 5 other furry apprentices too.

varda's picture
varda

Where's mine?   Very colorful and looks delicious.  -Varda

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and on there way to their final resting place where all fruit cakes supposedly end up, this bake proves there is more than one fruit cake that just gets passed around to everyone.  Now  I can possibly make one for myself If Lucy lets me make one by not making her end of year panettone that will use up the last of the exact same fruit mix that will just be sitting there, in the hooch, snockering for a week longer:-)

I don't know why we have never made fruit cakes before.  They are dead easy and delicious. Glad you liked the fruity cakes Varda.  Obi Won would love them.

Happy New Year's baking

Mebake's picture
Mebake

SD in a fruit loaf!!? With wholgrain flours? Mmm.. This must be one delicious cake, DA! I love fruitcakes.

Happy holidays.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

and and putting in the baking powder saying to myself 'i wonder how they made these before baking powder?'  Then I remembered kjknits English muffin formula that has sourdough and baking powder in it .  So went Lucy and I got to making the next one we dropped the BP and put in sourdough calling it the Gold Rush version from the 1850's.  It has to be the way the made it in San Francisco then - if they weren't using  barm.  I'm guessing that back then and there, they didn't have decent white flour either so Lucy used WWW thinking that was the best white flour they could get.

The Gold Rush turned out be the first of the historical bakes with the last old English version that used no leavening at all in it!   We probably should have used WW flour in it.

You would love these fruit cakes Khalid, just delicious,  and the kids would like the chocolate one - just soak the fruit in orange juice instead.

Happy baking Khalid!

Skibum's picture
Skibum

. . . food dab! Those fruit cakes look delicious! I may have to give one of those a try after I am finished baking my Christmas pulla for presents. Ski

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

fruity, hoochie cakes on the slopes ski - plenty of calories in a small package and very tasty too.  Hardest part about this bake is finding all the candied fruits!  We love mix, dump and bakes! Why they had such a bad taste rap is beyond me - they are fine tasting cakes.  Glad you liked them Ski and

Happy Christmas baking