Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Aussie Boiled Fruitcake #FoodieExtravaganza

Since the dried fruit and candied peel are first boiled with sugar, water and butter, they turn plump and juicy, filling the cake batter with tender bits of fruit. This makes for such a moist fruitcake that even non-lovers would like a slice.

Happy Christmas month! We are finally into December and while I’d like to say, “Let the holiday baking begin!” I know for many of you it started ages ago. Meanwhile, my Foodie Extravaganza group is getting their fruitcake on. Growing up, the only fruitcake I would eat was my grandmother’s because it wasn’t dry and hard as so many are. Nowadays I am a little more flexible but since the dry cakes still aren’t a favorite, I was intrigued by recipes that kept popping up on the Australian websites. Called variously boiled fruitcake, Australian fruit cake or quick-mix fruitcake, the fruit mix is first boiled with sugar, water and butter then set aside to cool, allowing time for the dried fruit to be rehydrated in a most delicious manner.

I think you’ll find that this version isn’t dry at all and may even win over some fruitcake naysayers.

2 1/2 cups or 375g mixed dried fruit
1/2 cup, firmly packed or 100g soft brown sugar
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 240ml water
3 1/2 tablespoons or 50g butter, plus extra for buttering the pan
3 tablespoons brandy
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups or 280g flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons honey
To decorate:
1/2 cup or 80g whole blanched almonds
1 candied cherry - optional

Note: The Australian tablespoon is four teaspoons to the US tablespoon’s three. Amounts given here have been converted from the original recipes to match the US standard, where appropriate. Also, the Australian cup is 250ml to the US cup’s 240ml. This has likewise been converted when necessary or the recipe has been adapted to compensate.

Place mixed dried fruit, soft brown sugar, sugar, water, butter and salt in a pot.

Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the brandy. Set aside to cool. This can even be done a day ahead.

The fruit will plump right up as it cools.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C. Grease a 9in or 23cm springform pan with the softened butter and line the base and sides with parchment baking paper.

First cover the buttered bottom with a circle of parchment and cut a long strip for the sides.

Use the long strip to cover the buttered sides from top to bottom.

To the cooled fruit mixture, add the golden syrup and vanilla extract and give it a good stir.

Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda straight into the fruit mixture.

Stir again until well combined.

Spoon the mixture into your prepared springform pan and decorate the top with the blanched almonds and the cherry.

Bake in your preheated oven for 55 minutes or until the top is dark golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake. Cover the top with foil if it’s browning too fast before the cake is baked through.

Remove the fruitcake from the oven and brush it with the honey while hot.

Wrap the pan in 2 clean tea towels and set aside until cool. Remove the cake from the pan. Store in an airtight container. You don’t want it drying out at this point!


Many thanks to our host this month, Laura from Baking in Pyjamas, who says that fruit cake, soaked in brandy, is an absolute must for Christmas to be Christmas. From the looks of our link list this month, the rest of the Foodie Extravaganza group agree!

Foodie Extravaganza celebrates obscure food holidays or shares recipes with the same ingredient or theme every month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out here.


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