brandied fruit cakes

1 Servings
4½ cup Raisins
2¼ cup Currants
½ pounds Soft butter or margarine
½ pounds Soft shortening
2 cups Sugar
1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Almond extract
12  Eggs
1 cup Orange juice concentrate
  (not thawed)
½ cup Honey
4½ cup Unsifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
½ teaspoon Cloves (ground)
1 cup Pitted dates, cut up
2¼ cup Candied cherries
1 cup Blanched almonds, halved

**NOTE** I take the whole amount of fruit (10 cups) and make a nice looking mixture. I don't necessarily use the amounts shown. If the candied fruit is on sale, I just use more of it than the raisins. I still end up with the 10 cups, but it is usually more of the fruit mix and candied pineapple. The almonds I use are the slivered ones. Easier to work with... The original recipe called for brandy or grape juice, but I found that if you substitute the orange juice concentrate, it has a nicer flavour.

Use 2 tube pans 10x4 each, or 5 loaf pans. Line pans with 2-3 thicknesses of brown paper or 1 thickness of heavy foil; grease well with unsalted shortening. (I use lard to grease and don't need to line with paper) Wash raisins and currants and dry thoroughly between paper towels. Beat butter and shorteningtogether very thoroughly; when smooth and fluffy, add sugar gradually, beating continuously. Blend in vanilla and almond extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in orange juice and honey. This may cause the batter to appear separated, but it will not affect results. Sift together remaining dry ingredients. Mix prepared fruits and almonds in large mixing bowl; add sifted dry ingredients, and mix well to coat pieces. Scrape egg and butter mixture into bowl, and, using hands, combine very thoroughly. Fill each pan ¾ full. Preheat oven to 275F. Bake cakes 1-½ to 3-½ hours, depending on size of pans used. After first hour or so, place pan of water on bottom of oven to prevent cakes from drying out. When cakes test done, remove from oven, and let pans stand on racks until cakes are completely cooled. Remove from pans, and peel of paper linings. Let ripen 4-5 weeks before serving.

This recipe makes dark moist cake, rich with fruits and mingled flavors of spices, honey, and the like. If desired, recipe may be halved with good results.

When they come out of the oven, I let them sit for a few minutes and then take them out of the pans while still fairly hot. Let them cool for maybe 15-20 minutes and then pack them while still warm. I pour ¼ to ½ cup brandy (apricot, orange, or cherry) onto the cakes, wrap in double thickness of Handy wrap, then wrap in tin foil securely. I then store them in the basement where it is cool and every couple of days I turn them to make sure that the brandy diffuses throughout the whole cake. I have NEVER had this recipe fail me. I am asked for it by most of my family members as I send them for presents at Christmas. I have tried other recipes, but this one has the moistest results I have found. By pouring the brandy on AFTER it is cooked, you get a cake that kicks!! (for our A.A. friends, I make "dry" ones with no brandy and it still stays moist.) Origin: Chatelaines' Adventures in Cooking, adaptations by me. Shared by: Sharon Stevens. Submitted By COOK4U@... On THU, 7 DEC 1995 115018 GMT


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