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The best, rich fruit cakes are fundamentally butter cakes with just enough batter to bind the fruit. They improve with aging and if saturated with liquors which will prevent molding and buried in powdered sugar, can be kept for years in a tightly covered container in a cool place.
Raisins, figs and dates are more easily cut if the scissors are dipped in water periodically.
To easily remove cakes, line the pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil before pouring in the batter. When the cakes are baked cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes and then lift the cakes out of the pan with the help of the paper or foil and continue to cool on a rack.
To decorate the cakes with either candied fruit or nut meats dip the bottoms of the decorations in a light sugar syrup before applying or coat the cake with a thin glaze of syrup and arrange the decorations on the glazing.
To store wrap the cakes in brandy soaked linens or pour hot but not boiling brandy over the cakes slowly drop by drop. Then wrap in foil and place in a tightly covered tin. Store in a cool place and let age at least several weeks to develop the best flavor.
From the Joy of Cooking. Posted by Jim Weller.
Submitted By JIM WELLER On 12-10-95