Brandy Fruitcake

 This delicious Brandy Fruitcake is nut free & can be made dairy free.

Ingredients

Brandy soaked fruit*

100 g Sultanas

100 g Dates

100 g Glace cherries

80 g Currants

80 g Raisins

40 g Prunes

60 g Brandy

substitute dried fruit depending on your & your family's preferences. I loathe peel in fruitcake (& hot cross buns) so I never put it in.

 

Cake

200 g Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour

200 g Butter#

200 g Brown sugar

1 tsp Cinnamon

4 Eggs

 

Butter can be substituted with another fat/oil

 

Fruitcakes come in different shapes & sizes. So how do you know the quantities of the ingredients you will need?

*Warning - boring maths lesson following* 

As the dried fruit (& brandy) is the most expensive part of this cake it is important to have the right sized cake tin.

The cake batter from the above recipe will weigh ~1450 g or 1.45 kg. This will fit into a rectangle cake pan 17 cm x 12 cm or a round cake tin with a diameter of ~16 cm. The sides of the tins/pans need to have a height of at least 7 cm. If you have different sized can tins you will need to work out the volume of the tin. This can be done by multiplying the length x width x height of the cake tin if the tin is rectangular. 

The volume (cm) of the rectangle pan is 17 x 12 x 7 = 1428

If your tin is round measure the diameter & then divide the value by half (radius). The approximate volume of the round tin is the radius x the radius x 3.14 x the height.

The volume of the 16 cm round cake tin is ~8 x 8 x 3.14 x 7 = 1406 

The volume of both cake tins is similar to the weight of the cake batter. 

What if you want to make a larger cake (or smaller)?

I use a cake tin that has a volume that is similar to the weight of the cake batter. One of the cakes I made was baked in a 20 cm round cake tin. I have also used a cake tin with a 10 cm diameter. 

The volume of the 20 cm round cake tin is ~10 x 10 x 3.14 x 7 = 2198

Basically I need ~2200 g or 2.2 kg of cake batter. 

1 quantity of the cake mix weighs 1.45 kg. I need more mix - to determine how much more I need a conversion factor. The most important ingredient to consider when scaling recipes up or down is eggs. It is really hard to half an egg so take this into consideration when working out your conversion factor.  

To calculate the conversion factor divide the amount needed (2.2 kg) by the amount in 1 quantity (1.45 kg).  

2.2 / 1.45 = 1.51 In this case I use a conversion factor of 1.5 so I need to x all the ingredients by 1.5. 

Instead of 100 g of fruit I need 150 g

Instead of 200 g of flour I need 300 g

Instead of 4 eggs I need 6

etc.

Use the same working out if you have a smaller cake tin.

Sometimes there will be a bit of left over cake batter. I use the excess batter to make little muffin sized fruitcakes. Usually I double the recipe above & have a nice big batch of fruit soaking in the brandy. I will then use a bit of this brandied fruit to make a one egg batch fruitcake. I will bake the little cakes in muffin tins or mini loaf pans. These are handy little cakes as you can taste the fruitcake before making the "big one" or not cutting into the "big one". The smaller cakes do not have the same richness as the larger ones, as they are not baked for the same length of time & lose more moisture, but you will be able to taste the flavour. Bake the smaller cakes with a tray of water in your oven to stop them from losing too much moisture.  

  

Method

Soaking the fruit

Roughly chop the larger pieces of fruit.

Mix together the dried fruit & brandy. Transfer mix to a container with a well fitting lid. Once sealed you will be inverting the container every now & then to ensure an even distribution of brandy.

Let the fruit soak up the brandy for at least 1 day. The fruit mix can be kept like this for weeks.

Making the cake

Turn oven on to 135 C.

Line the base & sides of an appropriately sized tin with baking paper. If using a square or rectangle tin I cut the baking paper to be the same width as the sides but long enough to cover the side, base & other side. One of the pieces will overlap the other. This way the base of the tin has 2 layers of baking paper & I don't have to worry about folding the corners. 

Put the fruit into a mixing bowl - make sure it is big enough for the cake batter - & sprinkle it with cinnamon. Stir to combine.

Cut the butter into small cubes, put it into another bowl/saucepan & nearly melt it. It doesn't matter if you have a few bits of butter that are not melted. If heating on the stove take saucepan off the heat.

Add the sugar to the butter & stir to combine.

Add eggs to the butter & sugar mix. Use a fork to whisk the mixture until it is uniform.  

Sprinkle the Bakers' Magic Gluten free flour over the fruit & gently stir the mix to ensure an even coating of flour on the fruit. This will help the fruit to "stay put" in the batter & not sink to the bottom of the cake tin.

Pour the egg/butter mix over the fruit/flour mix & gently stir to combine. 

Pour the mix into the baking tin. During baking the cake doesn't rise a great deal so the baking tin can be quite full.  

Smooth the top of the cake. 

Put the cake tin(s) in the oven & bake for;

~2 - 2.5 hours if using a 17 cm x 12 cm cake tin

~3 - 3.5 hours if using a 20 cm round cake tin

~1 - 1.5 hours if using a 10 cm round cake tin

~45 mins - 1 hour for smaller pans/muffin tins.

The above times are a guideline only. I usually put the cakes in the oven & then go out shopping - sometimes I take a little longer than expected so the cakes have a little longer in the oven. 

Bring the cake(s) out of the oven & put them on a cooling rack.

Some people let the cakes cool down in the tin before wrapping them up for storage - I don't. If you want to wrap the cake immediately (I do) pull a largish piece of plastic clingwrap (don't cut it off) on to a clean work surface. Using your oven mitts/gloves pick up the cake tin & carefully invert it onto the clingwrap. The cake will fall out (if the tin was lined with baking paper) on to the clingwrap. Peel off any baking paper still adhering to the cake. Wrap the cake up in the clingwrap ensure there is no cake exposed. Remember the cake is still hot. I like to wrap the cake immediately to reduce the likelihood of any thing growing on the cake while it is "maturing" before it is eaten. 

Put the wrapped cake on the wire rack to cool down.

Store the cake somewhere cool & dark for a couple of weeks (if you can wait that long) before eating it. 

Optional - for a really boozy cake. I haven't done this but I know people who do. Get a clean piece of muslin & soak it in brandy. Unwrap the cake from the clingwrap & then wrap it up in the brandy soaked muslin. Wrap this in another piece of clingwrap or put the cake into a plastic bag. Once a week brush a bit more brandy on to the muslin.  

If you are going to ice the cake do it a day or so before serving the cake.  

Enjoy!