GETTING THE CAKE BAKING RIGHT FOR CHRISTMAS…

RIch Fruit Cake

Make sure the oven is hot.

Put the fruitcake dish in a baking dish half-filled with water to prevent burning around the edges.

To prevent burnt, hard-crusted fruitcakes, cover pans with aluminum foil for the last 1/2 hour of baking. If at any point the cake is browning too fast, place a sheet of foil over it to give it some ‘shade’.

Pop your skewer into the centre of the cake to test for doneness, don’t just guess by the colour.If it comes out clean, crumb-less and carefree, the cake is done! Be careful not to over-bake!

Always cool fruitcakes for 10 to 15 minutes on a rack in the dish in which they were baked. Then turn them onto the rack and carefully peel off the paper.

When the cakes are cool, poke some narrow holes in them with a skewer or cake tester then sprinkle the cakes with a few tablespoons of liquor, being sure not to get the cakes too wet!

If you plan to store it for a long period of time, wrap the cake in brandy or wine-soaked towels, then in aluminum foil.

Non-liquor soaked cakes may be kept in a cool place or in a refrigerator for short-term storage or a freezer for long storage. Fruitcakes freeze very well; however, they must be aged for at least few weeks before freezing, as they do not mellow and ripen while they are frozen.

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