I made my very first fruitcake, in time for Christmas, a few days back. After going through a lot of recipes, I finally picked one that I saw on Edible Garden. I have made many changes to the original recipe since I did not have many of the ingredients on hand and I’d decided that I’d only work with what I had. Despite all the additions and substitutions I had to make, the cake turned out to be fantastic.
* I started by preparing the caramel. Melt ½ cup sugar in a pan slowly until it turns clear, smooth and dark brown; this recipe requires a dark brown caramel and it took me 5-7 minutes to get to this stage. Turn off the heat and add ¼ cup water carefully to the caramelized sugar to thin it out a bit. Stir and set aside. (See here for tips for making the perfect caramel.)
*Next, preheat the oven to 350 F and grease your baking dish of choice. I used my 9" springform pan.
*In a large bowl, mix together these dry ingredients:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp powdered cloves
- ¼ tsp powdered cardamom
- ¼ tsp ginger powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
- 1 tsp baking powder
- A pinch of salt
*In another bowl, cream together the following:
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 Tbsp butter + 4 Tbsp oil (I did not have enough butter and that is the only reason I used a combination of butter & oil.)
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tbsp orange marmalade
- 2 tsp rum extract
*Combine the dry and wet ingredients together and then stir in the caramel. Mix well.
*Add a cup of dried fruit and ½- ¾ cup of chopped nuts to the batter .I used a combination of dried figs, cranberries, golden raisins and cashews. (I first tossed it all together in 2-3 tsp of flour to prevent everything from sinking to the bottom of the cake while it baked.) Mix well.
*Transfer the batter to the cake pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.