This is the cake that I used to make quite regularly – it was a good one to take as a thank you present when staying with people; it was the cake I made to take to a friend’s wake. It’s a country sort of cake and quite a hefty beast – 5 cups of dried fruit, 4 eggs, 2 cups of flour. I think the cost of the fruit has put me off making it in more recent times – that, and fruit cakes are inextricably linked to funerals and weddings in my mind. (And I’m not supposed to bake, because we then find cake impossible to resist, and scoff the lot.)
It smells of cinnamon and nutmeg and cloves and just a bit of ginger – the last because instead of the 2 cups of water originally specified in the recipe, I use 2 cups (more or less mixed with water, depending on how flush with funds we are) of Stone’s Green Ginger Wine.
It’s a very forgiving recipe – today, in my muddleheadedness (I blame the wonky thyroid) I forgot to add the raw sugar until after the fruit and butter and bicarb and grog had already boiled and sat for an hour! We shall see if it’s made any difference, but I suspect not.
This is a pudding-y kind of cake, and we’ll be eating at least some of it with custard in the next few days.
I’ve never understood Americans dislike of fruitcake. I think if they had a slice of this one with a nice strong cup of tea, they might change their minds. Or maybe you have to be an Aussie of Anglo stock to really appreciate it.
In any case, it’s about as Christmas-y as we’re going to get around here. The weather is supposed to be WET – in capitals and bold and possibly underscored as well. I don’t trust seafood (and we can’t afford prawns even if we wanted them) and Mr B is allergic to mangoes (very Un-Queensland of him!) so that’s two components of an “Aussie” Christmas day feast knocked out before we even begin.
So if you celebrate Christmas, have a good one. And if you don’t, join me in a nip of Stone’s as we shout “BAH HUMBUG!”