Tips For Baking Fruit Cake
The autumn is here and I must admit this is my favourite time of year. As the days get shorter and colder, there is nothing I like more than sitting with a cosy blanket around me, a piece of homemade fruit cake on my plate and a warm cuppa in my hand.
Fruit cake is a staple in our house; it tastes great for breakfast lightly toasted with a bit of butter, makes a perfect teatime treat with a slice of cheese and is an ideal afternoon snack for boosting energy and avoiding that mid-afternoon slump.
Here are my top tips for succeeding a moist yet rich fruit cake:
- Set the oven to a low temperature (135 to 165 degrees C) and bake the cake slowly to avoid dryness and ensure the cake cooks evenly.
- Be sure to grease the sides as well as the bottom of the tin and use a double layer of parchment paper or liner to stop the cake from sticking to the sides and browning too quickly.
- Substitute for the same weight if you are not a fan of the fruits or nuts used in the traditional fruit cake. Swap for dried figs, almonds, dates and candied orange peel for a Mediterranean inspired cake or add dried mango, pineapple or papaya for a tropical twist.
- Soak fruits and nuts at least overnight in juice, tea or liquor to soften and add flavour.
- Drain and coat with flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the tin, save the excess liquid to use in the recipe.
- Add fruit puree, applesauce or grated courgette to your recipe for a soft moist cake.
- Don’t overfill the tin; fill only 2/3rd of the way for an even baking of cake.
- Add a pan of water on the lower rack to keep the cake moist.
- Leave the cake to cool down completely before removing from the tin.
- Wrap in clingfilm and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.