August 6th, 2011 was a day of wind, misty rain, fog and let's not forget, it was (in Newfie terms) 'nuff ta perish ya' (translation: really friggin cold!). Not exactly the weather I was envisioning as I planned for an August wedding. Regardless of the weather, we had the most amazing day with our friends and family and aside from having to brave the cold for the quintessential scenic shots, and having to stop for a much needed hair touch-up before the reception, the day went off without a hitch!
One of the things that made this day so special was the cake. It was perfect - simple, traditional, beautiful and elegant and most important of all, made with love by my Mom! Having never wanted a fruitcake as a wedding cake, my opinion quickly changed when a relative suggested my Mother bake my cake. You see anyone who has ever tasted my Mother's dark fruitcake can attest to how moist, sweet and delicious it is, it's really a cake even fruitcake haters love. Needless to say, after some light arm-twisting and a design plan, my Mom agreed to be our baker.
So after reminiscing all week about the events of last year, I wanted to share with you a post that not only features my Mother's amazing cake, but also reveals her highly acclaimed dark fruitcake recipe (with her permission of course!). This is, in my opinion (and anyone who has ever tasted it), hands down THE BEST dark fruitcake ever. Just writing this now brings back so many great memories at Christmas time, and now of prepping for one of the best days in my life to date - my wedding. I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do!
*Note: this recipe makes enough for one tube pan, you may have to double, triple or quadruple if you're making a wedding cake ;)
|Candied Fruit & Rind Mix|
- 2 cups Water
- 1 cup Butter
- 2 cups Brown Sugar
- 1.5 cups Raisins
- 3 tsp Cocoa
- 1 tsp Cloves (ground)
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Allspice
- 2 cups Candied Fruit & Rind Mix
- Handful of Chopped Candied Cherries (optional)
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
1) Add water to a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. As water begins to heat, stir in butter, brown sugar, cocoa, spices (cloves, cinnamon & allspice) and raisins. Keeping the heat on medium, allow the ingredients to simmer together for a minimum of 5 minutes.
Note: It is important to simmer vs. boil as you want to ensure as little evaporates as possible.
2) Remove pot from heat and immediately add your mixed fruit. If you're a cherry fan, you can also add a handful of chopped candied cherries at this point as well. Adding the fruit to the mixture at this stage allows it to soften and its flavour to permeate the cake.
3) Set mixture aside and allow it to cool for at least one hour.
4) In the meantime, in a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and baking powder. Once mixture has cooled completely, stir in your dry ingredients one cup at a time until completely combined.
5) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Next spoon mixture into greased tube pan (your mixture will be very thick at this point).
6) Bake for approximately one and half hours until cake is cooked through. Note: my mother admits to leaving the cake alone for the full 1.5 hours and checking it's doneness with a cake tester once this time has elapsed. If the tester comes out clean, out comes the cake; otherwise, keep a close eye and monitor the cake until cooked through.
7) Set cake aside to cool completely before cutting (or icing!).