Skip to main content

The Art of Making Fruit Cake

Recently, dear Aunty Poh Sim supervised a few of us in making Christmas fruit cake. Her measurements followed the Imperial standards and one needs to convert them to the metric system.

Cherries are to be prepared ahead of the baking session - it is ideal to soak them with 3 to 4 tablespoonfuls of sherry at least over night. Cherries are to be sliced, before mixing with seedless dates, brown raisins, mixed orange peel and almond thins. (images above and below). Use 1.5 pounds of brown raisins, half a pound of seedless dates, a quarter pound of mixed orange peel, another quarter pound of cherries and a half pound of almond thins.

The oven has to be preheated to at least 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a nine inch round or square baking container - brush it with butter and then line the surface with two layers of grease proof paper. Also brush the butter between the paper layers and on to its outside surface.

Cream the ten ounces of butter and five ounces of brown sugar together, until they are soft and pale in colour (below). Add in contents of 5 well beaten eggs and ensure consistency and thoroughness of the resulting mixture. Then add in 4 tablespoons of golden syrup.

Stir in first only half the amount of fruit mixtures prepared and sift in likewise half the dry flour ingredients. Then separately add the other half of fruit and dry ingredients. Add another four tabelspoonfuls of sherry to the mixture. The dry flour mixtures consist of seven ounces of plain version and another three ounces of raising flour. (image below)

Two teaspoons of all spice powder and half a teaspoon of nutmeg powder are then added to enhance the flavour of the resulting cake mixture (image above).

Before placing in the oven, ensure smoothening the cake mixture surface to slope towards the centre - this shall better ensure the resulting baked cake is level, once the mixture has risen when baked. First place the cake mixture tin on the lower half of the oven, to help ensure that it is not over browned in the baking process. Bake on this lower section of the oven for 120 to 150 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Monitor the emerging fruit cake when in the oven, especially during the second stage baking at the lower temperatures.

Reduce the oven heat to 275 degrees Fahrenheit for the second stage of baking, for another hour. For this second phase, cover the cake with grease proof paper folded over a piece of dampened paper.

Always use a cake skewer to test whether the resulting cake is ready to be taken out of the oven.

After taking the cake out of the oven, do rest the cake for at least five minutes in the oven before placing it on a wire tray. The result is not ready to be consumed at this stage - it should be soaked with two tablespoons of sherry every two or three days for a fortnight, before being served.

From an idea and flour, to the piece that we bite into on Christmas Day, the process requires love, concentration and patience. A wonderful reflection of care we have for family and friends.


Popular posts from this blog

Chung Ling Alumni Association Petaling Jaya Klang Valley

Telephone Contact:  +603 7957 0318

85 Degrees Bakery Cafe Hurstville NSW

There are several outlets of this bakery cafe for several years now in Australia.  Did they coem from the USA?

Each franchised outlet is in a busy area, often in suburbs so-called by a diverse Asian demographic.   The one in Hurstville is rather roomy and lots of baked stuff on its shelves.   The base of Sydney operations is in Chester Hill, a suburb south-west of the Sydney city centre.

Some of the cake creations would be viewed as rather leaning on the East Asian dimension  - Strawberry Angel (with chocolate base and top) and Mango Cheese ( with yoghurt).   However, to counter this perspective, there are also Death by Chocolate, US Cheesecake, Coffee Brulee and Blueberry Marble options.    

The pastries are definitely filled with ingredients more suited to perhaps Anime loving fans and non-mainstream cultures - for example, garlic, pork, tuna, green tea, red bean, shallots, pork floss, coconut, Hokkaido butter cream and Boroh or pineapple buns.   Sung seems to be a variation emphasised…

Penang - Lor Mee

Lor mee is another of those street foods that are not commonly available in Western societies, but are easily found in southern China, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The dish is iconic of the Teochew Province in China and has been mainly brought to equatorial climes by immigrants over the last few centuries. It combines snippets of ingredients in a thick savoury sauce. Above, the lor mee with roast pork and sliced hard boiled egg accompaniments at the Fong Sheng Cafe, along Lorong Selamat in Georgetown, Penang - the place was introduced by May Wah and Henry Quah.

The cafe harks back to the seventies or eighties - and maybe earlier - what caught my eye were (above) freshly blended fruit and/or vegetable juices and (below) metal and plastic contraptions of the food trade.

Hot and cold drinks are easily on offer from the cafe (above and below) at very reasonable prices.

Another version of the dish (below) taken whilst Bob Lee was enjoying them in another cafe or coffee shop in Georgetown…