Have You Soaked Your Dry Fruits For Christmas cake Yet ???
Christmas is just a few weeks ahead and its that time of the year when we need to soak the dried fruits for our yearly fruit cake ..
I have been asked a lot of times on what dried fruits are used for soaking ?? What alcohol to use ?? Can we use something else besides alcohol ?? So this post is especially made to answer all these questions ..
Traditionally dried fruits are soaked 2 months to 6 weeks in advance and the cake is baked a week or two before Christmas and the brushed with left over alcohol till Christmas .. This helps the fruits to absorb alcohol and give it rich flavor to the cake ..
Now what all fruits I soak …
It really depends upon what type of cake I am making .. Light fruits give lighter color and dark color fruits gives darker color to the cake .. I always use preservative free no artificial sweetener or flavor added fruits ..
1. Some of my favorite fruits for my rice christmas cakes are vine fruits like raisins , sultanas and currents . I use these fruits to give texture to the cake …
2. Dried pitted chopped dates are another of my favorite along with prunes and figs . I chop them all fine ..
3. I like to add some mixed colored cherries ,and other citrus fruits to give that festive look as well as citrus flavor to the cake ..
4. A handful of dried cranberries can also be added for the tartness in the cake ..
5. Last but not the least comes candied ginger for a hint of spiciness …
Soaking Fruits In Alcohol
Alcohol acts a a preservative for your fruit cake and gives it that buzzy flavor ..
In the past I have soaked dried fruits in Brandy , Rum as well as red wine . Always remember that the choice of alcohol pronounces the fruit cake flavor .. Dried fruits should be completely covered with the alcohol as dried fruits needs to plump up and absorb the liquid .. I shuffle and mix all the dried fruits at least ones a week to make sure that all the dried fruits get soaked and plump up .
You do not need to refrigerate soaked dried fruits ..please make sure to use glass jar for soaking the dried fruits … Please never ever use a metal container as it will react with the alcohol .
NON ALCOHOLIC SOAKERS
For non alcoholic fruit can one can use black tea , orange juice or any other juice of your choice ..
I have used a a mix of black tea and orange juice in the past and loved the flavors ..
For non alcoholic fruit cakes you just need to soak the fruits in a glass container for maximum 2 days … Make sure to refrigerate the juice after draining the dried fruits out .. Left over juice can be used for basting the baked cake later on ..
Method Of Preparation
Chop all the dried fruits of your choice in small pieces..
Pour in the alcohol or non alcoholic juice of your choice & Mix well .
Put them in an airtight glass jar and soak till ready to use ..
Click on the link to the fruit cakes I made last year ..
1. Christmas fruit Cake with Rum
2. Christmas Fruit Cake with Orange Juice …
3. Brazilian Nut Fruitcake…..