Friday, February 6, 2009

Fruitcake in February?

Well, we ended up having salisbury steak last night instead. I didn't want to risk messing up the ribs. We'll have those today. I can make baked beans and potato salad to go with it. Yum. Ooo and maybe rolls if I have time. Yeah. Great. Now I'm hungry.

I have basted the 2nd half of a loaf of fruitcake with brandy this morning. The other loaf is still in the fridge; the recipe (Better Homes and Garden cookbook, 1981) made two loaves but the kids haven't been helpful at all in eating it up. I didn't really expect they would, but when our son wanted to bake fruitcake for the holidays this year, I said sure. Within reason, I always let them try something once. Although we read that it is best after it ages for at least four weeks if not longer, being basted every few days, we went ahead and tried it after one week. And it was quite dry at that point - even I was disappointed.

But I didn't throw it out - I still had hope and decided to keep it and try it again in a few weeks when the flavors had had time to meld and it had soaked up more basting liquid. I split the loaf in half, one for brandy and one for juice. And sure enough, at about four weeks it was perfect. Dark and moist, it was like eating candy. Now that's the way I've had good fruitcake before.

So since then I have nibbled away at the fruitcake, preferring the pieces I had separated for brandy-basting over the kids' orange juice basted version, and so decided to treat the remainder of this loaf with brandy as well. It's already fairly moist just from having aged for some weeks now, but I want to wait to give the brandy a chance to really soak in and mesh with the rest of the flavors. In a couple of days it will be ready for nibbling. A half a slice is the most I can stand to eat at one time - it's so sweet, rich and heavy that it's nearly sickening. You know, that thick-candy sickening like state fair food. Headache inducing. But so delicious you just want one more little taste. It's a test of willpower!

No comments: