My auntie said I looked 'squiffy' the other day. I wasn't sure what she meant, but I was fairly certain it was true because that word sounds exactly how I feel most of the time. When I looked it up I discovered that it means to be tipsy or slightly drunk. So yes, if not actually squiffy, I do look squiffy most of the time.
I've been at the Christmas making and managed some fruitcakes. I know, I know... bleh! But cross my heart, homemade fruitcake is pretty dang scrummy. And these fruitcakes are perfect for me because they are totally squiffy too!
I've had a number of requests for the recipe. Just jumble it up as you see fit. Want to add pecans instead of almonds? Go ahead! Just keep it quite heavy on the boozed dried fruit. This made enough for 6 small loaves (extra large muffin size) and two shallow loaves.
Ok, here's what I used:
1 cup dried cherries (seriously, these are delicious)
1 cup dark seeded raisins
1 cup dried currants
1 cup candied peel
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup chopped pitted prunes
1 cup brandy
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup slivered almonds
3 cups flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
In a huge bowl mix all of the dried fruit with the brandy. To be honest, it's A LOT of fruit and I used more brandy than what the recipe calls for. Cover and let that fruit get tipsy overnight and soak up the booze.
Mix the nuts with 1/2 cup of flower, then toss with the dried drunken fruit.
Beat the butter and granulated sugar. Beat in brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla.
Sift the dry ingredients together. Add to butter/sugar/egg batter and mix.
Combine everything together. It's a lot and it will probably be a sticky mess. Yum!
Grease your baking tins or use parchment (I like the parchment method!) and fill with the batter. Like I said above, I used x-lrg muffin tins and two loaf pans (filling about 1/2 way). I like smaller cakes because they bake and set more quickly. FYI this batter doesn't rise very much. Also, I used a wet spatula to sort of smooth the tops... because I'm a picky bugger ;)
Set oven to 300. Place a shallow pan of water on the lowest rack. Loosely cover prepared pans with tinfoil and bake on the middle rack. Bake for 1 hour then then check on those bad boys. A toothpick/skewer should come out clean. My small ones took an hour, the larger ones about an hour and a half. It really depends on what pans you're using. I'm soooo helpful, I know.
When done, remove the cakes from their pans, and brush with brandy. Dip some cheesecloth in brandy and wrap the cakes with it. I store them in a large Tupperware container, removing once in a while to brush with extra booze.
You'll want to let these sit for quite a while before they are good and settled. I've made mine about a month in advance. And while I've avoided those horrific glace cherries and candied fruit... if that's your thang, feel free to include it in your own version.