Traditionally, fruitcakes are made far in advance and are aged until the time comes. This technique is actually integral to the complexity of your fruitcake, as the flavors develop further with age. Ideally, preparing your fruitcake a month or more before offering it as an LTO is best, but anything over two weeks will offer a suitable flavor profile.
We can’t stress this enough, move away from candied fruits when baking your fruitcake. Dried fruits like cranberries, mango, and cherries are much better suited to the moist, delectable texture you want in a good fruitcake. On top of that, they offer a richer flavor profile and create a more natural presentation. Generally, any dried fruits can find their place in a fruitcake, so experiment based on your tastebuds.
- Pro Tip: For a supremely sweet, refined cake, try using dates!
Pull An All-Nighter
Once you’ve selected your favorite fruits, its time to reach for the top shelf. Rehydrating your dried fruit in booze helps bring the rich, alcohol tinged flavor that good fruitcake is associated with and should never be skipped. Soaking your fruit overnight is best, but if you’re in a time crunch, you can rehydrate the fruit by putting the alcohol/fruit mixture in your microwave.
While dark rum is the general alcohol of choice for fruitcake, you can focus on different aspects of the flavor profile by tailoring your alcohol choice. For example, use brandy for a richer, oaky fruitcake or apple whiskey for a more fruit forward flavor profile!
Bring In The Calvary
Just because it has fruit in the title doesn’t mean that you should avoid other ingredients. We enjoy adding a variety of nuts into our mixture to add some crunch! Walnuts, pecans, and almonds are usually your best bet, but we’ve seen chefs incorporate macadamia nuts and hazelnuts to great effect. Additionally, don’t be afraid to use some grated ginger for an extra kick.
Glaze Of Our Lives
When everything’s said and done and your cake is finished baking, you should lightly glaze your fruitcake with your chosen alcohol. If you have a spritzer on hand, use it; it’ll help prevent an soaked cake. Be sure to spritz your cake once or twice a week throughout the aging process so that it stays moist.