Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ruby Wedding Cake - A Call for Recipes!

My parents are to celebrate their Ruby Wedding Anniversary (40 years) next month and I would like to bake for them a special cake, reminiscent of their wedding cake which was an iced rich fruit cake in the tradition of most British wedding and celebration cakes.

Naturally I have pages and pages of recipes for such cakes, and have one that I am fond of from a Nigella Lawson book and that I have made twice (once as a Christmas cake and once as a birthday cake).  However, whilst the recipe in question produces a very good cake I would love to know a recipe for a grand old fruit cake that would really blow your socks off.  I have fond memories from my time at work of a Christmas cake brought in by a colleague and made by his Grandma.  This was also a fruit cake, not as dark as some, but it was moist, not too crumbly, flavoursome, packed with fruit, nuts, peel, and topped with homemade marzipan and then royal icing.  If I could only eat one type of cake until my dying day, then this would be this one.  I might die 40 stone, but I would have spent my cake eating time wisely.  Somehow it just ticked all the boxes and was superb eating.  Rather than bake dozens of recipes to try and find an equivalent, I wondered if anyone out there might have a recipe that hand on heart they could swear would also put me (oh, and my parents too) into raptures?  All recipes gratefully received (to annaweller at me dot com), and I have a new hardback copy of Elizabeth David's 'English Bread and Yeast Cookery' to pass on to the sender of the recipe that I choose to bake.

Thanks to everyone who sent me recipes.  I have gone with Kate Noble's recipe for 'Hot Toddy Fruitcake' from the BBC Good Food website, partly because I love a really moist fruit cake but also because my parents are big tea drinkers, so it is appropriate that the fruit soak and the 'feed' are based on black tea (don't suppose they'll mind the whisky input either).  I have baked the cake a month ahead of time - we are having a family get-together later in October - so I shall feed the cake weekly and ice closer to the time.  Pictures to follow.  Of the other recipes sent, well, so many sounded darn good that I shall be trying them out for Christmas cakes for me and to give as gifts.  Thank again to all you bakers kind enough to take the time to let me know your favourite recipes.


Ryan said...

I'm a fan of Alton Brown's fruitcake

I'm not sure how it fits in the spectrum of fruitcakes, I just know I prefer it to my mother's 1950's US inspired monstrosity.

car01 said...

I'll send you my Mum's rich fruit cake recipe which was used at her own wedding, and also mine. The best fruit cake in the world *ever*. You'll have to wait until I'm at home as I don't carry it in my head!

car01 said...

Well here I am at home now, and I can't find an email address to contact you so will have to post the recipe below:

12.5 oz plain flour
0.25 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice
0.25 tsp ground nutmeg
10oz currants
10oz raisins
10oz sultanas
4oz glace cherries
6oz mixed peel
1oz fresh ginger, grated
2oz shredded almonds
10oz softened butter
10oz dark soft brown sugar
6 eggs
2oz ground almonds
1 dessert spoon treacle
4tbsp brandy

Grease and line a 9" round tin. Sift flour, salt and spices. Wash and dry fruit. Mix fruits, cherries, mixed peel and finely grated ginger with shredded almonds. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add beaten eggs a little at a time. Fold unsifted flour, ground almonds, treacle and brandy into mixture. Add the fruit mixture and mix all thoroughly. Bake just below the centre of a slow oven (gas 2, 300F, 150C) for about 4 hours. If needed, wrap tin with brown paper to avoid over-browning the cake. Cake is done when a skewer comes out of the centre cleanly. Remove from the tin when cooled and wrap tightly in greaseproof paper and foil. Poke holes in the cake and "feed" with 1-2 tbsp of brandy every week until a week before needed. At this point, marzipan and ice the cake. Best if fed for a minimum of 6 weeks (up to 4 months).

Big Bead Little Bead said...

Thanks Ryan, I will take a look. car0, thanks very much for your best fruit cake in the world *ever* recipe, it sounds just what I am after. I had forgot about adding an email address to the post, so I shall do so now.

Jo said...

Try Delia's rich fruit cake, but substitute a wide range of dried fruit for the usual currants, sultanas, etc. - I use prunes, apricots, figs, proper big candied peel (rather than the diced stuff), far more cherries & big, fat lexia raisins. Soak the fruit for AGES (like a week or two) in rum, not brandy and you'll have the most deliciously moist cake!

Big Bead Little Bead said...

Thanks Jo. Gosh am I really hungry now! I think that once I have baked one cake for my parents, I will have to bake several more for me (for research purposes obviously...)

chuck said...

Ryan thank you for posting this recipe. Getting married next month and we really like to add some heart cakes on the surroundings of our cake and i think this would suit!

Black22 said...

great blog, love the posts, keep them coming

Anonymous said...

We are so pleased to see you back on the blog. Always use it for the Dorset Apple cake recipe. I'm just about to bake it with my daughters!
Best, Amanda expat - Boston, MA, USA

marilyn r said...

I am an American, and just discovered your blog. I LOVE IT!! You have created a treasury of British baking. I find the differences between US and British baking to be interesting. Americans are addicted to chocolate, and won't even look at fruit desserts. British continue to graze on fruitcake for special occasions.

adayofjamandbread said...

lush fruitcake with pecans is a favorite of mine . i've been known to eat it for an entree . sounds like you have an abundance of recipes to choose from. . . .but, really, thanks for the post .

Sedan Service in D.C said...

I'll send you my Mum's rich fruit cake recipe which was used at her own wedding, and also mine. just make it tell me soon hows that ?

Ann said...

I am go glad you're back. I don't have a fruit cake recipe, but I was checking some of my bookmarked sites and I can't wait to see what you're up to next! I love your recipes and your historial research. I'm interested in hearing how the cake turned out for the anniversary.

Janie said...

40 years together....big congrats to your parents!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I’m looking to make some changes in my own eating habits, so I appreciate your insight a lot! Thank you. I recently stumbled upon this blog like I did yours and I thought your readers may appreciate it: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/food-for-thought/

I’ve started to look for their stuff more regularly and I think I’m going to add your blog to my list as well. Thanks for the post!


volusion store design said...

And it’s been awhile that you haven’t updated your blog. I look forward for more new recipes somi

food places said...

nice work...... the wedding care is too good...... i will tary it in my friends wedding......

Beck Willis said...

Never added ginger of treacle to a fruit cake before but I will give this a whirl for sure!

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