Fruit Cake Advice

Baking By brideoffrank Updated 2 Jun 2014 , 2:06pm by catsmum

brideoffrank Posted 23 May 2014 , 8:28pm
post #1 of 26

I am making my own cake, for my wedding which is in 2 weeks. The top 2 tiers are sponge and I'm sorted as far as they are concerned its just the bottom layer that I'm worried about. My OH wants a fruit cake but I have no experience of making fruit cakes. I have just been searching around for tips etc and am assuming Delias recipe will be my best bet but I'm just concerned about the time scale. As I said I'm getting married in 2 weeks time, I get the impression that it would have been better to make much earlier than now, what difference will this make to the final product? It'll still be ok won't it? I don't really want to dowse in alcohol, so if I make it now (tomorrow say) will it still be good and fresh in 2 weeks time without it?  Any other tips and advice gratefully received :)

 

Thanks

25 replies
cakebaby2 Posted 30 May 2014 , 11:28am
post #2 of 26

It'll be fine but watch the timings Delia gives you and the temp, they have been known to burn. There can be anything up to an hour in difference. Just dribble the alcohol on to keep it moist and wrap it per her instructions. It wont be as "matured" but I've made these as Christmas presents (last minute) and they've always been delicious.

Mary Berry's is good too as is Delia's "Last  Minute Cake" in her Christmas/Winter collection.

Good luck.

 

(If the cake is 10" or more you might find a tray of hot water on the floor of the oven helps and really watch the timings.)

petitecat Posted 30 May 2014 , 11:32am
post #3 of 26

I've heard of boiled fruit cake- perhaps have a look at those. I got the impression the cake was pretty much ready to eat after baking (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

cazza1 Posted 30 May 2014 , 11:56am
post #4 of 26

DO NOT make and decorate a boiled fruit cake.  Yes they are ready to eat straight away and yes they are delicious but they are not designed with decorating in mind. You may be lucky BUT they have a tendency to go mouldy under the fondant.  It was one of the first things we were taught, years ago, when the only decorated cakes for weddings were fruit cakes.

Mimimakescakes Posted 30 May 2014 , 12:01pm
post #5 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by cazza1 
 

DO NOT make and decorate a boiled fruit cake.  Yes they are ready to eat straight away and yes they are delicious but they are not designed with decorating in mind. You may be lucky BUT they have a tendency to go mouldy under the fondant.  It was one of the first things we were taught, years ago, when the only decorated cakes for weddings were fruit cakes.

Beat me to it Cazza. 

 

To the OP , make the cake now , souse it with some booze when it comes straight from the oven while it is still warm.  Cook it low and slow and make sure you wrap the outside of the tin with paper and sit it on some paper . I would also add a foil lid later on if it starts to brown too much. a pan of water  in the oven is a good tip . 

 

Popping the well wrapped cake into the freezer for a couple of days will also help 'mature '  the cake . Just make sure it is well thawed before you start to cover. 

Mimimakescakes Posted 30 May 2014 , 12:02pm
post #6 of 26

Oh and congratulations on you pending nuptials :king:

petitecat Posted 30 May 2014 , 12:05pm
post #7 of 26

Ooops Sorry brideoffrank :oops:

cazza1 Posted 30 May 2014 , 12:11pm
post #8 of 26

My Mum won a decorated Christmas cake in a raffle a couple of years ago.  She was so disappointed when she cut it to discover that it was a boiled cake and had gone completely mouldy.  She actually knew the lady who made it but was too embarrassed to tell her what a mess it was and that I had said that they should not be decorated.

petitecat Posted 30 May 2014 , 12:15pm
post #9 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by cazza1 
 

My Mum won a decorated Christmas cake in a raffle a couple of years ago.  She was so disappointed when she cut it to discover that it was a boiled cake and had gone completely mouldy.  She actually knew the lady who made it but was too embarrassed to tell her what a mess it was and that I had said that they should not be decorated.

Yuck. I've a lot to learn about fruitcakes. Have to make my first one yet!

catsmum Posted 30 May 2014 , 12:52pm
post #10 of 26

I always use Delia's Sherry Mincemeat Cake which is the Last Minute Christmas cake referred to earlier in the thread. The fruits are soaked along with mincemeat in sherry overnight which plumps them up beautifully. I add some extra spices too. I use a lower temperature than she advises 140 fan oven, cover the top with a piece of baking parchment and wrap my tin in a folded strip of foil which can just be "scrunched" to secure.

 

Mich Turner has this recipe which isn't a boiled fruit cake but she does melt the butter and sugar together to create a batter rather than a creamed mixture. She says in this clip it can be covered in marzipan next day after baking. http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/520078/mich-turner-s-rich-fruit-celebration-cake

brideoffrank Posted 30 May 2014 , 1:43pm
post #11 of 26

Hi and thanks everyone for your replies. I'm going to do Delias recipe as I've already been and bought ingredients with that one in mind.  I'll be soaking the fruit in brandy tonight, then making the cake tomorrow, whilst hubby to be is on his stag :) I hadn't realised they had to be in the oven for quite as long as that (Delia recommends not even looking at it till 4 hours have passed!), so its going to be a longer process than I realised. Like I say though, I'm new to fruit cakes, so looking forward to the challenge :) Thanks again

cakebaby2 Posted 30 May 2014 , 6:57pm
post #12 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by brideoffrank 
 

Hi and thanks everyone for your replies. I'm going to do Delias recipe as I've already been and bought ingredients with that one in mind.  I'll be soaking the fruit in brandy tonight, then making the cake tomorrow, whilst hubby to be is on his stag :) I hadn't realised they had to be in the oven for quite as long as that (Delia recommends not even looking at it till 4 hours have passed!), so its going to be a longer process than I realised. Like I say though, I'm new to fruit cakes, so looking forward to the challenge :) Thanks again

Oh no, you look at it as long as the half way stage is gone! God bless Delia but.....you check that bad boy as soon as you smell cake and have a skewer handy to check the middle of it. 4 hrs is a long time and every oven is different.....especially fan ovens. This is your wedding cake baby girl!

I did a 10" square in 2hrs 50 mins....perfect, but could have gone so wrong.x

Good luck on your coming nuptials.

Danilou Posted 31 May 2014 , 5:18am
post #13 of 26

ALet us know how you go, I'll be trying this recipe soon and could do with another opinion. Also I was worried about the amount of currants in the recipe would be to much!!

brideoffrank Posted 1 Jun 2014 , 12:22am
post #14 of 26

The cake is in the oven as I type, I checked it a few minutes ago and I think its almost ready after 3 and half hours.

 

I'm now thinking about the next stages. Bearing in mind its needed for this Friday, when would be the best time for me to do the marzipan and icing. Do I do them both in the same day or do I need to do them separately?

catsmum Posted 1 Jun 2014 , 7:18am
post #15 of 26

AI leave at least one day between covering with marzipan before I ice. Marzipan has nut oil in it so can sometimes "leak" into the fondant if it hasn't dried off.

cazza1 Posted 1 Jun 2014 , 8:23am
post #16 of 26

Sorry brideoffrank but I forgot to tell you to cover your cake with foil, after you have brushed it with alcohol, and then tip it upside down onto the bench or chopping board to cool, with the tin still around it.  This pretty well self levels the cake (the weight of it flattens it out) every time and you use the original bottom of the cake as the top when you ice.  I thought I would add it in here anyway so you know for next time.  If you are marzipanning, if you can leave your cake with the marzipan on it for a couple of days it will give you a firmer surface to work on when you apply the fondant.

brideoffrank Posted 1 Jun 2014 , 9:35am
post #17 of 26

Thank you both, I'm planning on icing on wednesday, so maybe I'll do the marzipan tomorrow :)

 

Its a shame I didn't know about the flattening tip though cos it is pretty uneven on top, I'll probably try to even it with a knife (which is probably not a bad idea anyway as some of the currants are a bit black on top) but don't want to take too much height off it, as its not very deep as it is.

brideoffrank Posted 1 Jun 2014 , 9:37am
post #18 of 26

Oh and another question ;) When you apply the fondant icing, does it go straight onto the marzipan or does it need a glaze in between the two layers. Thanks :)

cazza1 Posted 1 Jun 2014 , 10:57am
post #19 of 26

brush inbetween the layers  with sugar syrup.

 

Still tip your cake upside down and use the top (cut and levelled) as the bottom. The bottom of the cake (which you are now using as the top) will give a smoother surface as it will have a crust.

cakebaby2 Posted 1 Jun 2014 , 1:00pm
post #20 of 26

No, just lightly brush marzipan with water (unless it is still tacky then you shouldn't). Just make sure cake is level after marzipan, no fondant can hide lumps and bumps.

cakebaby2 Posted 1 Jun 2014 , 1:01pm
post #21 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by brideoffrank 
 

Oh and another question ;) When you apply the fondant icing, does it go straight onto the marzipan or does it need a glaze in between the two layers. Thanks :)

Sorry that's what I was replying to^

brideoffrank Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 12:40pm
post #22 of 26

Ok, so I now have another question. I have just covered the cake with marzipan but now don't know what to do with it. I can't put it back in the tin without ruining the surface but I'm guessing I can't just leave it out either because surely the cake will go stale? How should I store it between now and the icing stage?

cazza1 Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 12:47pm
post #23 of 26

I just leave mine sitting on the bench.  The almond icing should have sealed the cake so it will not go stale.  I have never had a problems but I will be interested to hear what others have to say.

catsmum Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 12:48pm
post #24 of 26

The marzipan has the effect of keeping out the air and therefore stopping any deterioration of the cake. When I cover my cakes with marzipan, I have the cake on a cake card, do the covering then I set it aside overnight covered with a clean cloth. The marzipan will firm up overnight ready for you to cover with your sugar paste.  Don't forget to cover your cake drum with sugar paste to give that time to firm up too otherwise you run the risk of marking it when you transfer your covered cake onto the cake drum.

brideoffrank Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 1:40pm
post #25 of 26

Ah thank you, thats a relief because it was looking like I was going to have to do that anyway :)

 

Catsmum - I did not know that I had to cover the cake drum with sugar paste, so thank you for that :)

catsmum Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 2:06pm
post #26 of 26

Quote:

Originally Posted by brideoffrank 
 

Ah thank you, thats a relief because it was looking like I was going to have to do that anyway :)

 

Catsmum - I did not know that I had to cover the cake drum with sugar paste, so thank you for that :)

The end result looks better on a covered drum.

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