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How to bake a fruit cake
How I did it: I've been wanting to bake a fruit cake forever but I never got around to doing it. No particular reason(s) why I couldn't, I just didn't. So, for the last holiday season, I decided to bake one. I Googled "fruit cake recipe" and I was shocked at the number of varying ways a fruit cake could be made. I chose one with the most of my favorite ingredients, saved it to my desktop and bought the ingredients later in the week. There was nothing to the actual baking process, it was only a matter of buying the ingredients and whipping them all together. I made a total 6 loaves. I gave 5 away as gifts/treats and kept one for myself. Turned out to be rather delicious. The rum gave it an especially enjoyable taste that I can only describe as sort of a smooth almost sweetened spice. It was unlike anything I'd ever had before, and I wish I could describe the taste a lot better to give you an idea of what it was like.
Lessons & tips: The 43Things community helped a lot with this one. Especially with my concerns about dressing/re-dressing the cake with rum. There were a number of solutions/ideas on the web on how to do it, but it was the suggestions and comments from 43-ers that made the most sense. One idea that worked particularly well was fermenting the fruit in rum prior to baking. Not only did it give the fruit bits a fermented flavor, it also gave the rum a slight syrupy consistency, not to mention it was rather tasty too!.Friends also suggested to stick with using only dehydrated/dried fruits as they are less likely to ruin the cake while in storage. The only real tip I can provide is to plan your recipe out in advance. Fruit cake can be as simple or as complex as you like, depending on your preferences. If you're thinking of adding rum, I would suggest giving yourself some time between baking and eating the cake, maybe a few days or even weeks, because the longer the rum sits, the more flavor it will add to your cake. The next time I bake a fruit cake, I'll give myself more time to ferment the cakes in storage a lot longer.
Resources: An Internet search, a good recipe and knowledgeable supportive friends/peers are all you really need to complete this one.
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