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White Christmas Fruitcake with Sandra Reynolds

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    A couple of years ago when I first mentioned this on my blog, the response was immediate: My readers LOVE fruitcake, and if they make it at all, it will be at this time of year. Perhaps it’s the combination of fruit, brandy and warming spices, but on reflection, I think the reason we love it so is because the secret ingredient is nostalgia. We get very sentimental this time of year, referring to the way it’s always been done rather than trying something new.

    But if by chance there is someone reading this who wants to try something new, consider my white christmas fruitcake. I made it with the sensational new Kambrook Powermix planetary bench mixer. With three attachments for cutting through and whisking or beating all your mixtures from bread dough to lighter-than-air meringues, with a large bowl and motor that will manage your largest recipes and you are bound to use it for much more than a traditional fruitcake. It looks beautiful enough to keep on your benchtop permanently, but is light enough to carry or move around if you keep it tucked away In a cupboard.

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    I put it through the great kitchen test, my once a year fruitcake and it worked splendidly.

    This recipe is a little different – with white chocolate and lots of delicately coloured dried and local fruit such as pineapple, pawpaw, golden sultanas and apricots, this cake makes a lovely and lightly-coloured cake. It will appeal to your fussiest fruitcake fanciers and it’s small enough that if it’s just you who likes fruitcake, you can halve the recipe and eat the lot without feeling guilty.

    It gives you the appearance of something traditional, while subverting your tastebuds with a new way of approaching an old favourite. Now that’s how we do an Australian Christmas.

    Makes two 38cm x 9cm cakes

    White Christmas Fruitcake 

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    INGREDIENTS

    • 100g (¾ cup) dried figs
    • 100g (¾ cup ) dried apricots
    • 150g (1 cup) sultanas
    • 50g (⅓ cup) dried pawpaw or mango strips
    • 50g dried pineapple rings or tinned pineapple, well drained
    • ½ cup (125ml) brandy;
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 125g butter at room temperature
    • 100g (½ cup).soft brown sugar, firmly packed
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp mixed spice OR ½ tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg
    • 250g white cooking chocolate
    • 200g plain flour
    • 120g pecans 

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Finely chop the figs, apricots, pawpaw and pineapple into pieces the same size as the sultanas. Place all the dried fruit in a large ceramic or glass bowl and add the brandy. Stir well to coat the fruit, then cover with cling wrap and leave for at least 24 hours. From time to time stir the mixture to coat with the brandy.
    2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 150°C (fan forced). Line two small bar tins (28cm x 9cm x 5cm) with baking paper and set aside. 
    3. Set aside the egg yolks in a small bowl and place the egg whites in the bowl of the Powermix™ bench mixer. Use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites at medium speed until soft peaks form. Scrape the egg whites into a clean bowl and set aside. Clean the bowl of the food mixer and place it back. Secure the leaf beater attachment. 
    4. Add the softened butter and brown sugar to the mixing bowl and cream the mixer for several minutes on medium speed. From time to time, stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    5. Add the vanilla and spices and one egg yolk and beat well until the mixture is lightened. Scrape down the bowl. Add the remaining egg yolks one at a time and scrape down the bowl with each addition. Beat in the egg yolks until thoroughly combined.
    6. Roughly chop or break up 200g of the white chocolate and place in a small heat-proof bowl. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in a microwave until it is smooth and warmed through.
    7. With the beaters still running, slowly pour the chocolate through the hole in the splatter guard of the food mixer and beat it into the mixture. Add the sifted flour a spoonful at a time and use the pulse function on your Powermix bench mixer to quickly and thoroughly incorporate the flour between additions.
    8. Add the soaked fruit to the cake mixture and stir well. Stop the food mixer at this point, and remove the bowl with the cake mixture in it. Scrape any mixture off the beater back into the bowl. Spoon one third of the egg whites into the mixture and use a large metal spoon to gently stir the egg whites into the mixture. Add the remaining egg white to the mixture and fold it in very gently until completely absorbed.
    9. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared cake tins and smooth the surface. Arrange the pecans over the top of the cakes and gently push them down into the mixture. Cover each tin with a sheet of aluminium foil and place the tins into a large roasting dish. Pour boiling water gently into the roasting dish until it comes half way up the sides of the tins,. 
    10. Bake in the oven for two hours. Remove the foil from the tins and bake for a further 20-30 minutes until they are golden and a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
    11. Allow the cakes to cool completely in their tins before you turn them out. At this point, you can store them, wrapped in foil and in an airtight container, for up to a month before eating. The longer you leave them, the better the flavours will be.
    12. To decorate the cakes, melt the remaining 50g white chocolate in a microwave or over a double boiler and pour the warm chocolate into a ziplock bag. Snip a tiny end out of one corner and gently squeeze the chocolate through the small hole. Drizzle the chocolate over the cake – accuracy is not important, just try for an even coverage.

     

    This cake really is best served at room temperature, due to the chocolate in it and will feel quite firm if you attempt to cut it straight out of the fridge, but will soften to a beautiful texture as it warms through.

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    b2ap3_thumbnail_image005.jpgRecipe created and shared by Sandra Reynolds

     

    Sandra Reynolds has written over 1000 nutritious budget-friendly recipes for her blog The $120 Food Challenge, surviving unemployment payments and Aldi checkout lines along the way and turned personal adversity into a thriving blog.

     

    Her first cookbook, The $120 Food Challenge is published by Penguin Viking and Sandra is now writing her second cookbook. She still shops at Aldi every week.

     

     


    • Jemma Henderson 09 December 2013

      I want to make a vegan fruit cake to show my family at Christmas that cruelty-free is also delicious!

      Then I'll make a million vegan chocolate mud cakes for myself :)

    • Jennifer 10 December 2013

      Now that I've seen the fruitcake, I feel honour-bound to try and make it. I've never made one before as I always wait for my mum to bring one around for me... How hard can it be to make a proper Christmas fruitcake - with the right mixer, of course ;)

    • Lea Anita Black 10 December 2013

      :DI would love to win this Powermixer so that I no longer need to mix with my manual hand mixer as that never quite does the job. With this mixer cakes I make will come out nice and fluffy and well risen, I would love to make a decent custard cake, yum yum! Cakes galore and more! Thanks for the chance to win this! :D :D :D

    • Marg 10 December 2013

      My husband has made our cake and pudding, both delicious, every year of our 44 years together. Last Christmas he had a stroke. He has recovered well thanks to a lot of willpower, but our old hand held beaters are not a lot of help to him. A Powermixer would help him with his Festive cooking as well as the year round creating he enjoys. Thank you for this opportunity.

    • Naomi 11 December 2013

      I often make desserts for my boyfriend's large extended family (15+) when we get together for events, so this would be perfect for me. The first thing I would make is orange carrot cake.

    • Sim 11 December 2013

      I would love to win this for my sister who has had a really difficult year and would love to join her to enjoy a generational family favourite of ours a passion fruit sponge. My sister has a had a passion for cooking most of her life, but not so much of late. I think this would be a real boost as we all love a little treat and better yet as her kid sister I'd get to enjoy some cake too.

      Merry Christmas All and Sandra great to see you back.

    • SusieV 11 December 2013

      Like you - I've used workaround solutions to mixing up my cakes, egg whites, etc. After making a couple of 'no knead' breads, I'm keen to make some 'proper' breads. I'd love a Powermixer to knead my dough for me!

    • Dragonfly 12 December 2013

      This would make a brilliant addition to any pantry. I'm not much of a baker, but I think this would inspire me to try more of the recipes that mum has passed along over the years.

    • Elizabeth 12 December 2013

      I would love to win the Kambrook Powermixer, to create delicious marshmallows and perfect pavlovas!

    • Ross S 12 December 2013

      I'd use the planetary mixer to finally be able to make some of the wonderful cake recipes my mother passed on to me.

    • Caroline Kelly 14 December 2013

      No more store bought bread and pizzas with this mixing masterpiece!

    • Nicole 14 December 2013

      Thanks for the opportunity to enter.
      Enjoy your tweets.

    • Melanie 14 December 2013

      My 40 year old mix master (given to me by my mum) is on its last legs and it is so loud that my 2 young children cry every time I use it. I would love a new one so I could make a pavlova without having screaming children at the same time!!

    • Jennifer B. 15 December 2013

      STRAWBERRY MERINGUE CAKE: it's my dessert cake unbeaten,
      Best celebration treat: nowhere else eaten.
      With a Powermix, everything would be SO easy to beat,
      Strawberries, cream, lightest sponge, soft meringue layers... SWEET!!! :p

    • Emma 15 December 2013

      Sandra I'm in dire need of this mixer. My fruitcake fruit is waiting patiently in it's oh so boozy bath. Must make the cake soon so it stew and develop in time for Christmas. I'd even be happy to send you some when it is made.

    • Jenny Amor 15 December 2013

      I want to win for my daughter so she can make my beautiful grand bubby all the best dairy free foods also for nanny.

    • Jenny Amor 15 December 2013

      I would love to win for my daughter so she could make delicious foods for my grandbubby and her nanny..oh thats me!!!

    • cyndie 15 December 2013

      A Powermix bench mixer would be a perfect addition to your kitchen because I love baking do not own this type of appliance. The dish you would most like to make with this food mixer is salted caramel éclairs.

    • Rachael Pollington 16 December 2013

      A planetary mixer has been my dream...
      for making cakes to fill with cream,
      beating eggwhites to stiff peaks,
      or recipes with tricky techniques.
      Macarons are the first things I'd make,
      because with my old mixer, they were a mistake!

    • Jen 16 December 2013

      While a bad workman blames his tools, a good home cook gives credit to hers. There are a few things I've always wanted to try making, and master, but haven't attempted because I suspect my appliances aren't up to it: bagels, doughnuts, mousse, lemon meringue pie . . . to name a few!

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