Look up "brandy cake" A fruit cake moistened with brandy.
Disclaimer: I've never made it..but it sounds better than the door stop fruit cake.
That might be good IMHO in individual cupcakes with the addition of some nuts.
Will say my Mom had a brandied fruit jug in the upper counter top..that was almost like living thing like a sourdough, but less demanding..you kept it 'alive' and for years adding more sugar and fruits and passed on the 'starter' to the other people.
I'd also suggest Alton Brown's fruitcake recipe:
Scroll through the transcript--the Food Network recipe isn't always the same. And it's a damn good cake. I'm diabetic and I nearly ate the whole thing myself (suicidal, I know).
I second this. It is the only fruitcake recipe I will ever need, at that comes from someone who is constantly looking for and trying new ideas.
There's a great one in the Joy of Cooking unassumingly called "Dark Fruitcake." It's absolutely full of fruit and nuts (I almost never follow the recipe exactly, preferring to use my favorite dried fruits--figs, dates, prunes, etc.). It's brushed with rum or bourbon, and I always store my fruitcakes in the fridge, wrapped in rum-soaked cheesecloth in a plastic bag. I recently opened a fruitcake that I made last year, and it's absolutely phenomenal. I'm starting to believe that fruitcakes made the right way are indestructible.
You must try Panettone!I love it!It's an Italian fruit cake/bread that became the traditional Christmas dessert,that and Rabanadas,the Portuguese version of french toasts.You can get a great recipe at YouTube(I know,but trust me!)under Panettone-Italian Recipe.Enjoy your holydays!
Sorry,I did not finish the sentence:Panettone and Rabanadas became X-mas desserts in Brazil.I eat it all year long and it is also great if you serve it with some ice cream.You can even turn it into an ice cream cake if you remove the center,fill it in with soft ice cream and put it back in the freezer till it gets hard again. When you slice it,the ice cream is already incorporated to the cake.
Check out my recipe here on the site: "Jeffrey Steingarten's Mother-in-Law's Fruitcake".
Google Jamaican Dark Rum fruitcake- lots and lots of variants out there. The big secret is- none of that candied fruit you see in the market. Use dried or homemade glaceed fruit. I made a dozen for gifts a few years back, people loved it. I will say that most of the moistness- and the flavor- come from how you soak and age them. I wrapped each in cheesecloth and tossed them in a (food quality) plastic bag. Every week or so, I opened the bag, soaked them down and sealed it. The bag went into a cool cupboard for two months. They were quite good- if a bit boozy when initially opened. I have used this method to age them as long as three years without rot or mold or dryness. I wish I still had my recipe- but it's been a while, and I could not find it this year.
You should look up Sri Lankan Christmas cake, there are a lot of recipes on the Internet. It is the richest and the most decadent cake of all. It calls for some exotic ingredients, such as chow chow preserve, which you can order in some of Sri Lankan online groceries (lankadelight.com or Kapruka). It can be made with or without icing.
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