Saturday, December 10, 2022

Weekend Cooking: Granny's Fruit Cake

I can't remember where I came across this book, but I do know that as soon as I saw it, I wanted to read it. I was not disappointed.

This book is actually a very simple in its idea and execution. The artist, Alice Oehr, has chosen 50 different cakes from around the world, illustrated them and then added no more than a couple of paragraphs to describe their importance and history as well as regional variations that may be found in other countries as well. 

In her introduction, Oehr says "My own love for cakes isn't founded in baking, nor even simply in their eating. Luscious flavours aside, it's the flamboyant decoration of the patisserie  cabinet - each minature creation a monument to pleasure - that never fails to lift my spirits"

And so it was for me reading this book as I turned each page to see the illustration and then read through the description. For the most part I recognised most of them, either having made them (lemon tart, pavlova, chocolate cake, cheesecake) or at least seen them on Bake Off or another baking show (crouenbouche. There were a couple though which were new to me. For example, I am pretty sure I have never heard of Punschkrapfen from Austria which are cubes consisting of "layers of rum-soaked nougat, chocolate, apricot jame and cake crumbs" all covered in thick pink icing.

At the end of the book, Oehr has included a handful of recipes for carrot cake, chocolate cake, lemon tart, pavlova, sponge cake and tiramisu.

I thought that I might share an example of the book, and had thought about maybe doing angel food cake, but instead I bring you the page on Fruit Cake and then talk about fruit cake in general.

I love a good fruit cake at Christmas time, especially one that is covered with pristine white icing, and maybe a touch of decoration. It is one of the few recipes that my my mother cooked that I have always wanted the recipe for, so 18 months or so I asked her for it.

Eventually, she sent over two recipes and she did say that one of them was my grandmother's recipe. However, I happened to be talking to one of my aunties and she was pretty sure it wasn't and so she sent me a third recipe. And then I found a recipe for a 4 ingredient fruit cake that has chocolate milk as one of the four ingredients! So now I have four recipes to try. I did have intention of trying this Christmas, but I am fast running out of time, so it might be next year.

Whilst the two recipes from my mum are still packed up in a box somewhere, I do have the recipe that my aunt said is my grandmothers so I thought I would share it here.

Granny's Boiled Fruit Cake

2 cups dried mixed fruit

1 cup sugar (preferably brown

1/4 lb butter

1 tspn carbon soda

1 cup water 

Place in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for one minute only then cool and add 1/2 cup plain flour and 1and a 1/2 cups self raising flour and 2 eggs. Bake in a moderate oven for 1 and a half hours.

You'll notice in the image from the book that the first line talks about how fruit cake is described as a "sturdy combination of very little cake and an awful lot of dried fruit all generously soused in alcohol" and yet there is no mention of alcohol in the recipe. Neither my mum or my grandmother used alcohol but I am assured that it can be added.

I mentioned above I am going to run out of time to actually make a fruit cake myself. We are away for the weekend this weekend so I was very pleased when our host offered us fruit cake with custard and cream. Yummy!

Weekly meals

Saturday - Out for dinner
Sunday -  Burgers
Monday - Pork nachos
Tuesday - Massaman curry pie
Wednesday - Butter chicken and rice
Thursday - Takeaway
Friday -Dinner with friends

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. Fruit cake is such a wonderful tradition and I love the idea like you of icing it. You certainly have a nice variety of recipes to choose from. thanks for sharing this recipe! sounds wonderful

  2. That sounds like a lovely book, I would love to look through that one. I am a fan of fruitcake and always try any new version brought.

  3. My mother made a Christmas fruit cake iced with marzipan and a Christmas boiled pudding. I think I have her recipe(s), will post if I find.

  4. This Fruit Cake sounds wonderful, I can't wait to try it! I have all the ingredients with me in the RV so it will be on my list! Thanks, PS I forgot to come back last weekend and say how delicious your Florentines looked!



Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP