A lot of you guys have been asking us how to best feed your fruit cake, what kind of alcohol to use and how often it needs feeding. Well, there’s more than one way, so here’s a brief run-down of your options:
1. Prick small holes into the top of the cake using a toothpick or thin skewer. Make sure the holes run deep into the cake but don’t go all the way through.
2. Spoon brandy or rum over the cake, allowing it to run down the holes and soak into the middle of the cake.
3. Repeat this process every week or so until you’ve added the amount of alcohol you prefer. Don’t overdo it or your cake will be overpowered by too much booze. Don’t feed the cake more alcohol than it can absorb or you will ruin the texture of the cake.
1. Pour your alcohol of choice into a bowl
2. Soak an unbleached muslin cloth in the booze until it is totally wet through.
3. While the cloth is soaking, add a substantial amount of booze the cake by dripping it onto the top of the cake and allowing it to soak in.
4. Wrap the cake in the soaked cloth.
5. Wrap the bound cake in a plastic or foil sheet and store away.
6. Every week or so brush the top of the cake with more booze.
What kind of alcohol to use
Well, any spirit over 30% alcohol content is suitable so it really depends on taste. Traditionally rum or brandy is used, but Cointreau, whiskey or sherry are all good alternatives. Remember to buy the best quality bottle you can afford.
Our favourite is an amber rum, it adds a more delicate, smoky flavour than the darker variety and tends not to over-power the flavour of the cake. A 15-year-old Dzama rum is a great choice (but not in everyone’s budget!)
Using either method, the key is to give yourself plenty of time before eating. A fruitcake will need a good 6 weeks to start to mature, allowing the fruits to ripen and release more flavours. Adding all the booze at once will just saturate the cake and leave it soggy and the flavours won’t develop, so be patient, add little bits at a time and you’ll end up with a beautifully rich fruit cake!