Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Brandied Apricot-Ginger Fruitcake #FoodieExtravaganza

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month. This month - I am hosting - I invited bloggers to come up with their favourite Christmas Fruit Cake as December is national Fruit Cake month. .

We hope you all enjoy our favourite festive fruit cakes this month and come back to see what we bring for you next month.

At first for this month's prompt, when I saw that it was Fruitcake, I was this close to passing it up, because I just didn't want to make anything remotely related to fruitcake. I am a professed fruit cake hater. As much as I love my grandmother, I seriously gag on her fruit cake. I am not lying. Could be the walnuts, or the spices she uses, even the type of alcohol. It could also be the combination of dried fruit, just the sight of it, makes me want to throw it away. I take one bite and I want to spit it out.
Ok, I'm sure you get the picture.

I love caramel, I love chocolate, but
 please anything but fruit cake 
{except okra, or turkey flavored ice cream}!!

Then I got this crazy idea, what if I make a fruit cake with ingredients I do like.
I like apricots and candied ginger.
I like pecans,
and I like brandy!
These sound like ingredients that would go great with each other.

The search was on to find that perfect fruit cake recipe, and I found a transcript
from an Alton Brown episode for his fruit cake! Here it is, it is as funny to read it 
as much as it is to watch his show.

So, that's what I did, instead of a whole bunch of different dried fruits,
 I only used apricots,
 and substituted the rum with brandy!

You know, it didn't turn out as bad as I thought it would.
The only other thing I would change in this recipe that would make
it perfect for me, would be to eliminate the allspice. 
It's one spice neither my husband or I like.

Other than that, it got my approval,
as something that 
I would make each year for the Holidays!

Brandied Apricot-Ginger Fruitcake (adapted from Alton Brown)


1 cup golden raisins

1 cup currants

2 cups dried apricots, chopped

Zest of one lemon, chopped coarsely

Zest of one orange, chopped coarsely

1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped

1 cup brandy

1 cup sugar

5 ounces unsalted butter (1 1/4 sticks)

1 cup unfiltered apple juice

4 whole cloves, ground

6 allspice berries, ground

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pecans, broken

toast in 300F oven for 5 minutes

Brandy for basting and/or spritzing

Combine dried apricots,currants, raisins, candied ginger and both zests.

Add brandyand macerate overnight, or microwave for 5 minutes to re-hydrate fruit.

Place fruit and liquid in a non-reactive pot with the sugar, butter, apple juice and spices.

 Bring mixture to a boil stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from

 heat and cool for at least 15 minutes. (Batter can be completed up to this point, then covered and 

refrigerated for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before completing cake.)

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine dry ingredients and sift into fruit mixture. Quickly bring batter together with a large 

wooden spoon, then stir in eggs one at a time until completely integrated, then fold in nuts. Spoon 

into a 10-inch non-stick loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into 

the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done. If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check 

again. Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack or trivet.

Baste or spritz top with brandy and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.

When cake is completely cooled, seal in a tight sealing, food safe container. Every 2 to 3 days, feel 

the cake and if dry, spritz with brandy. The cake's flavor will enhance considerably over the next two


Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Until next time! xo,

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Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Follow Cherishing A Sweet Life's board #FoodieExtravaganza :Fruit cake on Pinterest.


  1. I'm glad you found one you like! My father-in-law loves fruitcake, so I keep thinking one of these years I'll make one for him. It has yet to happen! ;-)

  2. This looks like a great recipe! I was never a fan of "regular" fruitcake, either. Glad you came up with this version, Christine. We are still going strong as co-hosts for #OMHGWW :)

  3. You toss everything you love and voilaaa.. You got your fave in your plate. Great ideas indeed.. Love sharing the co-host with you all, ladies..

  4. That is the great thing about cooking...you can adapt any recipe to suit your tastes.

  5. It's funny how many people don't like 'regular' fruit cake but have come up with some delicious alternatives like you have hear. Love the flavors!

  6. Yumm! Love that you took something you have such a dislike for, and turned it into something you could enjoy!

  7. The beauty of being the one in the kitchen is being able to make something you'd like. Thanks for sharing!