Grandma Painter always provided fruit cake, both light and dark varieties, home made, at her Christmas dinners. It always had a good thick layer of marzipan/almond paste icing on it. The one she gave to our family was also soaked in brandy or other liquor. Okay, maybe not so much soaked, but definitely flavoured. I have to admit it was not my most favourite item on the dessert place, after all it wasn’t chocolate. Yet I would take a small slice every year, and oddly enough, I enjoyed it.
It’s funny the things you take for granted. Grandma died without any of us thinking to ask her for her recipe. So for several years the search was on. I tried many different recipes and finally find a dark fruit cake recipe that we agreed most closely resesembled grandma’s. Would you believe it has a little bit of chocolate in it!
Fruit cake is surprisingly expensive to make, assuming you buy your dried and candied fruit as I do. And the mixing of it is a real workout! Not many recipes today have ingredients you measure in pounds/kilos. It is best if it is made a few months in advance so that it has time to mellow, especially if you stew it in liquor (which makes for a nice moist cake).