Why is FRUITCAKE not a regular menu / dessert item at restaurants?
- ipsedixit Nov 4, 2006 12:16 AM
Say what you want about these oft-ridiculed monstrosities, but they are out there and people actually (1) buy them and (2) [gasp] eat them.
So, the question becomes ... why aren't they seen on menus, esp. as dessert items?
Fruitcake a la mode?
Fruitcake with your espresso (or latte or whatever caffeinated drink you prefer)?
Fruitcake pudding (in the vein of "bread pudding")?
Just thinking out loud ...
this is a good question. I had all the traditional biases against fruitcake until this past August. I got married in Colombia and my mother-in-law, who is a wedding cake baker there, made a wedding cake that was fruitcake covered in fondant. It was the best wedding cake I've ever had. Even my parents, who are finicky curmudgeons, said it was the best fruitcake they've ever had.
A properly made fruitcake with macerated dried real fruit is a thing of beauty and something that most people love when they actually taste it. Most people only know cloyingly sweet cakes with the consistency of concrete that are filled with stale untoasted pecans and cloyingly sweet of unnatural colors that are better used for doorstops and eradicating homes of small insect infestations.
Alton Brown has a great basic fruitcake recipe and I challenge anyone who makes his recipe to say that they don't like fruitcake.
I have already baked my holiday fruitcakes(30), and I will probably get last minute orders for 10-15 more. Fruitcakes taste best when allowed to age and mellow with weekly spritzes of brandy or rum.
I love that fruitcake is a usual dessert item in England and is also typically served at teatime.This is true in restaurants as well as in homes.
I have a friend who is originally from Jamaica who had a traditional Caribbean wedding cake that was fruit cake. The fruit is soaked in rum for, I think, a year. It was really expensive. I still didn't like it but then I'm not a fan of plum pudding either. Everyone else seemed to like it.
To find that sort, Google up Black Cake. Laurie Colwin wrote about it in her book Hame Cooking. Man is that good stuff and does take a long time to make. Like making rumtopf, gather ing a layering fruits as they come into season in crocks with rum. Making the very dark caramel etc. Not the usual fruit cake.