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Wooden Cakebox Baking Tips

 

Wooden cakeboxes benefit from a brief time in the oven prior to their first use. This allows the timber to shrink slightly as it adjusts to the heat of the oven.

Simply line the box with a layer of baking paper, and fill with the cake mixture. Ensure that they are placed in a preheated oven only. Do not bake at over 160˚C, do not wash the box with water. Any cake mixture adhering to the box can be brushed out after cooking.

 

Lining a cakebox

If you want a cake with sharp square edges and corners, you need to line your cakebox carefully, tapering the baking paper into the corners. I ‘pleat’ the paper around the sides and then place one layer over the bottom of the box.

paper in box 1 paper in box 2 paper in box 3
paper in box 4 paper in box 5 paper in box 6


Step by step instructions for baking a fruit cake

Begin by cutting the butter into cubes and melting it over a low heat with the sugar, dried fruit and spices. Use a large heavy bottomed saucepan and the whole cake can be mixed in the pan. Chop the almonds coarsely and zest the lemon. Add to the mixture in the pot along with the squeezed lemon juice and brandy. The corn flour is added last to thicken the mixture. You will get a richer, darker fruitcake by leaving the mixture to cool overnight.

chopping butter adding sugar grating lemon
adding lemon juice adding golden syrup stirring

Allow the mixture to cool completely. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl then add them to the fruit mixture alternately with the sifted dry ingredients. Mix carefully with a wooden spoon then pour the mixture into the prepared cakebox.

Place it into the centre of the oven to cook. If you are cooking more than one cake at a time, leave a space between the boxes for air to circulate.

beating eggs stirring mixture adding flour
stirring mixure pouring cookedcake


Storage

The perennial Christmas cake controversy; how to store a fruit cake.

Fruit cakes freeze well. I wrap them in grease proof paper then a layer of cling film or foil. Place them in a plastic bag and tie, then freeze.

They will last for months stored in a cool dark place. Wrap the cake in greaseproof paper then brown paper or newspaper. Store where the ants won’t find them! Extra alcohol can be sprinkled over the cake occasionally.


Substitutions

Fruitcake recipes are very forgiving. You can omit and add ingredients without too many problems. Different dried fruit can be used, nuts omitted, and spices changed to suit your preferences.

2 cakes book slices of cooked cake

 

Baking tips

1. If your cakes are sinking in the middle, try adding 1/2 cup more dried fruit (per kg of fruit). I like to add currants and dried figs.

2. Add extra roasted almonds for more texture.

3. Cutting down on sugar? Omit the colden syrup and reduce the brown sugar by 1/4. Add extra dried fruit including figs instead.

 

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