Saturday, December 21, 2013

A perfectly baked "steamed" fruit cake ^^

happy birthday, mel ^^ this baked-steamed fruit cake is dedicated to you

This was written a year ago, but never gottten round to posting it...

I never quite got over the yummy steamed fruit cake that burnt and left scars on my hands..

The need to "slay" this bake has been playing in my head for the longest time! But there was no way I was going anywhere near the electric steamer! Certainly not for 4 hours!

So I did some research and decided to bake the same recipe using a slow oven and bain-marie method (water bath).. ^^ for a 4-hour bake! ^^

Baked "steamed" fruit cake (recipe adapted from mel@melspantrykitchen)

250g butter, softened (tip from bisouatoi ~ use SALTED butter ie. golden churn! I did ^^)
80g fine sugar (I used 50g)
1 tsp ground nutmeg (I prefer to use only 3/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp orange essence (I used 3 tbsp marmalade jam ^^ ~ it's very good!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs

B (combined & sifted)
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

C (combined)
300g dried mixed fruits, raisins, etc (macerate in lots and lots of rum ^^, optional)
50g walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
20g plain flour

D (caramel)
200g sugar

1. Prepare water bath and place in oven of 140C. Tip: use a medium/big square baking tray, filled with water and place in lower most oven shelf. Heat water in the oven (at 180C, turn down to 140C when ready to bake) or use hot water if you like. There's NO NEED to place cake tin "into" the water bath ^^  

2. Combine A, except eggs. Mix with a wooden spoon.

3. Add eggs, one at a time till well combined. Do not overmix.

4. Add B and mix well.

5. Fold in C.

6. Prepare D (caramel) by placing sugar into a heavy saucepan over medium heat. As sugar melts from the sides, fold it to the center. DO NOT STIR. When sugar is completely melted and turned dark brown, remove from heat and VERY CAREFULLY and SLOWLY add to the fruit cake mixture. Caramelized sugar will harden almost immediately when folding into cake mixture.. the hardened bits can still be mixed into the cake batter. Be super-careful of burning hot liquid caramel!

7. Pour mixture into a lined 8" square/round baking tin. Cover baking tin with grease paper and aluminium foil. Tie with a string to keep lid in place. I did this step anyways, even though I wasn't planning to steam the cake.. I wasn't sure what to do and was worried the top might get burnt! Still, I recommend doing this anyways..         

8. Place cake tin on the second lowest shelf (or whichever shelf one usually use for baking ^^) and bake at 140C for 4 hours. After baking for 3 hours, remove lid and continue baking for another hour. Remove the tray of water as well ~ which probably would have been depleted of water by now.

* Best served after resting cake for a day or two ^^

Same recipe, different baking methods.. almost-different cakes! While the steamed fruit cake was deliciously light and airy in taste and texture, the baked version's a little different.. it's a tad bit more rich (maybe due to the use of salted butter!), perfectly moist (maybe due to the addition of marmalade and more rum soaked dried fruits!) and the crumbs a wee bit more packed than the steamed one.

dec 2012
dec 2012

I really enjoyed this baked "steamed" fruit cake (and it's not just me btw.. papa pig and aunt loves it too ^^!).. it's unusually addictive! I think the use of salted butter and addition of marmalade jam brought this cake to another level of wonderful too! This cake meets all expectations of the perfect fruit cake of my dreams ^^ dark, rich yet light and moist. ^^

Oh, yes.. I'm not sure why, but I really didn't feel that this was a 4-hour bake.. unlike the anxiety filled 4-hour steaming the last time. I totally forgot all about the cake in the oven till unbelievably wonderful smells came out from the kitchen ^^! And good news, I didn't get burnt at all this time! ^^

Well, just in case this is all a fluke, I'm planning to make this again soonest! ^^

Fast forward one year later.....

Well, "soonest" didn't quite make it till a year later, haha! But here I am, finally! ^^

And it's no fluke! It works and it's DELICIOUS! And it's not even been "rested" yet! Somebody had it the morning after the midnight bake-out. ^^

So how would I know it's delicious??? Well, if fatty hubby can finish a big chunk of cake by himself.. without leaving any for me.. you just know!!! ^^

Merry Christmas and happy holidays! ^^


Mel said...

Thank you for this is so delicious!!!! (cyber eating the cake now). I can really envision this cake taste awesome as I loves fruit cake.
I know it is not everyone can withstand the 4 hours of steaming the cake. When Im steaming this cake, I even have to interchange the cooking hob so to rest one hob from overheating.

I notice the difference of your steamed and the baked steamed cake. Seem like the texture of the baked steamed look nicer and this is what I most prefer. (Did you error typing in the year on the baked steamed cake dec 2012 instead of 2013.).

Im sure everyone sure loves and enjoying this cake very much as much as I do.

Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and to your family. Have a wonderful weekend and holiday.

hui said...

Haha! Hope you like the cyber cake, mel ^^

It really is easier to slow bake rather than steaming the cake. You could do house chores or catch up on blogging while the cake's in the oven.. no worries about the water levels or whatsoever. ^^

No mistake, those 2 pics were taken last year. The baked-steamed cake pix turned out terrible, that's why i never posted what i wrote last year. Only the 1st pix was taken today.

Do hope you had a fabulous day today! ^^

Chef and Sommelier said...

Hi Hui,

Wishing you and your loved ones a great 2014 ahead! Cheers!

hui said...

Happy new year, chef! ^^