Thursday, December 13, 2012

are there no prisons? are there no workhouses?

The fruitcake experiment was a sack of bobcats.  My mom mentioned that you need a pan of water in the oven, and I wondered if she meant a water bath, since the cake cooks for so long.  Nope.  The water bath, in case you were wondering, makes it so the cake cooks for an hour longer than it's supposed to, deceives you on the toothpick test, and then the bottom part of the cake is gooey and uncooked.  So I scraped all the uncooked bits together and mashed them into a fresh foil-lined pan, and cooked the cake--with the pan of water next to it this time--for another two hours.  What the flip? (As we Mormons say.)

The ruined/salvaged cake is wrapped in foil sitting in the fridge--as recommended by my grandma, although she just keeps hers in the fruit room.  From what I've tasted of it it seems like it's just gingerbread with fruit and "nutmeats" in it.  I will taste it on Christmas Eve and see what I think.  I will try the Joy of Cooking recipe next.  It looks to be more like a pound cake.  I just think there has to be a reason that people have been making fruitcake for hundreds of years.  It can't all be Anglophilia--although that is a definite factor in my case.  Whenever I watch the George C. Scott version (the best one, I will not hear otherwise) of A Christmas Carol I always drool a little bit when the Cratchits bring out the plum pudding--that first bite looks amazing!  Although Bob is kind of a jerk about it, savoring the pudding and dragging the whole process out, not telling his wife whether it's good or not, while she anxiously awaits his verdict.  And what's with Mrs. Cratchit being so needy?  If she made the pudding and likes how it tastes, then Bob can stuff it.  Maybe Bob should make the pudding if he's such an expert.  But it does look good--moist and custardy.  And yet, I know I would most likely hate it.  Maybe I should make a pudding and see what it's really like.  Probably disgusting.  But I have all these British cookbooks that are going to waste!  


beckster said...

Maybe you would like plum pudding better? It's made more like a steamed bread, like date nut bread; very moist and dense. I wouldn't call it pudding as we know it, but it is categorized as a steamed pudding in the UK, I think. I do make a wholemeal (see, staying on the UK theme) bread in a coffee can in a boiling water bath on top of the stove, and it is delicious. Everyone, jump in if you experience is different!