How to Store Fruit Cake

You can store home made fruit cake for years although the type you buy is not usually stored for that long, because, after all it has a sell-by date, and has additives and preservatives in it. You can, however, prolong the life of a fruit cake from a store, by simply freezing it after wrapping it in tin foil very securely.

The best sorts of fruit cake to store are the ones you make yourself that are laced with liquor, brandy, dark rum, whiskey, wine and port make good choices. When you make a fruit cake it takes at least a month to mature, or mellow, so you shouldn’t freeze one until it has been allowed to mellow for a few months.

How to Store Fruit Cake

When you make a fruit cake, you should make it three or four months before you want to eat it as this gives it time to reach its full flavour potential. If you just want to keep it for a few months, store it in an airtight tin such as an old biscuit tin, and once a month, or every six weeks. Add more liquor to the cake, by piercing it in a few places and pouring the liquor over the top of the cake and leaving it. The liquid will slowly seep into the cake and the flavour will be superb when you are ready to eat it.

If it is a top tier or a lower tier of your wedding cake that you want to store, you will need to leave any pillars or dowels in it, as the cake should not be exposed to the air. You can wrap it in several layers of greaseproof paper and then tightly wrap this with aluminum foil and store it in a tin in a cold dark place. You can also get cardboard cake boxes, and after wrapping the cake you can store it in one of these very successfully.

In your grandparents’ day, they still had pantries, which were ideal places for storing fruit cakes, and my parents actually stored their wedding cake in a cardboard box on top of their wardrobe. Seven years after their wedding it was used as the cake to celebrate my brother’s birth. It had icing and marzipan on it and that was still fine, I remember.

Another way to store a fruit cake for years is to wrap it in cheesecloth or tea towels which have been soaked in the same alcohol as was used in the cake, then tightly wrap it all in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and soak the cloth in alcohol again every few months and rewrap this.

You can also store fruit cake that has no alcohol in it, and can wrap it in greaseproof paper and keep it in a tin or cardboard cake box for a number of years. This won’t last as long as one with alcohol in it though, as the alcohol helps the preservation process.

The best type of fruit cake …

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Smiles For Chocolate Wedding Cakes

Chocolate lovers who are getting married can now have their cake and it eat too. The traditional wedding cake was like the fruit cake you get during the holidays. It was popular because it lasts for a long time. Fortunately, the tradition moved away from the fruit cake and towards the white multi-layered cake. Nowadays, weddings are moving towards individuality rather than keeping tradition. The wedding dress is still white; but the design is largely reflective of the bride’s personality. The wedding cake is still an essential; but the design – the color, the style and the flavor, is becoming more and more personalized to represent the couple. So nowadays, it is not such a surprise anymore to see chocolate wedding cakes at receptions.

Whatever cake the couple decides to serve their guests, one thing remains constant: there will be a cake. Traditions over the centuries have changed, thankfully; but the symbolism remains the same: fertility and happiness. Brides today have it easier than brides that came before them. There was a tradition that survived until the 19th century of breaking the cake over the bride’s head. The guests would gather the crumbs that fell to the floor for good luck. There were other traditions; but what the modern bride needs to concern herself with is the ceremony where the bride and groom feed each other cake. That and serving good cake at pains of the guests remembering that the couple served bad cake on their wedding.

Smiles For Chocolate Wedding Cakes

Getting the right fillings and icing is an essential part of designing a wedding cake. Fillings can be buttercream, custard and pastry cream, fruit, mousse, or ganache. Icing can be buttercream, marzipan, fondant, chocolate fondant, or royal icing. There really are many possible combinations. Fortunately, there are bakers, now called cake designers, who can help with this, especially to know what works or not for chocolate wedding cakes. But before you go to a baker, you must at least have some idea of what you want.

Before going to bakers, it is a good practice to ask for an appointment. That way they can prepare for you. They usually have their own look books, and possibly taste testing even on the first meeting. Finding the right baker is just as crucial as having the perfect wedding cake design. After all, it is the baker who executes the design. Cakes should be ordered well in advance. Wedding cakes aren’t made overnight. They need meticulous preparations. It would be safe to order at least six months before the wedding. Needless to say, if you want chocolate, you have to find a baker that does chocolate wedding cakes well.

In designing the cake, remember that it will be sitting at the reception for a long time. So the icing, filling, and the cake itself should be suitable for the climate and weather of the location of the reception. To make the cake ceremony more eventful, some humoring couples give each other really huge pieces of the …

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Making the Best Mid-Autumn Recipe – Mooncakes

For weeks leading up to the Mid-Autumn festival every year, mooncakes and festival snacks abound. Many of these products were produced weeks ago and imported from places across the globe. If you’re living in the United States, finding fresh products to celebrate this year’s Mid-Autumn festival can be very difficult. Whether you’re celebrating with family and friends, or just looking for some good, traditional Chinese fare, stick around for some Mid-Autumn recipes and tips.

Background

Traditionally celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a major holiday across China, Taiwan and Vietnam and is rife with traditions and history. As could be expected, food plays a major role in this autumn holiday.

Traditional Foods

One of the most visible and traditional Mid-Autumn recipes on display is often the mooncake. While many varieties exist, traditional mooncakes have a soft outside crust with a sweet, dense filling in the center. Other foods that are enjoyed during this time are things like pumpkin and taro to bring good health and good luck respectively. Other foods include wine with osmanthus flower and river snails, each of these are also tied to lore bringing happiness and bright eyes to those who consume them during the festival.

Simple mooncakes

Making mooncakes along with other Mid-Autumn recipes can be quite a challenge without access to traditional ingredients or mixes. In order to easily make this recipe, stopping by an Asian grocery will help speed up the process. Try to pick up ingredients like golden syrup, alkaline water, melon seeds, along with whatever fillings you’re considering for your traditional mooncakes. Another thing that should be picked up at any Asian market is a mooncake mould. They come in a variety of shapes and designs, so pick a few that could add a pleasant variety to your display.

Once you have picked up your ingredients, it’s time to make the filling and dough. For the filling to do ratio, consider this ratio 7 parts filling: 3 parts dough. That should give you an idea of how much to make when planning different types of filling.

Filling (feel free to make your own variations):

  • 14 oz. (400g Package) Lotus Seed Paste
  • 1.5 oz. (around 40g) Melon Seeds

Dough:

  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 / 2 Tsp Alkaline Water
  • 5 Tsp Vegetable Oil
  • 5 Tbsp Golden Syrup

To make the dough, first mix together the alkaline water with syrup. Stir in the oil and mix until they are completely blended. In a separate bowl, add the flour and make a well where you will stir in the syrup mixture. Mix the dough until it forms a loose dough. From there, knead and shape the dough into a round ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Let this dough refrigerate for at least two hours.

While the dough is resting, mix together the lotus seed paste and the melon seeds. Separate the mixture into two tablespoon portions and shape into balls. Set …

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How to Make Chinese Moon Cake Recipe

Moon cakes are made during the 8th month of the lunar Chinese calender. The actual date for celebrating the festival is on the 15th of the 8th month of the lunar Chinese calendar. Usually wooden moulds are used for making moon cakes. Nowadays plastic moulds are used because it is much cheaper. There are many designs on the mould. It can be bought at any shops selling ingredients for cakes.

Ingredients:

Syrup:

* 1/2 kg sugar

* 1 1/2 cups water

* 2 slices lemon

Boil the syrup for about an hour until it turns golden  test whether it is ready, pour a tbsp of syrup in cold water. If it separates it is ready. If it turns into a ball, the syrup is too thick. Add more more  done, keep in a cool place for 2 weeks before  remaining syrup can be kept for future use.

Pastry:

* 350-400 g wheat flour

* 60 g golden syrup

* 50 g oil

* 1 tsp alkaline water

Method:

Prepare the pastry: Mix all the pastry ingredients in a bowl. If it is too soft, add in more flour. It should be soft but not stick to the fingers. Divide into 6 portions. Each portion about 50 g. Let it rest for at least an hour.

Filling:

* 500 g red beans (wash and soak overnight)

* 500 g sugar

* 200 ml oil

* 1 tsp vanilla essence

* 50 g pumpkin seeds (locally known as ‘kuaci’)

1. Cook the red beans till soft and dry. Blend red bean in a mixer while still hot with the skin till fine.

2. To cook the bean paste, pour in sugar and red bean paste in a wok and keep stirring to prevent sticking. When mixture thickens, add in oil and  stirring till cook. When it is ready, the paste will leave the side of the wok clean. Dish out and cool it in the refrigerator.

3. When the paste is firm, mix pumpkin seed with the red bean paste. Divide into 6 portions. Each portion about 150g.

4. Flatten each dough and add filling in the centre. Wrap the dough into a ball. Dust it with flour.

5. Shape the dough in a moon cake mould. Press slightly. Then knock it out. Place in a baking tray and brush with beaten eggs. Bake for 15 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius.

Note: Other fillings such as lotus seeds, green beans or yam can be used. Egg yolks can be added in center of the fillings if used. Steam the egg yolk before adding to the filling.

Cooking time: 15 minutes.

Preparation time: 15 minutes.

For better visualization on the steps on how to make the moon cake, there are step by step picture in the authors recipe blog here.…

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How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Cake For Your Special Day

The one thing most guests remember from the wedding – aside from the first dance – is the wedding cake. This is one of the focal points to any special day, and you can guarantee that your cake will make an appearance in many of the photographs. Deciding on what wedding cake to have can be very difficult; there are so many shapes, styles and colours to choose from now. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your perfect cake.

Style of cake

When people picture wedding cakes, the most common image is that of a three tiered, pillared white or ivory cake. However, your wedding cake does not have to be like this anymore – unless you want it to be of course. There are so many options available, you could opt for a traditional pillared cake, stacked tiers, round, square, cupcake towers, or even a novelty sculpted design. Occasion cakes can now be designed to suit the theme of your wedding and your personality.

Cake filling

Once again there is the traditional option of a heavy fruit cake with marzipan, but more and more people are opting for a Madeira sponge, chocolate sponge, coffee sponge, lemon sponge or even rainbow coloured sponge! A good cake baker should be able to create any type of wedding cake filling you want. Remember that not all tiers have to be the same so you could always choose to have each tier with a different type of cake.

Icing & decoration

White or ivory royal icing is obviously the most common type of decoration, but you can let your imagination run wild. Simple and elegant might consist of ivory icing and piping with a coloured ribbon, or perhaps sugar roses cascading down the tiers. Many people are now opting for icing and decoration to match their wedding theme – perhaps a romantic red cake would set the mood.

How many people do you need to serve?

Wedding cakes are all about making a statement and so the actual eating of the cake is often compromised for the design. If you are looking for a cake to serve a lot of people, a popular choice is to request an extra ‘cutting cake’ to ensure there is enough to go around. Also, if you have a smaller guest list but still want a stunning cake, ask your baker for some fake or dummy tiers.

Toppers

There are countless different types of wedding cake topper available nowadays, whether you would prefer a standard bride and groom, or a novelty one, there is something for everyone. Most couples choose to search for their own cake topper but you could always request for your cake decorator to provide it.

Whatever type and style of wedding cake you decide to go for make sure that you book it well in advance as wedding cake bakers can often get very busy especially during the summer period.…

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What Tends to make a great Celebration Cake?

Today, parties and events aren’t total with no a celebration cake. This has been the case for a lot of years and it truly is not really frequent greater than ever as there are now normally numerous occasions to celebrate, generating cakes one of the highlights of parties. Presently, you are able to hardly uncover a celebration exactly where a cake is just not present. It is actually usually great to make a celebration cake that should be memorable. Significant occasions in life ought to become celebrated and taken seriously.

There must be a right celebration to mark that occasion and on the list of most effective ways to perform that is definitely to possess a celebration cake. Celebration cakes make essential component of any occasion and remain are always the center of attraction. Regardless of whether it truly is a public celebration or possibly a private celebration, a properly decorated cake will surely make the occasion specific.

You may also make a cake that is custom-made towards the requirements from the celebrant. A approach to do this is getting it ready in numerous shapes. For example, it is actually a fantastic thought to prepare the birthday cake of a golf lover within the shape of a golf ball inside a golf course. Similarly, the birthday cake on the piano fan may very well be prepared in the shape of a piano. Inside the case of girlfriends, married couple or lovers, you could possibly have the celebration cake prepared in the shape of a heart, whereas a wedding could possess a shape from the groom carrying the bride in his arms. Also, if the celebration would be to celebrate a child’s second year birthday, you could have the celebration in the shape with the figure “2”. When the party is usually to celebrate the birthday if a basketball lover, you might also make use of the shape showing anything like a football, soccer or basketball jersey, player or ball.

There are plenty of ingredients that you could have inside your cake. You can prepare a celebration cake containing various sorts of cheese with all cheeses hand-dipped in an ivory wax, giving an elegant and gorgeous thing. Diverse ingredients could allow you to create chocolate with lemon drizzle, various fillings, coffee cakes with many layers, fruit cakes, sponge cakes and carrot cakes. You may also go further by making the celebration particular via other techniques, for instance golden, ruby and silver anniversary cakes, logos and fashions for sports cakes, cartoon characters on children’s cakes and so on.

You only require tiny creativity to be able to come out with good celebration cakes that your guests would appreciate. The strategies through which a celebration cake may very well be enhanced will be to add plenty of sweetener and cream, and to deck the cake employing distinct shaped and colored cherries. Inserting the name of your celebrant around the cake is one more exceptional idea.

Cupcakes could also be employed for …

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Cut Your Fat and Enjoy Your Dessert With Healthy Cake Recipes

Making the choice to eat healthier foods is a great step in improving your overall health. However, we often equate healthier eating choices with restrictions from desserts and sweets. This is not the case at all. Cooking experts, like Martha Stewart, Paula Dean, and others, have led the way in creating healthy cake recipes that taste great and satisfy your sweet tooth while fitting seamlessly into your new healthy lifestyle. These cakes might even taste enough like a splurge that it might cut cravings for other foods that are off limits.

Whole wheat cakes, for example, substitute whole wheat flour for processed white flour, adding protein and nutrients to your dessert. Ingredients are adjusted in the recipe to ensure that the taste and texture of the cake remain delicious and moist. The result is a sinfully delicious dessert that is actually adding healthy benefits to your body. Your children never need to know that you are “treating” them to something healthy.

If your goal is to cut out fat, sugar, or calories, you can still indulge in a rich dessert because there are many different recipes that cut these ingredients as well. You can learn to use applesauce in place of oil, Splenda in place of sugar, and egg whites in place of eggs. You will be surprisingly thrilled with the results, which will be cakes that are light, fluffy, and deliciously sweet. Developers of current healthy cake recipes understand that it is not the fat sources that make a cake tasty, and that other ingredients can be used instead.

Use these healthy cake recipes when preparing a dessert for a holiday party or potluck, so that a wider range of guests can enjoy them. Be sure to have a copy of the recipe available so that guests can see what is in the cake and will feel more comfortable eating it. Low fat recipes are particularly good for those with heart issues as well as potential weight issues. Indulge in a low fat piece of cake instead of a bowl of ice cream or a piece of cheesecake and do your heart a big favor.

You will find that vegan recipes are naturally low in fat and calories. Tofu and vegetable margarine replace the eggs and butter, giving your cake far less saturated fat and making it a much healthier dessert. Your family and guests will never miss the traditional ingredients; in fact, you may find that they prefer your healthier recipes.

Serve a low fat or low calorie cake to your children and their friends at birthday parties, Halloween parties, and Christmas parties. They really get enough fattening, sugary snacks at these times, it’s wise to find recipes for homemade cakes that do not add to this. Making a cake from scratch rather than using a cake mix gives you control over the ingredients you are eating; however, you can take shortcuts with healthy cake recipes that make use of a cake mix as its central …

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