October 18, 2012

a golden fruitcake (gluten free)

Picture2The ingredients for this month’s Improv Cooking Challenge are oatmeal and raisins. The challenge for me was to find a unique way to incorporate them into a recipe; because my guys eat oatmeal (raw, rolled oats) with raisins for breakfast day!DSCN5118
I did make a gluten-free oatmeal raisin skillet cookie. (We topped it with yogurt and kiwi and strawberries and papaya and pear…) It was quite delicious, but perhaps a bit mundane. (You know how our Improv Leader Kristen tells us to push the envelope…)  Smile with tongue outPicture3
So back to the drawing board Google Pinterest recipe books I went. As I was thumbing through my collection, I kept getting sidetracked by Christmas recipes. I even found myself looking at the (shudder) fruitcake recipes.
I know my guys. And I know my guys’ opinions on most things. I’ve heard their quite critical remarks on fruitcake. My yearly quote of, “not all fruitcakes taste like this” usually fell upon four pairs of deaf ears.
Thirty years ago I baked the famous “GOLDEN FRUITCAKE.” I remember it well because it was the first time I used alcohol! Pretty sure the recipe was a California Golden Raisins advertisement I tore out of my Good Housekeeping magazine. (I was happy to find a picture/recipe online, ‘cause I hunted & couldn’t find mine…)ad
So, this is what my fruitcake looks like:DSCN5398
and here is the recipe:recipe
If you wish to follow my process, read on…
The evening before making the cake, I prepared my dried fruit.  I chopped all but the raisins to make them somewhat uniform size. I put them in a ziploc with 1/2 cup apricot brandy to soak overnight.fruit
In the morning I stirred in the nuts/seeds.nuts
I sifted the flours, gum & salt into my large bowl.
I took the cup cooked steel-cut oats (cooled) and whirled it in the food processor. After it was nice and smooth I added  the honey and coconut oil. (That mixture right there was soooooooooo delicious – I’m going to try that as a base for other cakes!) Then I added the six yolks and mixed until smooth.
Gently stir together this liquidy mixture with the fruits & nuts. Then gradually add the dry ingredients.DSCN5371
(The next step you are not going to believe – so I have photos to document!)
<<Time out for my TV addiction: I’m totally in love with Downton Abbey and it’s characters! (Well, except for Sarah O’Brian & Thomas – jerks!) I so enjoy watching Mrs. Patmore and Daisy in the kitchen, intrigued by their methods and ingredients… >>Picture4
I determined there were beaten egg whites and cakes that utilize them before there was electricity. When I Google-d “beating egg whites by hand” the general consensus was don’t even attempt it unless you have a copper bowl. I have a stainless bowl and French whisk. Yet, I succeeded to attain a nice peak, as my pictures (& sore shoulders & forearms) will attest:whip
I have a question: When it says “gently fold whites into batter” what are they talking about? I have this lighter than air emulsion that I’m to incorporate into roughly six pounds of flours, fruit, nuts & eggs? (Every time I spooned over a little apricot I could hear that lovely air sigh as it escaped the bonds of egg protein.)DSCN5372
I spooned the completed batter into my tube pan and a silicone bread pan. DSCN5373
Baked it low & slow -- 275° for 2 hours (loaf) and a half (for the tube pan). Agonizing to smell that all morning!bake
Cooled them
Sliced into the loaf because I couldn’t stand it anymore for research purposes and to take pictures.cade
The fruitcake from the tube pan is huddled in the refrigerator under a wrap of cheesecloth doused in that apricot brandy. The mistreatment will continue until Christmas.DSCN5387

*Update: I revisited the brandy-soaked fruitcake here. The taste and texture exceeded my expectations!


  1. I loooooove this post! I've just discovered Bob's Red Mill GF Rolled Oats. I was diagnosed almost 5 years ago with Celiac and have been afraid to try oats. But I'm fine with these. Thank you! Beautiful post and pictures.


  2. Definitely looks like a fruitcake I would be eating! And very impressed you whipped those egg whites by hand (love the Downton Abbey references!) Great post!!

  3. What a gorgeous fruitcake! Props on beating your egg whites by hand. Tried it once ( I don't have a copper bowl either) and I'm pretty sure I swore off of it for all eternity1

    1. It really took under 5 minutes & was quite a workout. Maybe I should incorporate it into my exercise plan...

  4. I've never actually had fruitcake, but yours looks really yummy! Great choice for the improv challenge.

  5. This is the first fruitcake I ever thought looked tasty enough to try. Great choice for the challenge!

  6. I could get in to this fruitcake--it looks awesome! I think your skillet cookie looks pretty darn good, too. :)

  7. Well, yumdiddlydeedum! I'm loving the skillet cookie as well, that looks absolutely scrumptious with all the fruit, and I may have to try my hand at it sometime soon.

  8. I hope you revisit the tube pan cake in December and show us how it turns out. This is a brilliant gf version!

  9. I love fruitcake and this looks too good to pass up.

  10. Ohhh, yeah. I remember now. Why don't you just make another one and I'll stop by for coffee. :-)


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