Monday, December 23, 2013

Fruit Cake, Hawaiian Style!


You've heard all the Christmas fruitcake jokes - use it as a speed bump - save it for next year and re-gift it - use it as a doorstop. My mother actually liked her grandma's fruitcake, but I haven't seen Mom eat any recently. (Admittedly, I'm not at her house every day. She may be a closet fruitcake eater.)

Why is fruitcake so heavy and dense? Because it's so old! It dates (ha, ha, dates!) back to Roman times when they fell in love with dried fruit. (They could have just stored it in jars, but nooo, they had to bake it into cakes.)

Fruitcake also has a record - it was outlawed in Europe in the 18th century for being "sinfully rich." Even though it tried to disguise itself by changing its name to "Plum Cake," it didn't get away with it. It took a hundred years before it was back in favor. Queen Victoria was a fan, but she reportedly made herself wait a year to eat her fruitcake because she felt it showed proper restraint. (And may I say, the fruitcake had not changed a bit in all that time.)

Personally, I've never cared for fruitcake until my friend, Roy Leabig, who has lived in Hawaii for years, made the delightful cake pictured above. (He didn't call it "fruitcake," but I do!) It's a white cake with tropical fruit, nuts, and coconut on top, sprinkled with powdered sugar. Take my word for it, it tastes even better than it looks, and that is one pretty cake!

So give a try, then tell me, what do you think of Roy's Hawaiian Fruitcake?

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