Tag Archives: dessert recipes

For The Love of Fruitcake!

For the Love of Fruitcake!

Let’s talk fruitcake, seriously?  If you are an American, you are probably rolling your eyes. If you are from nearly anywhere else in the world, your mouth may be watering from memories of this delicious holiday treat or dense and sweet wedding cake. Fruitcake is a very popular dessert throughout  across the globe, but here in the good old U S of A, the humble fruitcake gets a bit of a “bad Santa” rap.

Johnny Carson joked that there was only one single fruitcake in the whole entire world, and people just kept passing it around as a gift. In Manitou Springs, Colorado there is a yearly fruitcake toss for crying out loud. We’ve even been known to call dear aunt Betsy a “fruit cake” now and then. Well, I think it’s high time to restore the historic fruitcake’s reputation with my family recipe! This one I promise won’t be re-gifted or left for “ring-toss” because it’s just too good!

Enjoy and Happy Holidays! May your time with family and friends be blessed!



Raw Apple Fruit Cake


2 cups white sugar
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 ½ cup veg oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups coconut
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped pecans
3 cup chopped apples
(granny smith or another cooking apple)
2 cup chopped orange slice candy

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.   Grease a Bundt cake pan or fruit cake pan and set aside.

In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, cream together sugar and oil.  Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Combine flour, cinnamon, salt and soda in separate bowl.  Hand stir gradually to egg mixture.  It will be thick like cookie dough.  Stir in apples first, thin coconut, dates and nuts.  Add chopped candy last and fold in thoroughly.  Batter is extremely thick.  Pour into a greased and floured pan.

Bake for 1 ½ hours or until brown and knife inserted comes clean.

*Note: This can also be baked in small loaf pans for gifts.

Use a floured sharp knife when cutting sticky orange slice candy.  Candy should be cut up to bite size pieces.  You can also decorate the top of the cake with candy cherries and make candy leafs.


Inevitable Indulgence

In the fall months when the leaves are falling, and you feel that nip in the air, my sweet tooth automatically kicks in (not to mention my house is full of Halloween candy) and I  just want to bake something decadent, look out at my backyard and indulge! (and most likely paired with a glass of bourbon on my side table)

I am already getting calls for catering holiday parties and it hit me that we have less than seventy five days until Christmas! (It truly is mind boggling…where does the time go?) Do you know the best and worst part about the end of the year? The holidays, the food, and the waistline! (You know exactly what I am talking about.) All the get-togethers, casseroles, candies and calories leading to the same old New Year’s resolutions to drop the 15 pounds you picked up over the holiday season and start all over again in 2017.Bah Humbug!
I say forget about it…life is too short and an indulgence now and then is what life is all about, right? So before we get to the holiday season and start having to make those life altering decisions to put down the fudge and divinity, or say no to eggnog and apple cider, I say I N D U L G E and feel zero shame with this heavenly Cinnamon & Cayenne Honey Crème Brûlée. It hits all the marks and is elegant yet simple to make.

One of my favorite foodie quotes recently is “Seize the moment, remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.” Erma Bombeck. I say, “Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed but today we have Crème Brûlée.”


Cinnamon & Cayenne Crème Brûlée:  makes eight (8) 4- to 6-ounce servings
½ cup fresh peeled ginger, coarsely chopped
½ tablespoon of
vanilla extract
4 cups of heavy
whipping cream
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons
wildflower honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of
cayenne pepper
12 egg yolks
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Place the ramekins for the Crème Brûlée in a deep baking pan, making sure the ramekins do not touch each other.
Using a garlic press, press the chopped ginger into a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Collect the ginger juice and the fibrous pieces into the saucepan, along with the pressed ginger. Add the heavy cream. Add the vanilla. Place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand to infuse for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Place the egg yolks into a medium bowl, add the honey and whisk to combine. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously for about 3 or 4 minutes until the sugar is melted and incorporated. The mixture should be thick and pale yellow, with ribbons of the mixture falling from the whisk when lifted. Add the cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
Gradually whisk in the cream mixture, tempering the egg, honey and sugar mixture if the cream and ginger are still hot. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a clean bowl, pressing on the ginger to release all the liquid. Discard the ginger solids. Rap the bowl with the cream and egg mixture on the counter to release any air that was incorporated into the mixture during whisking.
Using a ladle, pour the mixture into the ramekins filling each about ¼” from the top. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.
Pour hot water into the baking pan so that it reaches about half-way up the side of the ramekins. Bake until the custards are firm, but the centers are still a bit loose, about 50 to 55 minutes.
Remove from the baking pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Torching Tips
Sprinkle a light layer of brown sugar over the surface of each Crème Brûlée. Using a culinary torch, caramelize the sugar. As an alternative, place the ramekins on a baking sheet and place under a broiler. Watch carefully to avoid burning the sugar. Also note the oven should not be hot, only the broiler should be hot: otherwise you may end up with a liquid custard. The tops should caramelize in 1½ to 2 minutes. Serve immediately, or return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Making CrèmeBrûlée ahead of time is great when you plan enough in advance. If you find yourself trying to prepare these the afternoon of your party, try this quick cool down trick: once you remove the Crème Brûlées from the oven, place them on a wire rack in a cool area of the house for about one-half hour. Loosely cover the ramekins with cling film and place in a roasting pan filled with ice. Place in the freezer for about 45 minutes. Remove from the freezer, pull the cling film tight and hold in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Your custard will be set and cool enough to take the heat of the broiler without melting the custard.

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