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Homemade Dark Fruitcake, Aged Three Years: An Observation or Two

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Homemade Dark Fruitcake, Aged Three Years: An Observation or Two

Joe H. | Jan 4, 2003 05:40 PM

Over the years I have baked a lot of fruitcake. I have also aged a lot of it after using all sorts of combinations of liquor for varying periods of time.
Last night, celebrating a birthday, my wife and I opened a dark fruitcake we had aged three years. It was "seasoned" with Gentleman Jack bourbon, certainly much more than we needed-about a fifth-but that is what we were going for.
It is the best fruitcake I have ever tasted. But for anyone on this board who is into aging cakes the taste and texture were no different from a one year old cake and that taste is not significantly different from a six month old cake. Over time we have also tried varying amounts of liquor ranging from a total of a pint to what we now use, an "extreme amount" of a fifth. The cakes are initially wrapped in cheesecloth soaked in about a pint of the liquor, wrapped in foil, placed in a metal cake box, wrapped in foil again and then refrigerated. After two weeks we turn the cake box upsidedown for a couple of days and then turn it right side up again. After one month we unwrap everything and drizzle more Gentleman Jack. We repeat this a third time after two months and a fourth time after four months. Beyond these no more liquor is added except that the cake box is turned upside down for a short period from time to time.
Various combinations of liquor have included Wild Turkey, Meyer's Dark Rum, Bacardi (different labels), different kinds of brandy, even Grand Marnier. We have probably tried about 25 to 30 different kinds of liquor and/or combinations over time. All of the aging is in a refrigerator, wrapped as I described above.
I have also found that a commercially made cake from the Monks of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky is probably 90% as good as what I can bake from scratch when the cake is aged for six months or more.
Has anyone else had experiences with long aged dark fruitcake?

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