My partner said he didn’t like rich fruit cake until he ate mine. Is mine particularly great? Fruit cakes taste like lots of other nice fruit cakes. So why love mine? It turns out his mum must have had the same ideas about fruit cake as my mum did:
Rule 1: Any and all burned currants or fruit MUST be left on the cake for consumption. They will be hidden by a layer of marzipan and coated, like nuclear waste, in a concrete casing of rock hard icing and, therefore, will not be visible. That means you won’t have the option of removing them before you eat. By the time you realise you’re gagging on nasty, you have a mouth that looks like the inside of an incinerator and would just make a completely disgusting spectacle of yourself if you tried to remove it.
Rule 2: Follow the recommended cooking time, then some, just in case any moisture or ‘yield’ is left in the cake. Always thinking ahead and planning for a shortage of breeze blocks, here. These cakes have so many uses.
Rule 3: Never, ever, EVER add glycerine to royal icing. When icing has the consistency of the armoured plating of a rapid deployment tank it will last much longer and still be around the following Christmas. Should war be declared between times, build yourself a air raid shelter with it.
So, for many years, my partner thought all rich fruit cake was like that! Mystery explained.