I know I already posted today, but I wanted to quickly tell you about some cutting-edge developments in the composition and aging of the 2012 fruitcake.
Hazelnuts lose their spot to almonds. For three years now my fruitcake has been poundcake flavoured with orange zest, garnished with glacé Evans cherries, candied Navel orange peel, and roasted hazelnuts. The cherries are the star. They bring loads of flavour, acidity to balance the buttery luxury of the cake, plus they’re from Lisa’s dad’s backyard.
Working with Evans cherries over the past couple years, we’ve noticed that their aroma has a distinct note of almond extract. For some reason this aroma is especially evident in the single-varietal rumpots we’ve made. This year we decided to substitute the hazelnuts with almonds, to see if they could reinforce or even elevate the great, natural flavour of the Evans cherry.
Appleton rum falls to Sailor Jerry. I don’t know what I’m supposed to think about Sailor Jerry. I know lots of kids who drink it because it’s marginally stronger than most brands of rum, and I guess because it’s associated with a tattoo artist, and probably also because it has a charming, trashy pin-up girl on the back of the label. Its popularity in hipsterdom notwithstanding, in the last year it’s become my favourite spiced rum, mostly because of the boatload of vanilla essence on the nose. It’s great in Coke for that reason.
Anyways, I’ve decided to age this year’s fruitcake with Sailor Jerry spiced navy rum, instead of the usual Appleton VX. Maybe spiced rum will overpower or muddle the aroma of the orange peel and cherries. I don’t know. Sometimes you have to take risks.