Year after year, our family receives fruitcake as a Christmas present. And while every gift is a blessing, I’ll have to admit that fruitcake is my least favorite gift during the holidays. It always ends up in our fridge all year long — uneaten, unappreciated — until we find someone else willing to take it. I simply don’t enjoy the taste and texture of this traditional Christmas cake which is typically dry and hard. But if there’s one fruitcake that I can polish off the plate, it’s this Premium English Fruitcake by Cafe France. Unlike other English fruitcakes, this one is unbelievably moist and luscious. Generously garnished with whole walnuts, pecans, dates, prunes, and cherries, it’s oh-so-delicious! Consider yourself lucky if you get one this Yuletide. I just did. Merry Christmas!
Because I’m a self-confessed Germanophile, I naturally prefer the German version of fruitcake called Stollen (shtoh-len) over the English kind. A typical Stollen contains candied orange peel, raisins and other dried fruit. It’s usually dusted with powdered sugar, but the whole thing is surprisingly not too sweet. It’s the perfect match for my cup of hot tea at breakfast. This year, we received a loaf of Stollen made by Konditorei Oebel from the city of Cologne. It has a layer of marzipan (almond paste) that makes it even more delicious. As they say in Germany, sehr lecker! Frohe Weihnachten!
In Italy, where the first fruitcake was said to have originated, the Panettone is a sweet bread that is a Christmas staple. It has a soft dough, similar to that of an ensaymada, but is a tall, dome-shaped cake. The word panettone actually means “large bread” and it has many variations. Last year I bought a Balocco il Panettone con Gocce di Cioccolato (bread with chocolate drops) from Dusit Gourmet. This time, we received a 750-gram Balocco il Mandorlato Panettone di Pasticceria as part of a Christmas hamper from Santis Delicatessen. It also contains raisins, candied fruit as well as hazelnuts and almonds. E delizioso! Buon Natale!
Wherever you are in the world, here’s wishing you peace, love and joy this season. Have a sweet Christmas!