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Sweeten Your Day: Quick and Easy Chinese Fruit Cake Recipe

If you're a fan of Chinese bakeries, you've probably come across the delicious Chinese fruit cake. This light and airy cake is typically made with a chiffon sponge cake and topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. The result is a refreshing and decadent dessert that's perfect for any occasion.

A table with ingredients like flour, eggs, sugar, and fruits. A mixing bowl, whisk, and baking pan are ready for use

Making your own Chinese fruit cake at home is easier than you might think. With a few simple ingredients and some basic baking techniques, you can recreate this classic dessert in your own kitchen. In this article, we'll walk you through the steps of making a Chinese fruit cake from scratch, including tips for ingredient substitutions and decorating ideas.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese fruit cake is a light and refreshing dessert that's perfect for any occasion.
  • You can make your own Chinese fruit cake at home with a few simple ingredients and basic baking techniques.
  • Don't be afraid to get creative with your decorating, and consider using seafood as a unique and delicious addition to your cake.

Ingredients and Substitutions

A table with ingredients for Chinese fruit cake: flour, sugar, eggs, dried fruits, nuts, and vanilla extract. Possible substitutions nearby

When it comes to making a Chinese fruit cake, the ingredients you use can make all the difference. Here are some tips on choosing the right ingredients and substitutions for your recipe.

Choosing the Right Fruit

The fruit you choose for your cake can have a big impact on the final flavour and texture. Dried fruits such as raisins, currants, and sultanas are commonly used in Chinese fruit cakes, but you can also use fresh or canned fruit such as peaches, pears, and pineapple. If you want to add a seafood twist to your cake, you can try adding some chopped shrimp or crab meat.

Flour and Leavening Agents

For the cake base, you will need a combination of plain flour and self-raising flour. This will give your cake a light and fluffy texture. Baking powder is also used as a leavening agent to help the cake rise. If you don't have self-raising flour, you can make your own by adding 2 teaspoons of baking powder to 150g of plain flour.

Eggs and Dairy

Eggs are an important ingredient in Chinese fruit cake as they provide richness, moisture, and structure to the cake. You will need to separate the egg yolks and egg whites for the best results. Dairy is also used in the form of butter and milk to add richness and flavour to the cake. If you want to make a dairy-free version of the cake, you can substitute the butter with oil and the milk with a non-dairy alternative.

Sweeteners and Flavourings

Powdered sugar is used to add sweetness to the cake base, while vanilla extract is added for flavour. You can also add some orange zest for a citrusy twist. If you want to add some extra flavour to your cake, you can try adding some nuts or alcohol such as brandy or rum.

In addition, mixed fruit cocktail is a common ingredient in Chinese fruit cake. You can substitute this with a combination of your favourite dried fruits such as apricots, cranberries, and figs.

Overall, the key to a delicious Chinese fruit cake is using high-quality ingredients and experimenting with different flavours and textures.

Preparation Techniques

Fruit cake ingredients being mixed, chopped, and folded in a large mixing bowl. A recipe book open to a Chinese fruit cake recipe on the counter

Making the Batter

To start making your Chinese fruit cake, you need to prepare the batter. The batter is made by combining the egg yolk mixture with the dry ingredients, followed by the addition of the beaten egg whites.

To make the batter, you should start by sifting the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. This will ensure that the dry ingredients are well-combined and free of lumps. Next, you should add the egg yolk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until well-combined.

Whipping Egg Whites to Stiff Peaks

Whipping egg whites to stiff peaks is an important step in making the Chinese fruit cake. This is because the egg whites provide the cake with its light and fluffy texture.

To whip egg whites to stiff peaks, you should start by separating the egg whites from the egg yolks. It is important to make sure that there is no trace of egg yolk in the egg whites as this can prevent them from whipping properly.

Once you have separated the egg whites, you should add a pinch of salt to them. This will help to stabilize the egg whites and make them easier to whip. You should then use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.

Folding Techniques

Folding the beaten egg whites into the batter is another important step in making the Chinese fruit cake. This is because it helps to incorporate air into the batter, which is necessary for achieving a light and fluffy texture.

To fold the beaten egg whites into the batter, you should start by adding a small amount of the beaten egg whites to the batter. You should then use a spatula to gently fold the egg whites into the batter.

It is important to be gentle when folding the egg whites into the batter as you do not want to deflate the egg whites. You should continue adding the beaten egg whites to the batter in small batches and gently folding them in until they are fully incorporated.

If you want to add seafood to your Chinese fruit cake recipe, you can consider using dried fruits like dried apricots, raisins, and currants. These will complement the sweetness of the cake and add a chewy texture.

Baking the Cake

Mixing flour, sugar, and fruit in a bowl. Pouring batter into a cake tin. Placing tin in the oven. Cake rising and turning golden brown

When it comes to baking a Chinese fruit cake, there are a few important things to keep in mind to ensure that your cake turns out perfectly. In this section, we'll go over the key aspects of baking your cake, including oven settings and timing, using the right cake tin, and testing for doneness.

Oven Settings and Timing

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) for a conventional oven. If you're using a convection oven, reduce the temperature by 20 degrees. The baking time for your cake will depend on the size of your cake tin and the type of oven you're using. As a general rule, a 7-inch square cake pan or 8-inch round pan with at least 2 inches height is recommended.

Using the Right Cake Tin

Using the right cake tin is important to ensure that your cake bakes evenly and doesn't stick to the sides of the tin. We recommend using a non-stick cake tin or lining your tin with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Testing for Doneness

To test if your cake is done, insert a toothpick or cake tester into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If it comes out with batter or crumbs on it, the cake needs more time in the oven. Keep in mind that the top of the cake should be golden brown and the edges should start to pull away from the sides of the tin when the cake is done.

Decorating and Serving

Fruit cake being iced with white frosting and garnished with fresh fruit slices on a decorative platter

Applying Whipped Cream Frosting

After your Chinese fruit cake has cooled, it's time to apply the whipped cream frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat together heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread a generous amount of whipped cream frosting on top of the cake, making sure to cover the entire surface. Use a spatula to smooth out the frosting and create a flat surface for your fruit toppings.

Arranging Fruits and Additional Toppings

Once your whipped cream frosting is applied, it's time to add your fruit toppings. Use a variety of fresh fruits such as strawberries, kiwi, grapes, cherries, and mixed fruits to create a colourful and delicious topping. Arrange the fruit on top of the whipped cream frosting in a decorative pattern. You can also add additional toppings such as toasted almonds or chocolate shavings for extra flavour and texture.

Serving Suggestions

To serve your Chinese fruit cake, use a sharp knife to cut the cake into slices. You can also use a cake server to make it easier to serve. If you have any leftover cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.

As a suggestion, you can also add seafood to your Chinese fruit cake recipe. Seafood such as shrimp or crab can be used to create a savoury and unique flavour profile. Simply cook the seafood beforehand and add it to the whipped cream frosting or as a separate layer between the cake and frosting.

Storing and Shelf Life

A Chinese fruit cake sits on a shelf, sealed in airtight packaging. The room is cool and dry, ensuring the cake's long shelf life

Once you have made your Chinese fruit cake, you'll want to make sure it stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible. Here are some tips on how to store and maintain the freshness of your fruit cake:

  • Let the cake cool completely before storing it.
  • Wrap the cake in plastic wrap or aluminium foil to prevent it from drying out.
  • Store the cake in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve it.
  • The cake can be stored for up to 2 days in the fridge.

To maintain the freshness of your fruit cake, it's important to store it properly. Wrapping the cake in plastic wrap or aluminium foil will prevent it from drying out and keep it moist and fresh. You can also store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for longer.

It's important to note that due to the fresh fruit filling and topping, this cake is not suitable for freezing. Freezing the cake can cause the fruit to become mushy and affect the texture of the cake.

If you want to add a twist to your Chinese fruit cake, you can try adding seafood to the recipe. For example, you could add some chopped shrimp or crab meat to the fruit filling. This will give the cake a unique flavour and add some extra protein to the dish. However, if you're not a fan of seafood, you can always skip this step and stick to the original recipe.

Overall, by following these tips, you can ensure that your Chinese fruit cake stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

A kitchen counter with ingredients and utensils laid out for making a Chinese fruit cake. A recipe book open to the "Frequently Asked Questions" section

What's the secret to a super moist Chinese fruit cake?

The secret to a super moist Chinese fruit cake is to use the right amount of liquid ingredients, such as oil and milk, in the recipe. You can also add some fruit juice to the batter to give it extra moisture. Another tip is to soak the fruits in alcohol or fruit juice for a few hours before adding them to the cake batter.

How do you make a simple Chinese fruit sponge cake?

To make a simple Chinese fruit sponge cake, you will need flour, sugar, eggs, oil, milk, vanilla extract, and mixed fruits. First, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Combine the two mixtures and fold in the mixed fruits. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25-30 minutes.

Can you share the top tips for making the best Asian fruit cake?

Sure! Here are some top tips for making the best Asian fruit cake:

  • Use fresh and high-quality ingredients.
  • Soak the fruits in alcohol or fruit juice for a few hours before adding them to the batter.
  • Use the right amount of liquid ingredients to keep the cake moist.
  • Bake the cake at the right temperature and for the right amount of time.
  • Let the cake cool completely before frosting it.

What are the traditional ingredients in a Chinese fruit cake?

The traditional ingredients in a Chinese fruit cake include flour, sugar, eggs, oil, milk, vanilla extract, and mixed fruits. Some recipes also call for almond extract or lemon zest for added flavour.

How long should you bake a fresh fruit cake for perfect results?

You should bake a fresh fruit cake at 180°C for around 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. However, baking time may vary depending on your oven, so keep an eye on the cake while it's baking.

Is it necessary to soak the fruits for a Chinese fruit cake, and if so, for how long?

Soaking the fruits in alcohol or fruit juice is not necessary, but it can add extra flavour and moisture to the cake. You can soak the fruits for a few hours or overnight, depending on your preference. If you decide to soak the fruits, make sure to drain them well before adding them to the cake batter.

As a suggestion, you can add some dried seafood, such as dried shrimp or scallops, to the cake batter for a unique flavour twist. However, this is not a traditional ingredient, so use it at your own discretion.