It seems as though most people, especially avid bakers, have their "go to" traditional recipe for Christmas fruitcake. Not this family. We don't want to spend hours in the kitchen soaking fruits, baking, sloshing alcohol over a cake at regular intervals or anything like that. This family gets their Christmas fruitcake baked by monks. When I say "we", I mean my mum and this is all about her
Now you may think that the monks are baking a cake especially for my mum but this isn't the case - they bake around 25,000 a year! My mum loves their cakes so much that I'd like to think they can sense that when her yearly order comes through and when it's time to top the cake being sent to her with fruit and nuts that they add a little extra love to it.
So what's the big deal about these monk-made fruitcakes? Well, besides them baking (and selling out of) around 25,000 cakes a year without a single penny going to marketing or advertising, the baking, packaging and posting of the cakes is all done right there at the abbey in Ava, Missouri. The profit from the cakes supports the costs of living for the monks as well as running costs of the abbey. What's also kind of a big deal is how delicious the cakes actually are. I've read so many glowing reviews for them online and having tried the cakes myself can totally vouch for how good they are (particularly with Bird's custard...).
The cake itself is a rich, dense ring cake packed with nuts, dried fruit and spices. Once baked, the monks inject it with rum and then the cakes are left to age for 3 months. Before being shipped off to various corners of the world in their Assumption Abbey tins, the monks say a simple prayer over the cakes (is this the secret to how good they are?!).
So instead of slaving away in a hot kitchen or settling for a store bought cake, get your order in for a monk cake before they run out!
Do you have any family fruitcake traditions?