Fruitcake Mooncakes

Growing up, a staple of my family’s holiday season was a fruitcake from the Collins Street Bakery. At the time, my mother was the only one who really liked it– for some reason the combination of sticky candied fruit and masses of pecans just didn’t do it for the rest of us– but as an adult I’ve actually grown to enjoy it. We don’t buy them anymore (they’ve gotten so expensive, particularly with shipping), but this past Christmas, inspired by a fruit-and-nut-heavy mooncake recipe, I decided to make a reasonable approximation in individually-sized servings.

Since the original fruitcake is heavy on the pecans, my filling used a whole pound of them (toasted and chopped), plus another 8 oz. of candied cherries and 8 oz. of candied pineapple (diced), and another 8 oz. of “fruitcake mix” fruit, which had diced cherries, pineapple, and orange peel in it.

I added about half of a baked yellow-cake-mix cake, a few dollops of golden syrup (everything left in the can after making a batch of mooncake crust– about 100g), and a glug of rum to round out the flavors. The mixture below is before I added the syrup and rum…

All in all, it turned out to be exactly as much filling as I needed to match up with the amount of mooncake crust in my standard recipe. And yes, I did gloat about that…

I assembled with my standard crust recipe and baked according to my usual instructions. The finished mooncakes may not have been perfect approximations of the Collins Street cake– I think I’d have had to use more syrup for a truly sticky experience– but the caramel-y flavor of the mooncake crust definitely complimented the filling, and the overall flavor profile was there. Plus they were adorable, and single-serving, both of which are benefits for holiday baking!

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