We want to defrost a fruit cake that I have in the freezer, to use for Christmas this year. How long before Christmas do we take it out of the freezer and do we need to "feed" it with brandy (in case the cake is a little dry) before we ice and then eat it? Thank you!
Rich fruit cakes, such as Nigella's Traditional Fruit Cake (from NIGELLA CHRISTMAS) can be frozen for up to 1 year. It is best to thaw the cake overnight and if you intend to decorate the cake then it needs to be completely thawed and at room temperature before you add marzipan or icing, as otherwise you may get beads of condensation forming on these. It is probably best to eat the cake within a month of defrosting, so we would take it out of the freezer about a week before Christmas.
Once the cake has thawed then unwrap it and either decorate it immediately or re-wrap in a double layer of greaseproof paper (parchment paper) and a layer of foil and store in an airtight container until needed. Nigella's Traditional Christmas Cake does not particularly need feeding, but you can add a little extra alcohol once the cake has thawed and let it soak in for at least 24 hours. Other cakes may need feeding if they were a little dry after baking. For a moist last-minute Christmas cake we would also suggest trying Nigella's Easy-Action Christmas Cake or the very popular Chocolate fruit Cake.