Gâteaux aux fruits – Fruitcakes
“Little jewels” is how Marilyne R-Trudel describes the fruitcakes that are laboriously prepared and pampered at Toque et Tablier, the Quebec-based “fruitcakerie” she co-owns with her father, Pierre Trudel. “Family jewels” might be a more apt description. For 40 years, Pierre refined the recipe for Le Distingué (the Distinguished) fruitcake, baking 40 cakes each year and giving them as Christmas gifts.
In 2009, Pierre had just retired from his role as a food inspector for the Quebec government and Marilyne had just completed her Master’s in Business Administration. On a whim, they decided to cook 500 fruitcakes and try to sell them, vowing that if the cakes sold, they would turn their family tradition into a business. The cakes sold in two weeks! Today, Pierre and two kitchen employees prepare 30,000 by hand each year. The father-daughter collaboration channels Pierre and Marilyne’s culinary creativity into producing a range of high quality gastronomic novelties to satisfy any gourmet or gourmand.
Each cake begins with hand-sorted fruits and nuts, macerated in alcohol for several days before baking. Once the maceration process is complete, liquid ingredients are added and the cakes are moulded and weighed individually. The cakes are baked slow and low. Once cooked, they are removed from their moulds by hand and must rest for 12 hours to temper. Finally, the cakes are basted with alcohol (rum, whiskey or black beer) and stored in a cold room to macerate for at least 30 days before being ready for sale. Twice-macerated (before and after cooking) and ripened like fine cheese, these carefully constructed cakes truly are coveted jewels. Start your own Christmas gift giving tradition; find Toque et Tablier fruitcakes at any Pusateri’s location.