Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Christmas Fruit Cake !


Hey Guys.. 
I'm back.. with a bang of course. All these days I'm really not sure what kept me away from the wonderful blogging world. Numerous reasons to quote.. naughty toddler at home, intermittent issues with my Camera, the weather and the bad lighting etc etc .. 
But now, none of those could stop me from blogging  a series of yummy recipes for this festive season. With hubby at home (read to babysit :) ) I get to cook some delicious meal and click some wonderful pics and mainly some time to compose and present before you all. So stay tuned for this Holiday series !


Coming to the recipe, I wanted to try this cake since a long time but couldn't find a proper recipe and I didn't want to use rum/brandy too for some X Y reasons.
After exploring a number of videos and blogs for this Christmas cake from Martha Stewart to Vahchef I finally made my own proportions learning a lot of tips and tricks.
Traditionally, dry fruits are soaked in RUm / Brandy for a month atleast and then used in the recipe. But then I was too lazy to do that and I used Freshly squeezed Orange Juice to soak and only 24 hrs. (the more you soak the more tasty it is). Don't ask me the aroma that wafts your kitchen.. It is heavenly and I want you all to experience it for sure. 
What are you waiting for.. Go ahead and soak your dry fruits first !
And yes, wish you all a merry christmas and happy holidays !


INGREDIENTS (used a 9 inch x 3 inch spring form pan)
  • 250 gms Plain flour (All purpose flour / Self raising flour/ Maida)
  • 250 gms Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 225 gms unsalted butter
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg Powder
  • 1 tsp spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Lemon and Orange Zest
  • 75 gms Nuts (walnuts/cashews/almonds/pecans/brazilnuts)
  • 300 - 350 gms Dry Fruits (Raisins, sultanas, currants, apricots, cranberries, candied orange, pineapple and papaya)
  • 250 ml fresh orange Juice (to soak the dry fruits)




STEPS
  • Squeeze some fresh orange Juice and soak your dry fruits. Cover it with a cling film and set aside for 24 hours. (or more if you have time).
  • Give a mix once in 3 - 4 hours.


  • On the day of baking, cut the grease paper for the bottom of the pan. 
  • Also cut a double layered sheet of paper of 4 - 5 inches height and length equal to the circumference of the pan. Fold the edge of the sheet and give some slits so that it sits properly on the pan.
  • First cover the pan (from inside) as shown in third pic with the big sheet of paper.(like a fence)
  • Then spray some oil / butter and then place the round grease paper and again brush / spray some butter.


  •  If you have too much juice left after the soaking period then drain them out. 
  • Take butter at room temperature and in a wide mixing bowl beat them (with whisk / electric beater) for half a minute.

  •  Then add the sugar and beat until creamy and then Add the eggs to the sugar butter mixture.


  •  Beat them all well. Dont worry if the mixture looks curdled. 
  • Add the soaked dry fruits and then followed by nuts (I used more walnuts, less cashews and chopped almonds)
  • Preheat your oven to 160 deg C


  •  Sieve flour, salt, baking powder and the spice powders.
  • Add little flour at a time and begin folding it in the wet mixture.


  •  When all of your flour is folded you batter would be looking like this.
  • Add orange and/or lemon zest and give a final folding.
  • Spoon your thick batter to the paper lined tray.


  •  Just level the batter on top and tap the tin once against the counter gently.
  • Place it in the preheated oven and bake for one hour initially at 160 deg C. (Note , the top portion of cake is not covered initially, and only the sides are covered.)
  • After an hour if you feel the cake is getting browned too much on top then place a round grese paper on top of cake too.
  • My cake took 1 hr and 35 mins to bake and for the skewer to come out clean.
  • I checked after an hour, covered with paper on top, and then after 15 mins (skewer inserted in middle was wet). . again after 20 minutes it came out clean.
  • Remove the cake from oven, and remove the spring form. 
  • It takes a lot of time to cool, so do not disturb it for an hour atleast.

The paper comes our easily. and then you can cut and enjoy your cake.



NOTES
  • I have used slightly less butter. But when your flour:butter:sugar are in equal quantities your cake undoubtedly turns out delectable. So for above mentioned recipe, you can use upto 250 gms butter.
  • Dark Muscovado Sugar gives this rich dark color to the cake without any addition of Cocoa/Chocolate. In case you don't have access to this, you can use normal brown sugar (Demarera) or even white sugar. 
  • Some people use caramel syrup to this recipe to get the brown color. you can do that if you are using white sugar.
  • I got a pack of mixed dry fruits which had almost everything I mentioned in the Ingredients list. Additionally I got a small snacking pack of dry fruits where it had some candied papaya and pineapple too. You can use the tuti fruti that comes in various colors too. 
  • My dry fruits are soaked in Fresh Orange Juice for 24 hrs. You can use the juice of your choice like Apple or Grapes. Or to get the traditional Christmas touch soak them in Rum / Brandy !
  • The batter for this cake is very thick and not runny and has to be baked slowly at low temperature. So do not compromise with time. Bake at 150 - 160 dec C only.
  • And do not forget the grease paper on the sides. this definitely prevents the cake from browning quickly.
  • Even after adding 4 eggs if you feel your batter is too heavy and thick you can add a couple of tablespoons of the same juice you used to soak the dry fruits. (Or rum /brandy)
  • Do not disturb he oven when baking is in process atleast for the first one hour.
  • After baking the cake, and once it is cooled, you can poke some holes with a skewer and pour some rum /brandy through the tiny holes (once in 3 - 4 hours) and let the cake absorb all of them . Make sure you dont pour too much and make the cake soggy.



Once again, wish you all a merry Christmas ! 
In case of any doubts when making this delicious cake, do reach me at  pavithiravijay@gmail.com
Enjoy the festive season with yummy food and have a great holidays!

Regards,

1 comment:

  1. can i use less fruit? my sis doesn't like much fruit in her cake

    ReplyDelete