WISH YOU ALL A MERRY CHRISTMAS !
One of the cakes I love is the Christmas Fruit cake~loaded with dried fruits and nuts and rightly flavored with aromatic spices. I am not much of a baker, but I love baking this great tasting Fruit Cake that is probably one of the most popular cakes during Christmas in India and sold in most Bakeries during the Holiday Season.
My Christmas cake recipe is from Amma`s friend who made this cake for Christmas and our family enjoyed them every year as well~ a little crunchy on the outside and moist inside.
- 4 cups Dry Fruits like Raisins, Dates, Cherries, Fig, Apricots
- 4 cups All purpose flour (Maida)
- 2 cups nuts like cashews, walnuts and almonds
- 4 cups sugar
- 8 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon orange peel
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel
- 1 cup rum
- Baking powder - 3 tsp
- Butter - 1 lb or 4 sticks(approx 450gms)
- 1 cup sugar (to make caramelized syrup)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves powder
- 1 teaspoon dry ginger(Sukku) powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chop the fruits and add lemon and orange peels. Mix rum and combine everything well. Keep at room temperature covered for at least a night. This can be done well in advance from a year to 3 months, the more the time the dry fruits are soaked in rum the more tastier it is. Mix in about 4 tablespoon of flour on the day of making the cake (this prevents the fruits to sink to the bottom while baking).
- Chop the nuts into small pieces and set aside.
- Sift flour, baking powder,salt and spice powders.
- To make the caramel syrup, in a saucepan and add 4 tablespoons of water and 1cup sugar. Bring this to a boil on high heat.
- In few minutes, a nice dark brown color forms, immediately, remove the pan from the stove and very carefully and immediately add 1 cup of water to the caramel ( when water is added, it tends to splash so wear gloves or keep in a sink ). Keep this aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.
- In a mixing bowl, on slow speed beat butter first and then add 4 cups of sugar and beat until it is creamy.
- Add eggs and beat well.
- Pour in the caramel syrup and vanilla extract and mix everything together.
- Add the flour-baking powder mix and fold this in with a wooden or plastic spatula.
- When they are well mixed, add the fruits, nuts and mix again.
- Pour this into a loaf pans.
- Bake for 1 hour at 350 ° F. Insert a toothpick in the middle of the pan. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, bake for another 15 minutes and check again.Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool.
- Pierce the cake with toothpick, and pour Brandy (about 1/4 cup for each loaf).
- Remove the cake from the pan when completely cooled.
TIPS: With the above measurements I made two 8 inch pans and one loaf pan. For those who do not prefer using rum, soak the dry fruits with orange juice but not more than a day. I also saw Alton Brown cooking them in Apple juice. I am not sure how this will turn out and these are my sincere suggestions .
Our Christmas tree this year: