Monday, December 24, 2012

X'mas special - Fruit cake

It's the most wonderful time of the year
There'll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow
There'll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories of 
Christmases long, long ago....
                               - Andy Williams

Ho ho ho...it's X'mas time :).


Who doesn't love X'mas season? Its the most happiest time in the entire year, having got time-off from work, vacations, getting together for feasts, lights and decorations all around you etc. This time we are having a white christmas and so the best activity to indulge in, is to arrange feasts. But any feast would be incomplete without a fruit cake, accompanied with wine.



I had been on a mission to figure out making a fruit cake. The first cake that I baked was not touched at all, because it was more of a biscuit - crispy and crunchy, which ideally is not the characteristics of a cake. I was so determined to make a perfect one that the cake baking process turned out to be frequent. The results of the experiments started getting better and so did the pile of cakes at our home :). Finally, my eyes fell on this recipe and did deliver a moist fruit cake that goes perfect with the season.





Ingredients

For the caramel - Click here for the recipe

For the cake
  1. 2 cups of orange juice or just enough to soak the dry fruits
  2. 3 cups of Mixed fruits (raisins, dates, almonds, cashews, apricots etc.) 
  3. 2 cups of All purpose flour
  4. 1 cup + 2 tbsp of powdered sugar
  5. 11/4 tsp of baking powder
  6. 1/4 tsp of baking soda
  7. 2 sticks/225 gms of butter @ room temperature
  8. 4 eggs @ room temperature
  9. 2 tsp of vanilla essence
  10. 2 cloves powdered
  11. 2 cardamom powdered
  12. 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
  13. 1/2 tsp of nutmeg powder

Method

Making of the cake

  • Soak the dry fruits (except cashews, almonds and any other nuts) in the orange juice, overnight. Just before you start with the baking process, drain off excess orange juice and toss the fruits in 2 tbsp of flour.
  • Sift the all purpose flour with baking powder and baking soda and keep it aside.
  • Beat the butter and powdered sugar well. Add the beaten eggs into it and give it a thorough mix.
  • Add the all purpose flour in batches and mix it well so that all the ingredients get incorporated well.
  • Add the essence, powdered spices and cooled caramel(just enough to attain the desired colour). Mix it.
  • Add the dry fruits and mix it so that they get distributed evenly.
  • Pour out the batter into greased baking pans.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C and bake the cakes to about 30-40 mins or untill a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Tips

  1. Tossing the dry fruits with all purpose flour would ensure that the fruits don't get sunk to the bottom of the cake but is evenly distributed.
  2. I don't usually soak the cashews, almonds or any other nuts in orange juice as it might leave it wet and dull. I want them crispy in the cake. But you could choose to soak it if you want.  
  3. You could soak the fruits in rum or brandy for about a month or so. This is the authentic way of making it. The fruit cakes that you get in bakery is made so. If you don't happen to have rum or brandy or want to make an alcohol free version, then orange juice is the best substitute.
  4. Half way through baking, if you find the crust of the cake turning harder, at the same time the cake is still undone in the center, then you could cover the baking pan with an aluminium foil for rest of the baking process. This would help the cake to cook without leaving a harder crust.

Recipe courtesy : Marias Menu




1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    These Sounds like Yummy..!!
    This Christmas Fruit Cake looks delicious and adorable.
    I love Fruit cake most. I read your recipe its really unique and easy to make.
    Thanks For Sharing....

    ReplyDelete

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