I always look forward to Xmas season as the entire city is lit up & decorated. When it comes to food there are plenty of options to try out for the Xmas home parties. One such thing we love to eat every Xmas season is the Fruit cake/ Plum cake. Kerala is one such place where you will find fruit cake throughout the year in all the bakeries. Well these cakes are very rare in other parts of the state/country. I have been making fruit cake for many years & I have personally not been very satisfied with the outcome. Although my family & guests have always praised that the cake is very good, somewhere I felt this can be better. So after a lot of research, trial & error I have found my perfect Xmas Fruit cake. I baked this cake 3 days ago & its pretty big cake which will last for many days. This time I decided to go liqueur free as I wanted to have a big slice every time:) & my lill one also can enjoy along with me. The cake has turned out perfect & the taste is too good. Personally I would prefer Liqueur free cake :) This is how I made the cake & this recipe is definitely a keep.
Serves: 20-30 people
Making time: 2 hours
Heat the oven to 300°F/150°C/Gas 2
The temperature is low as the cake needs a long slow bake. It is packed with sugars, fruits and brandy and if the temperature is any higher the outside of the cake will burn and the inside be under cooked.
- 250 gms Butter
- 250 gms All purpose flour
- 1.5 cup Brown Sugar (Powdered)
- 3 eggs
- 1 Tspn Baking powder
- 1/4 Tspn Salt
- 1/4 Tspn Cinnamon Powder
- 1/4 Tspn Nutmeg powder
- 1/4 Tspn Cumin powder
- 1/4 Tspn Ginger powder
- 6 Cloves crushed/powdered with motor pestle
- 1 cup black raisens
- 1 cup sultanas
- 1 cup tutti fruity (mixed color)
- 1 cup chopped cranberries
- 1/2 cup preserved orange peel chopped
- 1 cup chopped Walnuts
- 1 cup Apple Juice
- 1/4 cup flour for dusting the dry fruits
- 2 Tspn Vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup dark Caramel sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup extra water
- line a 9 inch cake tin with 2 thicknesses of parchment or greaseproof paper.
- Make caramel sauce by adding 1/2 cup brown sugar & 1/4 cup of water. Boil this on medium heat until you see dark brown caramel sauce. If required just stir in between with a spoon. This process should take around 5 - 8 mins or longer depending on the vessel. Once the Caramel is dark brown or a little blackish. turn off the heat & add 1/2 cup of water to that sauce pan & allow it to rest for 20 mins
- After the sauce is cooled down, you will get a caramel liquid & 1/2 a cup is all that you need to make this cake.
- In a large airtight container, add all the dry fruits except walnuts. Now add in the 1/2 cup of Apple juice, mic the fruits well in it. Close the lid tight & leave it at room temperature for about 2 to 3 days. If your apple juice is sour, add some sugar to it. If you are in a hurry then you can soak them overnight too.
- In another large bowl cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the beaten egg to the butter mixture a little bit at a time, beating well after each addition - do not try to rush this process as the mixture could curdle. If it does curdle simply add a tbsp of flour and mix again, this should bring the mixture back together. If it doesn't come back together, don't fret, the cake will still be delicious.
- Now add in the Vanilla essence, salt & caramel sauce into this batter & mix it well.
- Carefully fold in flour, baking powder all the spices & beat this mixture for a minute until everything is well incorporated. Make sure you don't over beat/mix
- Now just add 1/4 cup of flour to the dry fruits & lightly mix them with your hands. This process is done, so that the dry fruits don't sink.
- Immediately add the dry fruits into the cake batter in 3 intervals, folding them in the cake batter.
- Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared cake tin making sure there are no air pockets. Once filled smooth the surface with the back of s spoon and make a slight dip in the center (this will rise back up again during cooking and create a smooth surface for icing the cake).
- Finally, using a piece of paper towel clean up any smears of cake batter on the greaseproof wrapping, if left on they will burn, and though it won't affect the cake, it doesn't smell too good.
- Now bake this cake for about 90 minutes at 150 degree. During the cooking time avoid opening the oven door too often as this may cause the cake to collapse. After 75 mins just do a tooth pick test to check if the cake is done. Some times, depending on the oven you use the baking time might take longer.
- After 90 minutes check if the cake is cooked. The cake should be nicely risen and a deep brown all over. Insert a skewer or fine knife into the centre of the cake. If there is sticky dough on the skewer when you pull it out it needs cooking longer, if it is clean, the cake's done and remove from the oven.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for an hour, then remove from the tin and leave to cool completely.
- The cake should be stored wrapped in greaseproof or parchment paper/ silver foil in an airtight tin.
- If you like to add brandy/Rum You just have to add some into the dry fruits while soaking & again once the cake is cooled prick the surface of the cake with a fine metal skewer and slowly pour over 2 - 3 tbsp brandy. This feeding should be repeated every two weeks up until Christmas.
- I kept this cake at room temperature for 3 days & now the cake is in the fridge. I will again remove the cake from the fridge & get it to room temperature before having or Serving.
- The steps & procedure might seems long but its very easy to make.
- If you want more dry fruits add more, I just went with 1 cup each. For the dry nuts, I used only walnuts, you can also add, cashews, almonds or any nuts of your choice.
- The cake will break off when you cut it when its in room temperature. To get perfect slices, just freeze the cake & cut them.