Can you think about any Christmas without cakes and cookies? No it is not possible. When you talk of fruit cake here US, usually a laugh is on everybody’s face thinking of fruit cake throwing. Even a Great Fruitcake Toss event is held annually in Manitou Springs, Colorado every first Saturday of January. . May fruit cake for that event are rock hard and not edible.
But in Kerala, South India, there is tradition of making rich and moist fruit cake for Christmas. After having a bite you always go for another one that is moist, aromatic and tasty. Mom did not bake anything at home. So I usually got a chance to taste the fruit cakes from neighbors, as Christmas holidays are usually fun and having long time to play without getting scolding for not studying. Yes it not easy to make that tasty fruit cake. It requires soaking dry fruits in alcohol, making caramel syrup etc. After searching and reading lot of recipes in the web. I settled with one and made my own changes.
Since going shopping with a 7 month old, becomes tedious one as the baby is always crying when somebody touches or comes close to her, most of my shopping, except some clothing is done by my hubby. So when I asked him to buy tuti fruity, (rinds of orange, and lemon with green, red, orange coloring) it was difficult task for him. Finally he bought a packet of dry fruits (strawberry, papaya, kiwi, apricot, and pineapple). I soaked them in brandy for 5 days. Finally I made plum cake this way.
What you need
Assorted dry fruits (strawberry, papaya, kiwi and pineapple) (finely chopped): 1 cup
Raisins : 1/3 cup
Cranberries: 1/3 cup
Dates : 1/3 cup (chopped finely)
Dry apricot: 1/5 cup (4 no chopped finely)
Brandy /Rum : 1 ½ cup ( I used Brandy, Christian brothers )
Nuts smeared with almond essence
Almond (Chopped finely): ¼ cup
Cashew (Chopped finely): ¼ cup
Almond essence: 1/8 tsp
All purpose flour : 1 ½ cup
Butter : 10 Tablespoon (1 ¼ sticks)
Granulated sugar: 1 ¼ cup
Salt : ¼ teaspoon
Egg yolk: 3 at room temperature
Egg whites: 3 at room temperature
Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
Orange juice: 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract: 1teaspoon
Granulated sugar: ¼ cup
Water: 1 tablespoon +1/2 cup
Lemon juice: ¼ teaspoon
Caraway Seeds: 1 teaspoon (powdered)
Powdered nutmeg: ¼ teaspoon
Powdered Cinnamon: ½ teaspoon
Powdered cloves: ¼ teaspoon
Powdered cardamom: ½ teaspoon
Powdered ginger: ¼ teaspoon
How I made:
Chop all the dry fruits including nuts into small pieces and soak them in brandy for at least one day advance. I soaked for them form 5 days. Smear the nuts with almond essence and keep it aside.
To make caramel syrup take ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water in heavy bottom pan and heat it until sugar melts and change cherry brown color. Add few drops of lemon juice to prevent crystallization of sugar. It took about 7 minutes for me. Transfer the pan with sugar to kitchen sink and immediately add ½ cup of cold water (Be careful with this step, otherwise serious burn can results) for easy cleaning. Keep aside and add only cold caramel syrup to batter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom of a 9 inch cake pan and 5-inch loaf dish. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pan.
Sift together flour, salt, baking powder and spice powder in a bowl and keep aside.
Separate egg whites and yolk. In a bowl beat egg whites using a hand mixer until you get white peaks and keep aside.
In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed, until everything mix well and incorporated. Add egg yolk one at a time to sugar butter mixture and mix well. Then add vanilla extract and caramel syrup (1/2 cup) mix everything and combined well. Add slowly flour-salt-baking-spice powder mix in small quantities and incorporate everything. Scrape down the sides of bowl once at twice. Stop the mixer and fold egg whites gently until no white streaks visible.
Finally drain the soaked fruits and add nuts and 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour and mix well. And fold in fruits and nuts into the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and smoothen the tops with a spatula. Bake for 1 hour or until skewer comes out clean.
Cool the cake in pan for 15 minutes and later invert them and cool completely for 45 minutes. Keep cake one or two days before serving.
Preparation time: Soaking 5 days + 2 hour
Yield: 15 serving
Will you make it again: yes I will
I am linking this delicious cake to 12 Days of bloggie-mas on the first day hosted by A moderate life.