Reblogging last year’s post:
It’s exactly 10 day to Christmas! Woohoo!! My preps are in full swing, although I still have a fair bit left to be done! Remember my post on rum soaked dry fruits? It was about time for those drunken, boozy dry fruits to be used in the making of the the Christmas fruit cake-A cake that is a rich with rum soaked dry fruits, absolutely moist and reminiscent of spices. Wow! My kitchen was brimming with the aroma of all the warm spices:)
As I’ve mentioned before, this is the first time I baked a fruit cake, ever! My mum would not make this at home, but instead we bought them from local bakeries, which frankly were just okay, not too bad, not too good either. And then one fine Christmas eve, I had the opportunity to taste the fruit cake made at my in laws home, which I fell in love with! It was unlike the ones I had eaten all these years. My in laws have this tradition of cutting the cake after attending midnight mass, followed by a cup of coffee to wash it all down 🙂
The cakes that I see here in the American stores are filled with all kinds of candied fruits, nuts, cherries etc , In fact I hardly see any cake crumb. I guess that’s why it isn’t liked here as much? Cause whenever I see these shows on Food network, where they asked to bake a fruit cake or transform that fruit cake into something new, I see a look of dismay on most of the contestant’s face (I sure am going to buy a small one, just to know what the fuss is all about :p). Well, this fruit cake isn’t like that! It’s got the right balance of all the ingredients, the quantity of fruits and nuts are proportional to the cake, you get a good bite of both along with the exquisite hint of the spices, that just screams Holidays 🙂
If you have never tried baking a fruit cake before, I would urge you to give it a go. Believe you me! You are going to love it:) Do not be intimidated by the long procedure, yes it’s different from baking a regular cake, but sure is a wonderful experience that will leave you immensely satisfied.
500 grams all purpose flour (maida)
500 grams Salted butter (I used ‘Amul’ butter, easily available in Indian stores)
450 grams Sugar + 3 tablespoon sugar
9 medium eggs/6 large eggs ( It should weigh approx 500 grams)
500 grams Rum soaked dry fruits
1/2 cup dates.
2 inch cinammon sticks
14-15 green cardamoms
1 &1/2 – 2 teaspoons salt ( if using unsalted butter)
For the caramel:
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon + 1/8 cup of water
1.Preheat the oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit/ 150 degree celsius. Line a baking tin with parchment paper/ or grease it generously with butter, dust it with all purpose flour. ( You can refer this post for tips on how to get a flat-topped cake )
2.In a pan on low heat, dry roast the cloves, cinnamon, and green cardamom, until fragrant. Let it cool. Transfer it to a grinder jar, add 3 tablespoons sugar, grind to a fine powder. Sift and set aside until further use.
3.Prepare the dry ingredients: Sift the flour and salt if using. Set aside.
4.Drain the dry fruits ,( you can collect the left over rum). Coat the dry fruits with 1/2 cup of the sifted all purpose flour( maida) just before folding it in the batter.
5. Prepare the caramel: In a saucepan, add sugar and water, heat on low heat until the sugar starts melting and turns dark brown. Immediately add 1/8 cup of water( exercise extreme precaution, as caramel is very hot, and it splutters on addition of water), continue heating on low heat till it thickens and leaves the sides of the pan. Set aside from the heat until further use.
6.In your electric grinder, add in 1/2 cup pitted, chopped dates, grind with 1/4 cup of the rum , drained in step 4. Set aside.
7.In a mixing bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment ( you can also use a hand beater),beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
8.Add eggs one at a time, beat on high speed until well incorporated.
9. Add the flour , little at a time, continue beating on very slow speed , just until everything is well incorporated. ( Do not over beat the batter)
10.Add the dates paste, continue beating on the lowest speed.
11. Add the sifted powdered sugar + spice mixture, mix on low speed.
12. Now add the prepared caramel syrup, again continue mixing on low speed, till well mixed.
13.Fold the flour coated dry fruits in the batter gently. Do this with the help of a spatula.
14. Transfer the batter to a well greased baking tin ( I used a standard bundt pan and an eight inch round cake pan), tap it on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles, bake it in the middle rack at 300 degree Fahrenheit/ 150 degree celsius for about 1 hour, then lower the temperature to 200 degrees F/95 degrees C for another 15-30 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in comes out clean. The cake should rise well and have a uniform brown color. Transfer to a wire rack, let it cool in the tin for about an hour, then remove it from the tin, and let it cool on the wire rack.
15. To feed the cake: Transfer the cake to a aluminum foil / parchment paper, prick tiny holes on the surface of the cake with the help of a skewer/ fork, brush with the remaining drained rum/ fresh rum, once or twice every day/alternate day ( depends on how boozy you want it to be), until Christmas.To store the cake, wrap the cake in aluminum foil / parchment paper and store it in an air tight container in a cool place.
1.For a non alcoholic version, soak the dry fruits in orange juice/ grape juice, cover and refrigerate it for about a 2-3 days to a week, drain and use as directed above.
Esme@cook and enjoy recipes has an interesting Share and Inspire Others! Themed Recipe Exchange program going on every month. There is a specific theme which is announced on the 1st of each month. All you have to do is submit your entries via email. Please click here to learn more about how you can participate if you are interested. The theme for the month of December was cakes, cookies and treats. You can view all the delicious entries along with the recipes here.
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