Hello everyone… Merry Christmas!!!
Christmas is always special since I was a kid.And so many beautiful memories are associated with it.Back when I was child,I believed in Santa Claus.Me and my sister used to hung stocking on Christmas Eve,so that Santa Claus can fill it with presents(candies,chocolates,small toys,or other small gifts)when he arrives.If the presents are little big then those are generally placed beside our pillows (wrapped up in wrapping paper).I still can visualize the red coloured long stockings hanging near the bed filled up with lots of gifts.We used to wake up early on that day(i.e. Christmas day) to check what gifts Santa left for us.Oh what a memory!!! I still miss those days.
Now I don’t hang stockings anymore but do celebrate Christmas with my Husband in a different way.But still I feel as excited as little child when I am getting gifts from secrete Santa(which we played every year at our office). The decorations, lights, Christmas trees, cake and cookies everything makes me feel so good.I just love Christmas!!!!
So how you are going to Celebrate Christmas??Do you have any special plan??Don’t forgot to share your stories with me.
This year,we purchased a mini Christmas tree and decorated it with Christmas ornaments and lights. Other than the decoration part as usual like every Christmas I baked varies types of cake and cookies.Most of them I distributed among our close friends,colleagues as Christmas gifts and rest of them I kept for two of us.Specially for my Husband because he loves cakes and cookies.I guess Christmas baking is the best part of Christmas celebration.I have already shared my Christmas recipes and with this recipe I am warping my Christmas post.And this is the last post of 2016.See you on next year.Wish you all a very Happy & Prosperous new year in advance. 🙂 😀
Christmas celebration is incomplete without a Cake,specially without Fruit cake (or even you can call it rum cake).Rum cake has always been my favorite since I was a kid.Yes I used to eat boozy cake when I was in school and don’t judge me for that.My dad used to buy fruit cake and rum cake form flury’s and Nahomes(New market)during Christmas.And I was always curious to know the recipe.Since then I heard a lot about how difficult the cake making process is.And from long time this Boozy cake was in my To Do list,ultimately this time I tried.And I am very much satisfied with the first attempt.I have came across tons of recipes and modified the ingredients and measurements as per my requirements and finally I baked my first ever Traditional Boozy Christmas cake aka Plum cake aka Rum Fruit cake.Let me tell you it’s not at all difficult and trust me if you are following my recipe exactly then it will be even more easier for you.So go ahead and bake your very first Christmas cake and most importantly do share the feedback and experience with me in the comment section.
For the cake presentation I decided to go for a Christmas theme so I used fresh cherries,blue berries and used few green colored herb and I glazed the cake with rum and dust some icing sugar on the top of the fruits so that it’s looks like snow flake. And this is what I came up with.
So lets start the much awaited recipe. of “Traditional Christmas cake” with step by step pictorial presentation…….
Mixed Dry fruits – 3 cups(I have used Dates, Prunes/dried plums,Black raisins, Raisins,Almonds,Walnuts,Cashew nuts)
Rum/Brandy – 1 1/5 cup or 180ml
Sugar – ½ cup
water – 1/2 cup+ 1 tbsp
Plain flour (maida) – 2 1/4 cups
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Brown/Normal Sugar(Powdered) – 1 cup
Refined Oil/Unsalted Butter – 3/4 cups oil/100 gms softened butter at room temperature
Eggs – 3 at room temperature
Orange zest – 2 tsp
Tutty fruity-1 tablespoon
For Spice Powder:
Cloves – 2
Cardamom – 2
Cinnamon – a small piece
Nutmeg – 1/2
Plum cake preparation:
Soaking of Fruits:
Wash and chopped the dry fruits and then put then in a glass jar.
Note:The glass jar should be completely dry.Use glass jar only because alcohol may react with plastic or other material.
Soak the dry fruits for 2-3 weeks.I have soaked it for 15 days.But if you don’t have much time then atleast try to saok it for 5-6 days.
Shake the jar of soaked fruits once in a while and don’t keep them in sunlight.
Combine ½ cup sugar and 1 tbsp water in a sauce pan.
Heat it & let the sugar melt. When the color of the melted sugar becomes dark brown, remove the pan from fire and add 1/2 cup warm water to this. You need to be extra careful at this stage since the water tends to splash and can cause burns.
Bring it back to the heat and boil for 3-4 minutes.
Remove from fire and let it cool completely.
Grind all the spices to a fine powder & keep aside.
Preheat the oven at 180 C for 10-15 mins.Grease the baking dish and line with baking paper.
Drain the soaked fruits and keep aside. Retain 4 tbsp from the drained liquor.
Toss the drained fruits in 2 or 3 table spoon of flour.This prevents the fruits from sinking to the bottom of the cake pan.
Sift the plain flour with baking powder and baking soda.
Meanwhile powder the sugar and keep aside.
Beat the powdered sugar and the softened butter until it becomes lightly pale in texture.
Add eggs(one at a time), gradually beat after each addition.
When it becomes light and fluffy add cooled caramel, spice powder,orange zest and beat again.
Add the sifted flour and lightly fold.
Add the drained liquor and fold it again.(Keep 2 tbsp of rum separate for soaking the cake)
Then fold in the soaked and coated fruits. (Do this part very carefully, do not mix for too long, Just two or three folding is enough for the dry fruits just to disappear in the batter).
Pour the batter into the prepared tins and level the top with a spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour( or more) until the skewer inserted comes out clean. The baking time can vary depending on the oven and also the size of the tin used.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cook on wire rack.
Once cooled poke holes in it with a skewer and spoon over 2 tbsp of your chosen alcohol. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin.
To store, peel off the baking sheet/ parchment paper, then wrap well in cling film.
You can feed the cake with alcohol for longer time(10days or even for fortnight).
Just cut a slice of the cake and enjoy it with a cup of your favorite beverage.
For Alcohol free version of plum cakes:
Soak 3 cups of fruits in 1.5 cups of fresh orange juice. Leave it overnight at room temp. The rest of the recipe is same.
The cake tastes best if baked a few days in advance or may be a month before Christmas. To keep the cake moist and to add extra flavor we need to feed* the cake in between alternate days.And then it should be stored into an airtight container.
*Feeding the cake means : You need to pour a small amount of Rum/Brandy over the cake periodically.