Christmas Rich Fruit and Nut Cake

1:08 PM

First of all a Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

Christmas for me is spending time with my family, sharing gifts and having good food and good cakes. The smell of freshly baked cake emanates a different kind of warmth in the chilly season.


when we were kids My Maa or Dida used to make Vanilla flavoured cakes in pressure cooker for Christmas. Then Maa started her business and winter being the best season for exhibitions she used to be away from family.on one such year the day before christmas me and my younger brother were watching TV while we got the baking smell from our neighbour. He told if Maa were here she also would have baked cake for us.That touched my heart, once he was asleep I called my aunt for the recipe, baked my first cake and put it on the dining table for him to see, first thing in the morning... that was when I was 16 and till date every christmas I remember that surprised happy face of my kid brother.   


He likes plain vanilla cake with nuts…no chocolate, no fruit or no cream for him. That makes my work easy. This year I already have sent him his share of cakes, cookies and most importantly a good gift.

Every year a month before Christmas every big confectioner and hotels observe the cake mixing ceremony where tons of dried and candies fruits and nuts are mixed with wine and rum and left for a long time to make the dry fruits soak the taste and flavours of the spirit. I always wanted to make such a cake full of flavours, rich fruit and nuts and moist with wine and rum…so finally this year wanted to give it a go and last month finally asked Hubby to bring some red wine and rum. Soaked 6 cups of chopped nut and fruits and poured in two large glass bottles. got this idea of adding caramel to the cake from Sailu. I made brown sugar caramel and am happy that I did as it gave the cake a nice brown colour and very earthy smell. Baked the cake yesterday with ground spices and orange peels. It takes a long time to bake but I wished it had taken more time as the aroma that it spread during baking is heavenly. And most amazingly it came out with a perfect flat top. Even my not so sweet loving Hubby came in to check this sweet little cake. The recipe is little long but once you make your fruit cake you would not like to eat anything else.

I am also part of Nupur's 7 Day recipe marathon Challenge starting from toady. She has managed to make 40 new dishes for the last 6 weeks and we are joining her for the last sprint. Guests just left now and am posting after puting the baby and his father to sleep. yawn. The list of runners is here and Nupur is givin an update everyday on her blog.

Here is how I made my Christmas Rich fruit and nut cake
Ingredients:
For the caramel:
1 cup brown sugar
11/3 cup water

For the wine and rum soaked fruits and nuts
Chop any nut and fruit of your choice. I used cashew, almond, apricot, figs, tutti frutti, black currant, raisins, candied pineapple and cherries.

Red wine and rum to soak these. If you don’t like to add alcohols then use orange juice to soak these.  The more time you allow soaking the better the flavor. If you don’t have time to keep them long then just lightly boil the fruits and nuts in orange juice or any alcohol of your choice. They would be juicy and flavorful.



For the cake:
Flour: 3 cups and 3 tbsp to roll the soaked fruits
Brown Sugar: 1 cup
Butter: ½ cup
Vegetable oil: ½ cup
Baking powder: 2 teaspoon
Eggs: 4
Orange: 1 big
For the spice powder:
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon powder
Pinch of cardamom powder
Pinch of clove powder
Pinch of all spice

Method: put the water to boil.

At the same time take a cup of brown sugar in a separate heavy bottom pan. On low heat let it dissolve. Stir with a chopstick or a skewer. 


Once the sugar complete dissolves add the water and stir vigorously so that it does not stick to bottom. Do these very carefully as water might splash.  


Once everything is mixed let it simmer and thicken for 5-6 minutes and then let it cool.

Sieve flour and baking powder together. Mix in the dry spices and keep aside.

Grate the skin of the orange carefully so that the white skin(pith) does not mix. Peel and take the flesh in a mixer jar with the sugar and blend till the sugar dissolves.

Beat in the butter and oil. Mix in the eggs one by one and beating in between. The mixture should be creamy and smooth.

Add the orange and sugar puree and again mix.

Fold in the dry ingredients in 4-5 batches and mix till you get a velvety consistency.

Toss 2 cups of soaked dry fruits in 3 tbsp flour and mix it in the cake batter.
Heat the oven at 150 C.

Line a baking tin with 3-4 layers of paper and pour the batter. Put the tin on a baking tray. Cover the tin with an aluminum foil and bake for 50 minutes.

After this turn the oven down to 120 C and bake again for 30-40 minutes or till done without the cover. This will give the cake a nice brown colour at top.

Check after 20 minutes and run the toothpick taste to see if it’s done. It might take more e time as well. Just check in between.

Once done take it out and cool completely before peeling the papers.

Punch with a skewer and soak it with more rum n wine mix. Let it sit for at least 12 hours to mature.

Decorate and serve your Christmas cake.

What I learned in the process are:
  1. If you want to bake your cake without soaking the nuts for long, just boil the fruits and nuts in orange juice, dry spices and alcohol of your choice (optional)
  2. Line the sides of the cake with 3-4 layers of paper. As this cake takes a long time to be baked it might burn at the sides.
  3. To get an even top cut papers longer than the sides of your pan (height). Lightly grease the papers with oil.
  4. Using brown sugar and brown sugar caramel actually gives it a nice brown colour and a beautiful earthy aroma.
  5. Always use fresh spices.


I got this lovely award from Malar. It holds a special place as its the first one for me in the Bogosphere. Thanks Malar!


Am sending this cake to the following events:


Cakes and cookies at Sara's Corner.


Food for 7 stages of life: Desserts and Ice creams at Rv's http://sourashtrakitchen.blogspot.com and http://bengalicuisine.net/


Show me your cake at Divya's lovely space.


Its time to Jingle again at asankhana.blogspot.com. 

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15 comments

  1. Luscious cake dear friend. Hope you had a great day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's a lovely cake! I really enjoyed the story of baking for your little brother, too :)

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  3. I'll try the caramel idea the next time. The cake looks perfect Sayantani! :-)

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  4. Dear Sayantani,
    Yesterday as usual we bought a phony Christmas plum or fruit cake and as usual I decided next Christmas we make our own...Humm the next Christmas never arrives.
    So your boudi ordered me to fish out a good recipe now and not wait for the next Christmas to arrive!!!
    As luck would have it..here is the recipe. I never knew it requires so much of material and efforts.
    My cake choice is same as your brother's. I only eat Britania fruit cake with Vanila ,,,or a simple cake baked at home with oil/butter, egg and Vanila .
    We are going to make this cake soon. Going to fetch some dry fruits and wine. I have an old bottle of " Briddha sadhu (Old Monk)" rum which I will use.
    Have a nice weekend and bhalo theko tomra sabai

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rich cake surely looks yummy, merry xmas & a very happy new year to you and your family...

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  6. this looks so good,...;-)will be glad if u send this for jingle evnt at my blog,..

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  7. nice clicks and what a rich cake man!! I love the presentation..the cake looks nice and moist..

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  8. this one is my most favorite cake...cake looks so moist and just perfect for christmas...happy xmas and new year to you & your family, Sayantani

    ReplyDelete
  9. Tempting cake. You have nice and interesting recipes. Following you.

    Chitchat
    http://chitchatcrossroads.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. The cake looks moist and so tempting. Love fruit cakes and now is the season for it. Happy holidays and happy new year to you :)

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  11. Lovely, moist cake Sayantani!! Thank you for the amazing tips ... they are definitely to be kept in mind while baking an elaborate cake such as this. I'd never heard of using caramel ... that's very interesting too!

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  12. Beautiful, elegant, rich and fantastic cake..

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  13. Nice post you got here. It would be great to read more concerning that theme. Thnx for sharing that material.

    ReplyDelete
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    Everybody fire protection needs to leave the kitchen unattended while
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    While Bristol offers you the different types of fire especially electrical fires as the powder cannot penetrate into difficult spaces where electrical cable might
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    ReplyDelete

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