Christmas is just few days away & I am still very busy preparing sweets. Every Christmas I promise myself to begin my preparations early but somehow it just does not happen.. especially the Rich Christmas Fruit Cake. Every year I make a resolution that I will soak the fruits in rum well in advance & bake it a month before Christmas but it is strange that it just does not work out. Unfortunately, this year too it did not happen! L
I baked my cake just yesterday & I have this feeling that it will be wonderfully delicious when I slice & serve it at Christmas!! This lovely & moist fruit cake has rum. You may use brandy if you like. I do not like to use candied peels & tutti frutti as I am not fond of it. I like my fruit cake pleasantly moist, sweet, nutty & fruity. This cake is just the way I like it.
I baked 3 small cakes from the recipe mentioned below. I prefer smaller cakes as they require less time to bake & are easier to unwrap & slice.
We love this fruit cake with dry fruits, nuts, the subtle flavor of rum & the refreshing aroma of mixed spice. My home was filled with the sweet aroma of baking.. eagerly awaiting Christmas Day!!
Enjoy & relish this Easy Rich Fruit Cake.. Merry Christmas to all the visitors of my blog!
- 500 gms Assorted Dry Fruits
- ½ cup fresh Orange Juice
- 6 tbsps. Sugar pwd./Castor Sugar
- 2 tbsps. Mixed Fruit Jam/Marmalade
- 25 gms. Candied Ginger (finely chopped)
- 5 tbsps. Dark Rum
- 1 tbsp. Vanilla Essence
- Zest of one Orange (outer orange skin)
- Zest of one Sour Lime/Lemon (outer yellow skin)
- 1 tsp. dry Mixed Spice
- 2 tbsps. Refined Flour for coating the dry fruits (optional)
Preparation of Dry Fruits :
100 gms. each of seedless raisins, sultanas & currants; 50 gms. each of pitted prunes, cherries/cranberries, dry apricots & cashew nuts. You may use any combination of dry fruits you like. I am not very fond of candied peels or tutti frutti but you may use it if you like it.
Use a dry tea towel to rub clean the raisins, sultanas & currants. Remove stalks if any. Cut,wash & dry the candied cherries. Chop all the dry fruits roughly &the; cashewnuts finely.
To prepare Mixed Spice:
Combine ¼ tsp. each of fresh clove, cinnamon & nutmeg pwd. or combine spices according to your preference.
In a sufficiently large bowl, mix all the above mentioned ingredients together & let it soak for 24 hrs. You may even soak it for a month or a year in advance depending on your preference.
To prepare Caramel:
Heat one cup of granulated sugar with few drops of water on a low flame. The liquid will start frothing & the color will start changing gradually to light brown. Keep stirring gradually till the color changes to a deep brown. Do not burn or your cake will taste bitter. Take off heat & let the froth subside a little, then gradually & gently add ¾ cup of hot water, stir & put it back on the flame. Cook till the caramel liquefies. Be very careful or the caramel may splatter. Caramel is easily available in grocery stores & supermarkets in case you do not wish to prepare your own. It is the caramel which gives a deep dark color to the rich fruit cake!
Ingredients for the Cake :
- 200 gms. Refined Flour (Maida)
- 60 gms. Almonds (finely ground)
- 1tsp. Baking pwd.
- A pinch of Salt
- 250 gms. Unsalted Butter
- 200 gms. Demerara/Muscovado/ Castor Sugar
- 5 Eggs
- 3 tbsps. Caramel
- ¾ cup Milk (at room temp.)
Grease & double line two 8 inch round baking pans at the bottom. Also line the sides, extending about 2 inches above the pans. You may use a non-stick parchment baking paper/butter paper/non-stick vegetable spray.
All ingredients should be at room temperature. Pre-heat oven at 160C.
Sift flour & baking powder with a sieve. Add a pinch of salt & finely ground almonds & mix well. Keep aside to use later.
In a sufficiently large bowl, beat the butter till soft using a spatula/electric hand blender/blender with a stand.
Cream butter & sugar till light & fluffy.
Scrape down the bowl from time to time.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Pour in the milk & caramel; mix well.
Fold in the flour a few tbsps. at a time till all the flour is incorporated.
Add in the soaked fruits & fold gently with a wooden spatula or spoon. Do not over mix. Fill the pans equally with the batter & spread it evenly.
Tap the pan gently so as to release the air bubbles if any.
Make a slight depression in the center with the back of a spoon. This will ensure that the cake bakes evenly at the top.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 160C for about an hour.
Reduce the temperature to 150C & continue to bake for1 hour & 30 mins or until a long wooden skewer comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs.
If the cake is browning too quickly then cover the top with a double thickness of paper. Remove the fruit cake from the oven & place on a wire rack to cool completely.
Using a skewer poke holes through the cake at intervals & pour rum all over the cake.
Remove the paper lining & wrap the cake thoroughly in cling film/plastic wrap/aluminium foil & place in an airtight container/tin/box.
Brush the cake periodically (once or twice a week) with rum until Christmas.
Enjoy at Christmas..
This cake will keep several weeks or it can be frozen.