Included in the “25 Gourmet Fruitcake Recipes – The very Best Fruitcakes for the Holidays” by the Examiner!
I had been in search of a perfect Rich Fruit cake for many months now. Just the way we used to have back home, during Christmas time – rich, moist, a zillions pieces of fruit at each bite, bursting with different taste & flavor. And every day the taste got better.
It was only during this time of the year that those enormous bowls would come out, to make the cake batter. For lots of cakes had to be baked for sharing. The whole family got involved in preparation & each had their own role to play – Chopping, measuring, and taking turns beating up the batter. Then the batter all ready would be transferred to even bigger containers to be taken to the local bakery to have them baked. The tiny oven at home was not enough to bake so many loaves at the same time. The bakery, I remember would be kept open all night, on the 23rd of December, for many would take their cake batter there.
Then it was our turn to wait for the cake to come home late at night. Paper wrapped warm cakes would be opened and tasted immediately… and then we would go to sleep. Next day would be busy in preparation of giving out the cakes.
My search has ended. I have seen so many Fruit Cake posted with in the last few weeks, & all had been my inspiration. Finally I picked a recipe which sounded very familiar with what I saw being made at home. The recipe has been been adjusted from Sailus Kitchen & Here.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2.5 tsps baking powder
- 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Medium Oranges Pureed (With Skin)
- 1 cup butter
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon clove
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 cup caramel (see below for the ingredients & how to make the caramel)
- 4 Cups of Assorted Dried Fruits & Nuts ( I have used Raisins, Currants, Cranberries, Prunes, Apricots, Tropical Mix- (Pineapple, Mango, Papaya), Dates, Pecans, Almonds, Candied Ginger & Orange & Lemon Peels) (see Below for preparation of the dry fruits)
& What to do with them:
You will also need:
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1/4 teaspoon clove powder
- 1.5 cup rum (preferably dark)
- 1 cup red wine
[Use Orange juice if you do not want to use Rum & Wine. In the grocery store ( In the Baking Isle of Grocery Stores, they have some kind of a Rum Substitute/Flavor available, which does not contain alcohol. If you want the authentic Rum Flavor in your cake, do use this.]
Chop all the Fruits & Nuts & whatever you have decided to use, into small pieces and soak them in rum & wine mix in a large jar. Mix in all the dry powders (nutmeg & clove), give it a big shake & let the fruits macerate for atleast a week. The longer they soak…even for a couple of months, the better. Make sure the there is enough space in the jar for the fruits will almost double in size. ( I used 2 large jars & half filled them each). Every few days shake up the jar.
For the Caramel:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup water
How to make the Caramel:
Heat a heavy bottomed pan and cook the sugar and a tbsp of water on low high heat. The sugar will melt and start to change color to brown. Swirl the pan around, once or twice. When you find that the color has changed to a little darker golden brown color, turn off heat. ( If you want dark caramel, let the sugar turn darker shade of brown, otherwise switch off the heat when the sugar starts to just brown lightly). Immediately, pour half a cup of water very carefully into the caramel and stir to mix well.
My first time making this caramel, & reading around a little bit in other blogs about caramel flop shows, I really thought the first trial would be doomed. But Thanks to Sailu’s Instructions! This is how my caramel came out the very first time & I am very proud if it:-)
Preparing the batter to bake:
Sieve the flour & baking powder & keep aside.
Separate egg yolks from the whites. Whisk the egg yolks separately with vanilla.
Beat the butter, pureed oranges and powdered sugar till smooth and creamy. Add the egg yolk mixture little by little,
Combine the powdered spices and caramel, & combine this to the above mixture till blended.
Add the sieved flour & baking powder to this in few batches and combine till blended.
Strain the soaked fruits & nuts. Save the rum & the wine.
Add the dried fruits (toss the dried fruits in couple of tablespoons of flour) and fold it gently into the batter with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Whisk egg whites till it forms peaks and gently fold into the cake batter till well combined.
Grease the cake pans and line with parchment papers. This cake will need 2-3 layers of paper to prevent it from getting dark. I actually greased Newspapers & used them to line the cake pans.
Pour batter up to half of the prepared cake pans and bake in a pre-heated oven at 325 degrees F for about 45 minutes. Check once at 45 minutes & do a toothpick test.
You might have to bake beyond an hour. So bake at 200 degrees F after 45 minutes, till the cake is light brown and when the toothpick or a skewer comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack. When cooled to touch, remove the cake from the pan and peel the paper.
Make few holes on the cake and drizzle the top with the saved rum & wine. You can do this several times & use more rum if you want it really rum soaked.
Cool the cake completely before wrapping it.
The cake matures best after atleast a day. So keep away the cake for a minimum of a day before serving for the flavors to best infuse.
The cake was as good as it could be. It was moist, as if totally rum drunk … the fruits & nuts inside looked & tasted gorgeous. Everything was just right. After many years I baked a fruit cake on the exact day that we did long time back, a cake I longed for, every bite filled with memory, joy & festivity.
Sending the cake to Santa’s Holiday Challenge hosted by Tasty Treats.