Hello my friends, Merry Christmas to you all from Seenas Food Bsket.
Christmas is around the corner and it is getting to its full swing all over the world. We are now mid-way through December. Have you started preparing for Christmas? This time what all dishes are you planning to make? Hey women folk, are you busy in deciding Christmas Recipes and preparation for the same..?
Christmas is incomplete without having this Christmas Fruit Cake. Along with that there are lot more dishes we make during the season. You may be interested in making some other Christmas related recipes. Here is the list from seenasfoodbasket.
Homemade Bread, Vellayappam or Kallappam, Palappam or Appam,Idiyappam, Rice Wine, Rose Apple Wine, Homemade Grape Wine, Chicken Stew, Fish Molee, Black Pepper Chicken Roast, Vegetable Stew, Chettinad Chicken Curry, Mutton Curry, Nadan Beef Curry, Nadan Egg Roast..
I wanted to post this Fruit Cake in the beginning of December, but somehow I couldn’t. Man proposes, God disposes!! I know that all of you are getting ready for celebration of Christmas.
This time I am happy that I made this Cake weeks ahead of Christmas unlike other years. Yes, I had to make it early with the very intention of posting it in the blog. But am a bit sad that I have to make it again as the whole lot of the cake I made completely vanished in a couple of days!!
Christmas celebration is incomplete without making this traditional Christmas Fruit Cake. It is also known as Christmas Cake, Black Cake, Christmas Pudding and Plum Cake. Plums were the major ingredient in the original fruit cake.
This is an English tradition and has evolved since fifteenth century. But we have to admit a fact here that the Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake has undergone a lot of changes in its texture and ingredients over the years.
You all know that fruit cakes are not cheap and also labour intensive. But it’s really worth a dish to make in advance and to serve on Christmas day.
People sometimes make fruit cake by using wheat flour. But personally, I don’t prefer it. Also if you want you can use only egg whites. That’s your choice. Here I have used both egg whites and egg yolks.
The traditional Christmas Fruit Cake has the content of alcohol in it. Here I have avoided the process of ‘Feeding the fruit cake’, as I have used rum soaked dry fruits to make this cake. That is, to make this cake weeks in advance and then to poke holes on the top and sides of the cake with a skewer. Next to brush these holes with rum or brandy every week until Christmas. Next is to cover this cake with a plastic wrap and then with an aluminium foil and to keep it in the air tight container.
In order to check How to Soak Dry Fruits in Rum, pls.Click Here .
Christmas Fruit Cake is dark, rich, heavy and moist cake loaded with lots of dry fruits. It is not a budget friendly recipe. But worth the effort and time you spent on it.
Long back people used to make fruits cakes on holidays and on special occasions like weddings, baptism etc., slowly this colourful and awesome Fruit cake crept into the occasion of Christmas and took the table on Christmas day. Then onwards, it came to be known as Christmas Fruit Cake.
I have made this recipe many times, but the ideal texture I got this time. Many people make Christmas Fruit Cake with lots and lots of dry fruits and use very little flour just to cover the dry fruits. I too have done like that several times. But what we like to have is to reduce dry fruits and adding little more flour to get more flour content in the cake. It’s completely optional; you can of course increase the amount of dry fruits in this recipe. Make it the way you like it.
Also the sugar I have added in this recipe is more than enough as one of the main ingredients added here is dry fruits which is already sweet.
European cake recipes use dry fruits not only in Christmas Fruit Cake, but in so many other cakes also. Italians add candied fruits in their Panfotre cake and Caribbean Black Cake is loaded with rum soaked dry fruits, which is similar to this Christmas Fruit Cake. For making Genoa, an Italian Christmas Cake, people use rum soaked dry fruits. You may have to employ your own way of making this fruit cake that suits your palate. The end product would be somehow slightly different from all those regional and international fruit cake recipes.
One of the best ways to develop awesome flavours in this fruit cake is adding lemon zest and orange zest. I have added both when I soaked my dry fruits in rum. But since I have added very less of candied orange slices, I have compensated the lack of it this time by adding little orange zest and juice in my fruit cake.
I remember my dad cutting the Christmas Fruit Cake on the Christmas day morning and offering to all of us before we start having our Christmas breakfast. Love to go back to my yester years!! Missing it this year too. During Christmas season, we used to take this cake wherever we go to give as gift to our friends and relatives. For this, my mom used to make it in big volume.
This is the recipe adapted from my mom with few tweaks from me. I follow the same recipe since years.
You might also like my Chocolate Banana Cake, Chocolate Pastry, Pound Cake, Black Forest Cake, Red Velvet Cup Cake
So, here goes the recipe of Christmas Fruit Cake..
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 1 hour 80 minutes.
Servings: 10 to 15 people
Ingredients for Christmas Fruit Cake:
All Purpose Flour – 260 grams
Almond Flour – 75 grams
Brown sugar – 1 cup
Unsalted Butter – 225 grams
Eggs – 4 small or 3 big (164 grams)
Rum Soaked Dry Fruits – 3 to 4 cups
Orange Juice – ¼ cup (optional)
Orange zest – of one orange
Baking Powder – 1tsp.
Vanilla Essence – 1 ½ tsp.
Ground Mixed spices – ¼ tsp. each of nutmeg, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.
Salt – 2 generous pinches
How to make Kerala Christmas Fruit Cake:
Grind all the spices to fine powder and keep aside. Butter a cake tin sized 20 cm and line the bottom and sides of the pan with butter paper. The butter paper on the sides should extend little above the rim of the pan.
Take a big bowl. Add all the dry ingredients including all-purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, ground spices and salt. Whisk everything together by using an electric mixer or a hand whisk.
Take your rum soaked dry fruits in another big bowl and add in 4 tbsp. all- purpose flour from the flour mixture you have taken to prepare this cake. Toss it well with a wooden or plastic spoon to coat all the dry fruits and nuts.
Now pre heat your oven to 325 degrees F (160 degree Celsius) for about 10 minutes. Don’t do this step in the beginning itself as pre heating of oven should not take more than 10 minutes.
Arrange your electric mixer. Add in butter in the bowl of the mixer. Beat the butter until it is creamy. Now add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after adding each egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl whenever it is needed. Add in the orange juice, vanilla essence and orange zest and beat it again. Next add the rum soaked dry fruits and fold in everything together on low speed. Your cake mixture is ready now.
Take your prepared cake tin and scrape the cake batter in to the pan. Shake it slightly to settle it and to release any air bubbles formed inside. Decorate the top of your cake with skinless almonds. Take your baking sheet and place this in the preheated oven. Bake the cake for one hour at 325 degree F. After one hour, reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and continue to bake for about 80 minutes or until a long skewer inserted into the centre of the pan comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely. Here we are not going to feed the cake with rum as we have added rum soaked dry fruits in this recipe. Wrap your cake in a plastic film and place it in an air tight container. Store it in a cool dry place. If you are living in a warm climate, refrigerate it.
My Recipe Notes on Kerala Plum Cake:
> All ingredients should be in room temperature.
> Alcohol: Fruit cake can be made without alcohol too. But for getting the correct flavour and feeling of Christmas, it is a must to soak your dry fruits in rum. When you have this cake, you should get a feeling that it’s Christmas Fruit Cake.
> Dry Fruits: Figs and prunes give the cake its dark colour and heavy cake. And if you want a lighter version cake, choose cherries and apricots. Adding all these dry fruits result in a medium colour ver fruit cake. But, there is no hard and fast rule here, use whatever fruits you like. It’s really up to you to decide.
> Butter: If you are using the unsalted butter, go ahead and if you are using the salted butter, then ignore using salt which is given in the ingredients section.
> Almond Powder: If you don’t have almond powder, take some almonds and soak it in water for one hour or so, remove its skin and pat dry it. Once it is completely dry, power it in a blender.
> Alcohol: You can use rum / brandy / sherry or so. Non -alcohol users can use orange juice. Soak dry fruits in orange juice for few hours.
> Soaking Dry Fruits: If you are not soaking your dry fruits in rum / brandy in months advance, soak it in orange juice or overnight before baking it. If you are using rum soaked dry fruits, no need of brushing and feeding your cake with alcohol after baking it. Soaking dry fruits either in alcohol or a substitute like Orange Juice makes the cake moist while baking it. So you should not avoid the step of ‘soaking’.
> Storage: Wrap your cake in plastic wrapper and then in aluminium foil. Store it in an airtight container after that. Doing so will prevent the cake from drying up. Also it allows the cake to last longer. Do not store cake in metal tins. The alcohol we used to soak dry fruits will react with metal, which gives an off flavour to the fruit cake. Store your fruit cake in dark and cool place of your kitchen. If you are making Fruit cakes in larger volume, refrigerate the rest of the cakes.
> Butter Paper: Spreading butter paper at the bottom and sides of the cake tin helps the cake from drying up fast. If the top of the cake is dry, don’t worry, it will get soften the next day as you are covering it up with plastic and aluminium wrappers. It helps the dry top crust soften the next day.
> Cake Tin: Always it is better to use a round cake tin as it spreads temperature uniformly. I prefer the round tins. You could bake it in other tins as well.
> Baking Time: It will vary depending on the volume of cake you make and the kind of oven you use. The time given here is for making the above said recipe and its volume.
> Slicing of Fruit Cake: Fruit cakes are dense and not that easy to cut as it consists of lot of dry fruits. So it is better to refrigerate fruit cakes which makes it easier for slicing.
> Don’t fill the cake batter more than 2/3 of your cake tin.
> You should not forget to mix your soaked dry fruits with flour which ensures the dry fruits not sinking and settling down at the bottom.
Christmas Fruit Cake is ready now..
Pictures / Stage wise images of Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe
Gather all ingredients..
Serve this delicious Plum Cake with your friends and family..
We wish one and all a warm and Merry Christmas.