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18 December 2014

Kerala Plum Cake | Christmas Fruit Cake

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Christmas Fruit Cake





Learn how to make rich and delicious Kerala Fruit Cake.
Prep Time: 30 minutes + Soaking time
Baking Time: 45 to 50 minutes
Makes: 9" cake ( or two 7" loaves)
Ingredients:
To prepare dry fruits:
  1. Dry fruits - 1 to 1.5 cups( use sultanas,raisins,dried currants,dates,dried cherries,cashew nuts,almonds,etc,see notes)
  2. Red wine - 1 cup( see notes for non alcoholic version)
  3. All purpose flour - 2 tbsp
To prepare caramel syrup:
  1. Sugar - 1/2 cup
  2. Water- 1 tbsp + 1/2 cup
Other ingredients:
  1. All purpose flour - 1 cup
  2. Baking powder- 3/4 tsp
  3. Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
  4. Salt - 1 pinch
  5. Cloves - 1( powdered)
  6. Cinnamon -  1/4" piece( powdered)
  7. Ginger powder - 1/4 tsp
  8. Nutmeg powder - 1/8 tsp
  9. Orange zest - 1 tsp
  10. Butter,at room temperature - 125 gms (1/2 cup +1 tbsp)
  11. Sugar - 1 cup
  12. Egg yolk - 2 medium
  13. Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
  14. Egg White - 2 medium
Instructions:

  • Soak the dry fruits and nuts in red wine ,in a glass container /jar .Cover and keep away for atleast 24 hours.For best results soaks them for 1 or 2 weeks or upto 1 month.
  • To prepare caramel syrup melt 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tbsp water in a heavy bottomed,deep pan.As you cook the colour will change from pale golden to brown.
  • Swirl the pan once or twice in between( do not use a spoon /spatula).When the color changes to dark golden brown,switch off the stove.
  • Carefully  add 1/2 cup water and stir to mix well.Switch on the stove and boil the syrup over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.Allow this to cool completely.( this can be made a day ahead.)
  • In a mixing bowl combine together all purpose flour ,baking powder,baking soda,salt,clove,cinnamon,ginger and nutmeg powder using a fork.
  • Add the orange zest and mix well.Keep aside until required.
  • In a bowl beat egg white until soft peaks form.Keep aside until required.
  • In a bowl beat together softened butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
  • Add one yolk at a time and mix well.Add vanilla extract.Mix well until combined.Add 2 tbsp flour mixture and mix to combine.
  • Add the cooled caramel syrup into the egg mixture in 3 batches alternating with the flour mixture.
  • Mix everything just enough to blend.
  • Drain the soaked fruits well and keep the liquid/red wine aside.
  • Add 2 tbsp all purpose flour and mix well until combined.
  • Fold in the prepared dry fruits and nuts. 
  • Add 1/2 or 1 tbsp of  red wine ( drained from soaked fruit/nuts) to the batter,if desired.Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the batter in two or three batches. 
  • Preheat oven to 180 Deg C.Transfer the batter to a cake tin /loaf pan lined with parchment paper.Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes.Remove from pan ,peel off the parchment paper and cool completely.For best results allow the fruit cake to mature for 2 to 3 days before serving.
  • NOTES
    • I used 3/4 cups sultanas and  raisins and 1/4 cup cashew nuts.
    • As you can see in the picture the fruits and nuts sank to the bottom of the cake ,as i did not drain them well.So make sure you drain the fruits well and toss it well in 2 tbsp flour ,it will act like a glue and prevent the fruits from sinking.
    • For alcohol free version,soak the dry fruits and nuts in 1 cup orange /apple or grape juice overnight at room temperature.
    • If the top of the cake browns too quickly while baking, loosely cover it with foil.
    • Prick holes on top of the cake using a skewer and drizzle one or two tsp of red wine over the cake,for extra flavor.
    • Cover the cake with parchment paper and then with foil and store in an airtight container for upto 2 weeks.

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