Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Fruit & Nut Cake



The festival of joy,happiness and cheer is here.One of my favorite seasons of the year where all over you can see lighted stars and decorated Christmas trees,with the delicate voices of carols playing in the background.As always,I am truly enticed with the cheer and like most people in Chennai,wished it snowed here too.Yes,the climate is so cold and chilly that the newspaper even carried an article asking people what if snowed in Chennai?

Now that would be quite an interesting proposition,wouldn't it?


I almost chose not to bake THE fruit cake this year,because I am so tempted by the Christmas goodies which are available in various hotels,bakeries and p√Ętisseries.Well,I am getting a goodie basket for myself,but the blog has to be fed the ceremonial fruit cake for Christmas,right?So here's my fruit cake for the year-I chose the recipe from Sankeerthanam,primarily because of the simplicity of the recipe.Kind of like a quick fruit cake,without compromising on the taste.

Do check out my Christmas Cake recipes of last year and year before last's too if you want a different recipe!!I'd especially recommend my last years cake,which I followed from Raaga's blog which,according to me came the closest in taste of the Fruit cake I've had during my childhood years--I am making it for the New Years!! 



Christmas Fruit & Nut Cake
Recipe minimally adapted from  Sankeerthanam

Ingredients

Flour/Maida - 1 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp for the soaked fruits
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Garam masala (homemade) - 1 tsp* [ Inspired by Deeba ]
Butter - 1/3 cup / 75 gms
Sugar - 1 cup
Eggs - 2
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Caramel syrup - made from 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup hot water[method below]
Dry fruits and nuts - 1 cup [ I used a mix of Cashews,Almonds,Walnuts and Tutty fruity,Glace cherries,Dates and Raisins]
Rum - 1/2 cup**


Method


Soak the fruits - Chop the fruits and nuts and soak in the rum in a clean and dry jar for a couple of days,or at least overnight.Shake the jar once in a while.

Preparing the Caramel - Spread the sugar evenly in a thick bottomed pan and switch on the flame.Do not stir,just keep swirling the pan as and when the sugar starts to caramelize.Keep a close eye on it and the moment it reaches a deep,dark brown colour,add the hot water 1 tbsp at a time till you finish all the measured water.Remove to a bowl and let it cool.

Making the cake

Preheat oven to 170C.
Grease and line an 8 ' round cake tin[I prefer to line the sides and bottom and then grease the baking paper with butter].
Sift together flour,baking soda,salt and garam masala.
Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time and beat well.
Mix in the vanilla and the cooled caramel syrup.
Beat in the flour at low speed till you get a smooth batter.
Drain the soaked fruits and add the 1 tbsp flour to it and mix well till the flour is evenly coated.
Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the soaked fruits.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool in the tin and when the cake is cool,prick holes on top with a toothpick.
Pour rum on top using a spoon and cover the cake with a foil.
Keep aside for 2-3 days till the cake gets 'matured' and all the flavors seep in.
Cut and serve. 


*Use only homemade freshly ground garam masala.I am not sure the cake would taste the same with store bought garam masala.If you don't have a ready stock,just grind together 1 cardamom,2-3 cloves & 1' stick cinnamon to a smooth powder.

**If you do not want to use Rum,just substitute with Orange juice,but keep it refrigerated.

Here are some of the best Fruit Cake recipes for the year which I found very,very interesting.


For eggless Fruit Cakes,I'd recommend Anushruti's Eggless Fruit and Nut Cake which I tried last year,also the one she made this year.


Wishing all of you who celebrate a Very Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas Fruit and Nut Cake is of to Suma's Blog anniversary event!!




20 comments :

  1. The Christmas cake look beautiful with perfect texture and lovely color.

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  2. Garam masala in a fruit cake is an interesting twist.

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  3. Cake looks so yummy and lovely presentation...
    Kurinji

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  4. This looks wonderful, thanks for sharing

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  5. lovely and tempting fruit and nut cake.wish u and ur family a very happy 2011.

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  6. lovely--- the garam masala twist keeps me hooked ! bookmarked !!

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  7. Beautiful looking cake!! What colour!!

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  8. Lovely cake :) love the decoration and clicks too :)

    Wish you a very happy Christmas :)

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  9. Happy Holidays!!Cake looks tempting!!

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  10. Wow looks great Divya..other listed cakes look yum too..will make the one you sent sometime soon..:))..Merry Christmas to you and A!

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  11. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year...

    Amazing cake dear...looks so lovely! Wonderful pics ;)

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  12. The texture is great :)

    I'm glad you're making my cake again for the new year's. :)

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  13. Fabulous cake Divya, Xmas wishes to u and ur family dear..

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  14. Yummy fruit cake..looks so delicious!!

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  15. Its indeed so very tempting to try out the Christmas goodies bakeries put on display at this time of the year. I like to do 'cake window shopping':-))

    This sounds like a simple and delicious version of the fruit cake, bookmarked! And don't forget to send this to my event;-)

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  16. I guess it isn't quite Christmas without fruit cake, especially back home. :)
    Seasons greetings and best wishes for a happy new year.

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  17. The cake looks dripping moist and that is perfect. Lovely recipe and pictures.

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  18. wow, looks sooooooooooooo mouth watering. Merry Christmas to you, hope you had a great time.

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  19. I'm sure Santa and I would love to finish this whole cake together. What a treat and love the addition of fresh masala!

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  20. Lovely cake :-)Hope you had a wonderful X'mas

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Love,
Divya.

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