Friday, December 20, 2013

Rich Fruit Cake or Christmas Cake

This is almost Christmas. A warm festive mood all around the world. Christmas-special decorations at shopping malls, marketplaces, parks and everywhere...discount at shops, buying gifts and baked goodies everywhere. Everything looks so colourful and cheerful. Only it's not winter here. I mean, there is basically no winter in Malaysia. It's a pleasant weather for the whole year (only it's rainy season and less rain season)! But to be honest, I miss those winter-Christmases of my childhood.
I never celebrated a white-christmas back at my home. But it's winter. We used to welcome Christmas with foggy chilled mornings...the warmth of quilt, hand-knitted sweaters and scarves ... with the smell of Amul butter and vanilla from my Ma's kitchen and specially with those dark-moist "Rich fruit Cakes" my Baba used to bring from his friend's bakery. Me and my sister eagerly waited for Baba to arrive home with that round, red-green painted tin-box in hand. I miss those days a LOT!
   I was looking for a nice recipe of those rich fruit cakes and then I got it last year. My friend Jhum di suggested me "Joy of  Baking"s recipe for that rich fruit cake. And I tried. It came out nice. But this time I modified it a bit at places. So sharing the recipe with all the changes I made.
This cake takes really loads of time (I mean alcohol brushing & soaking) . So it's better if you start at least couple of weeks prior to Christmas. I started mine four weeks in prior, including fruit soaking. This cake contains loads of fruits, nuts and alcohol (usually rum or brandy).


Rich Fruit Cake:
Adapted from "Joy of Baking"
Yield 10-14 servings:

Soaking Fruits:
Ingredients List 1:
  1. Assorted dried fruits and candied peels 680 gm (I used dried appricots, plums, prunes, figs, candied ginger peels, orange peels)
  2. Assorted raisins, sultanas, cranberry or cherry 340 gm
  3. Brandy 1 cup

First step for making this cake is, soaking fruits in alcohol. Transfer all the fruits in a large bottle. Pour brandy into it. Lid the bottle tightly and mix it well. Now keep it untouched. Do not refrigerate. I soaked fruits for 2 days.


Ingredients List 2
  1. All purpose flour 260 gm
  2. Unsalted butter 227 gm (room temperature)
  3. Light brown sugar 125 gm
  4. Molasses sugar 110 gm
  5. Large egg 3 (room temperature)
  6. Brandy 3 table spoon
  7. Orange 1 (juice & zest of one orange)
  8. Lemon 1 (zest)
  9. Baking powder 1 tea spoon
  10. Salt 1/4 tea spoon
  11. Ground almond 65 gm
  12. Walnuts 100 gm (chopped)

How to prepare "Rich Fruit Cake":
  • Line an 8" springfrom pan with baking paper. Line the sides of the pan also with baking paper that extends 2" above the pan.
  • Preheat your oven to 160'C.
  • Cream butter and 2 types of sugar using an electric/hand mixer until light and fluffy . Add eggs...one at a time. Beat well after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add brandy, orange juice, lemon and orange zest.
  • Fold in ground almonds, chopped nuts and soaked dried fruits & candied peels.
  • Shift & mix dry ingredients (flour, salt & baking powder) in a separate mixing bowl and fold in wet batter.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 150'C. And bake the cake on the middle rack for 1 hour and 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. It may take 5-10 minutes more or less depending on oven.
  • Cool it down completely on a wire rack.
  • Poke few holes with a skewer on the top surface of the cake and brush some brandy. 
  • Wrap the cake thoroughly with cling film and then with aluminium foil. Store it in refrigerator. 
  • Brush it with brandy once or twice a week until Christmas. 

Wish you all a Merry Christmas. Enjoy with your family and loved ones!!

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