Nov 092014
 

This cake is a tradition followed by the English, made especially during Christmas. People used to eat plum-porridge on Christmas Eve to break their fast. As people evolved so were the many recipes and the plum porridges eventually turned into Christmas pudding with dried fruits, spices, and honey. Later on, flours, eggs, and butter were added to the porridge and were made as steamed cake. Families that were richer and were blessed with an oven baked cakes made of dried fruits, spices, and nuts. This cake became the Christmas cake.

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Usually Christmas cake can be made many different ways and there is no right or wrong recipe. In India, Christmas cake is made with alcohol, spices, nuts, and dried fruits. I wanted to make the non-alcoholic version of this cake and I was in search of a good recipe for a long time. When I saw this recipe in cookingandme site, I was very excited to try it.

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My family and friends loved it. I was surprised my kids loved it as they tend to stay away from any cake that has strong spices in the mix. The fruits and nuts in my cake did sink down to the bottom of the cake. I did dredge the fruits & nuts with flour before adding them to the batter to avoid that problem and I’m not sure what caused it nevertheless the taste of the cake was out of the world and we really enjoyed it.

Step-by-Step Pictorial:

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In a saucepan on medium heat, melt 1/2 cup sugar slowly. The sugar will melt and then turn dark brown, keep stirring until it turns into deep dark caramel color. Do not step away from the stove like me, I did that and the sugar burnt slightly and I had to restart the whole caramelization again. Turn off heat and add about 1/4 cup water. The sugar will harden. Turn the heat back on and slowly heat the mixture until the sugar crystals dissolve. This will take around 10 mins. Let this cool and set aside. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. In a small bowl mix the dry fruits and nuts with 3 Tbsp of flour. Toss the nuts and fruits to coat evenly on all sides. This is done so they don’t sink to the bottom of the batter while baking. (Note: I did this step and even then the fruits and nuts did sink to the bottom nevertheless the taste didn’t alter and it was heavenly;). In a separate bowl mix remaining flour (1 cup flour minus 3 Tbsp taken to dredge the fruits and nuts) , baking powder, salt, and spices until well combined.

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Beat butter and 1 cup of sugar either using electric mixer(for about 3-4 mins) or by hand (about 10 mins) until fluffy. Add vanilla extract and mix until combined. Now beat 1 egg into the mixture followed by little bit of flour mixture. Alternate mixing eggs and flour mixture until they are well combined.

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Add the cooled caramel from step 1. Add the fruits & nuts and gently fold in. (Note: Next time when I’m planning to make I might mix the caramel into the batter first and then add the fruits&nuts instead of adding them together. My assumption is the caramel might have weighed down the fruits and nuts to the bottom and may be the reason for the sunken fruits in my cake. Just a thought!).Pour the batter into a well-greased cake pan and bake for about 50-55 minutes until a tooth pick if inserted comes out clean. (Note: Just with any baking the baking temperature may vary with oven and other factors. So please check the cake around 40-45 minutes for the readiness of the cake). Dust the cake with icing sugar when the cake is completely cooled. Slice and enjoy!!!

 

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Christmas Fruit Cake

Ingredients

  • All Purpose Flour -- 1 cup
  • Cashewnuts (chopped) -- 1/2 cup
  • Black Raisins -- 1/4 cup
  • Mixed Dry Fruits (dates, cherries, orange peel) -- 1/2 cup
  • Sugar -- 1 + 0.5 cups
  • Butter (at room temperature) -- 2/3 cups
  • Eggs -- 3
  • Spices (1 clove + 1 cardamom pod + small piece of cinnamon + a pinch of nutmeg) -- pound into powder
  • Baking Powder -- 1 tsp
  • Vanilla Extract -- 1 tsp
  • Salt -- a pinch

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan on medium heat, melt 1/2 cup sugar slowly. The sugar will melt and then turn dark brown, keep stirring until it turns into deep dark caramel colour. Do not step away from the stove like me, I did that and the sugar burnt slightly and I had to restart the whole caramelization again. Turn off heat and add about 1/4 cup water. The sugar will harden. Turn the heat back on and slowly heat the mixture until the sugar crystals dissolve. This will take around 10 mins. Let this cool and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
  3. In a small bowl mix the dry fruits and nuts with 3 Tbsp of flour. Toss the nuts and fruits to coat evenly on all sides. This is done so they don't sink to the bottom of the batter while baking. (Note: I did this step and even then the fruits and nuts did sink to the bottom nevertheless the taste didn't alter and it was heavenly;)
  4. In a separate bowl mix remaining flour (1 cup flour minus 3 Tbsp taken to dredge the fruits and nuts) , baking powder, salt, and spices until well combined.
  5. Beat butter and 1 cup of sugar either using electric mixer(for about 3-4 mins) or by hand (about 10 mins) until fluffy. Add vanilla extract and mix until combined. Now beat 1 egg into the mixture followed by little bit of flour mixture. Alternate mixing eggs and flour mixture until they are well combined.
  6. Add the cooled caramel from step 1. Add the fruits & nuts and gently fold in. (Note: Next time when I'm planning to make I might mix the caramel into the batter first and then add the fruits&nuts instead of adding them together. My assumption is the caramel might have weighed down the fruits and nuts to the bottom and may be the reason for the sunken fruits in my cake. Just a thought!)
  7. Pour the batter into a well greased cake pan and bake for about 50-55 minutes until a tooth pick if inserted comes out clean. (Note: Just with any baking the baking temperature may vary with oven and other factors. So please check the cake around 40-45 minutes for the readiness of the cake).
  8. Dust the cake with icing sugar when the cake is completely cooled. Slice and enjoy!!!
http://sizzlingveggies.com/cakes-and-bakes/christmas-fruit-cake/

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  15 Responses to “Christmas Fruit Cake”

  1. i did it the exact same way last yr and so i know how heavenly it tastes…beautiful recipe…

  2. I am loving all the Christmas recipes and this is such a special treat. Looks really good!

  3. The cake turned out perfect. Soft and moist.

  4. Just one word – yummmmmmmm ! I love such Simple fuss free cakes ;)) well done, Jayanthi

  5. Just cant take my eyes from ur super rich fruit cake, wish i get a slice.

  6. A Lovely rich and moist Christmas Cake.

  7. Love this version. Looks so moist and rich! wonderful clicks..

  8. This is in my to do list too 🙂 love your version of christmas fruit cake dear , looks so moist !!

  9. Looks absolutely delicious! Lovely pics…

  10. Surely looks very rich!….such beautiful pictures..I have a tradition of baking fruit cakes during this period,…let’s see how I manage!

  11. Rich and moist cake. Now I have lots of cake recipes for christmas. 🙂

  12. Love christmas fruit cakes although have to admit mine is always laced with rum

  13. Wow! Looks delicious!

  14. Such a flavorful and delicious spice cake. Perfect for holiday season.

  15. Absolutely delicious. Love the clicks

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