The holiday season is here and in the blog-o-sphere, it is all holiday recipes. So for this month's Baking Partner's Challenge, Swathi chose Christmas Cakes. Out of the three cakes suggested for this challenge- Brazilian Nut Cake, Neopolitan Cake and Plum Cake, I chose this fruit cake cake because it is my childhood favorite, even for Hubby and also it doesn't need any frosting. (Hubby is against use of any frosting ;) ) The recipe was suggested by Archana while the other cake is suggested by Suja Manoj. Thanks to Swathi, Suja and Archana for wonderful selection of recipes.
I made some changes to the original recipe like using light brown sugar instead of Sugar, skipping rum and using apple juice etc., Otherwise I pretty much followed the recipe. The tough time I had was making the caramel syrup. First time, I burnt it and second time around got it right. Other than that it is pretty much easy to make but consumes time a lot.
What are the ingredients needed?
Chopped Cashew, 1/2 cup
Chopped Almonds, 1/2 cup
Dry fruits(Raisins, cranberries,dates), 2 cups
Candied orange peel, 1/4 cup
Apple juice, 1/2 cup
To make caramel syrup
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Other ingredients needed
Butter, 1 cup(2 sticks)
Light Brown sugar, 1 cup
Eggs, 3 nos.
All purpose Flour, 2 cups
Baking Powder, 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon powder, 1/2 teaspoon
Ginger powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Nutmeg powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Clove Powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Vanilla Extract, 1 teaspoon
How it is made?
- Take all the dry fruits and nuts, chop them and soak them in apple juice. I soaked it for 12 hours. More soaking time, the better. If you are soaking for a longer time keep it in the refrigerator, also don't forget mix them in equal intervals.
- In a heavy bottom pan, melt the sugar with a tablespoon of sugar in medium high heat,. Don't use spoon to mix, just swirl the pan. Wait till it changes color to brown and starts to solidify then turn off the heat and add the water. It will splatter, so take care. Now stir to mix well. Let this syrup cool before adding to the cake batter.
- In a bowl, Cream butter and sugar together. Then beat eggs, adding one at a time.
- In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and the spices.
- Add this flour mixture little by little to the butter mixture and mix well.
- Then add the vanilla extract and caramel syrup and mix well.
- Finally drain the soaked fruits and fold them into the batter.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Grease 9" baking pan and line it will parchment paper.
- Pour the prepared batter and bake for 45 minutes.
- Then reduce the temperature to 325 F and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Check if it is done, by inserting the knife. If it is still undone, then cover the top with silver foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes.
- Let it cool completely, before slicing.
- Since I used apple juice, citrus flavor was lacking in the cake. I think I should have used Orange juice.
- Since there are lots of dry fruits in the cake and the apple juice I used is sweetened, I have reduced the amount of Sugar. If you want it to be more sweet, increase the sugar. Also if you are using unsweetened juice, increase the quantity of sugar.
- The baking time was more for my cake. First I baked for 45 minutes, the cake was still in batter form. Then baked for another 30 minutes the top of the cake had baked while it was still gooey on the inside. So I covered it with foil and baked for another 12 minutes. So check your oven timings accordingly.