Rich Fruit Plum Cake
Posted by Annita on March 30, 2006
Rich fruit Cake or Plum Cake is commomly known as Christmas Cake. In India,Christmas can never be complete without Plum Cake. I swear,its one of the best found in the Indian bakeries. It is a moist,dark brown cake with plenty of nuts and dried fruits in it.Fruits and nuts are soaked in rum or brandy several days ahead for the plum cake.Freshly baked Plum cakes served with wine on a Christmas eve..hmmm..Deliciously rich and tempting!!!I know its quite early for the recipe..but couldn’t wait till Christmas.
Plum Cake & Wine
Just go through my Amma’s treasured recipe for ‘The Good Old Christmas Cake’…
Dates – 3 cups
Raisins- 2 cups
Cherries(Preserved in Indian way)- 2 cups
Broken Nuts-2 cups
Orange & Lemon Peel- 1/2 cup
Tutty Fruty or other candied fruits (Optional)- 1 cup
Brandy or Rum – 1/2 cup
Chop the fruits fine.Soak them in the alchohol along with nuts and peels and keep in an air tight container for a couple of week.I didn’t use cherries or any candied fruits,but adjusted the quantity with the ones i’ve got.
Dried Fruits & Nuts
All Purpose Flour/Maida – 2 cups
Powdered Sugar – 3 cups(1 cup for caramalizing the sugar)
Butter – 250 gms
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Eggs – 6
Vanilla Essence – 2 tsp
Salt – a pinch( to adjust the sweetness)Powdered Spices – 3 tsp
Orange juice – 2 tbsp
1. Caramelize 1 cup of Sugar.
It can be done by heating a medium sauce pan with 1 cup of sugar and 1 tbsp of water.Stir in continuosly and use only medium heat.The sugar will melt first,then gradually becomes a molten syrup.As it gets hotter,it’ll turn into a dark colored caramel syrup.Now slowly add 1/2 cup of water and stir well immediately before it crystalizes back.(Be careful while doing it,for it can splash and may cause severe burns.).Stir it well to dissolve completely and allow it to cool.
2.Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
3.Sift the baking powder and flour well,2 or 3 times.
4.Now mix the powdered spices and the soaked fruits to the flour.Mix well with a spatula and keep aside.
5.Beat butter and powdered sugar till light and fluffy.
6.Now add the eggs one at a time to the beaten sugar butter mixture with a teaspoon of flour after each egg.Beat well.
7.Add the flour mixture alternatively with the cooled caramel and fold in.Remember do not whisk,this can break the fruits.
8.Lastly add vanilla essence ,orange juice and 1 tsp of brandy.Mix everything well using a wooden spatula preferably to one side.
9.Pour it into a lined baking pan.(Lined with parchment paper or brown paper).
(As i didn’t have the parchment paper with me,I just butter sprayed the pan and sprinkle some flour on it.)
Ready to be baked
10.Bake it in the oven for 45 minutes.
11.Check by inserting a tooth pick and if it comes out clean ,the cake is done.
If its not done reduce the heat to 250 F and bake for another 10- 15 mts or until done.
12.When the cake is baked,remove and immediately sprinkle 1 tbsp of brandy over it.This can enhance the flavour and increases its life span.
Freshly baked plum caked
13.Let it cool .Cut it and serve.
14.If storing,remember to keep it in refrigerator in an air tight container.This is my entry for Anthony’s 12th Weekend Curry Mela.
Here’s a useful tip from my blog reader Anna(in her own words):”From the picture, I notice the fruits have sunk. What you could do to prevent it is, after soaking the fruits and before you add it to batter, toss all fruits in a little flour. WIll not sink but will disperse evenly through cake. “
Thanks again Anna for sharing this tip with us.