Monday, January 2, 2012

Fruit Cake

I am back to blogging after a long gap. On this occasion of new year, I am sharing with you a recipe for fruit cake and pumpkin seed candy. Fruit cakes are one of my favorite cakes and the other one being pound cake. The very look of this cake with its dark color and evenly distributed nuts and dry fruits makes you want to eat it over and over again. And the other fact about this cake is it’s not overly sweet. So you can keep on munching.

New Year and Christmas was the time my mom was sure to bake a cake at home. Even though we did not have an oven at that time, mom would bake it in the pressure cooker. Right from the creaming of butter and sugar until it was kept in the cooker. I would keep myself close to her in the kitchen, helping her chop up the nuts and fruits, measuring the flour and sugar and of course dipping and licking my fingers into the batter behind my mom’s back. I used to fight with my brothers for the dish in which the batter was made, just to have my fill of licking the last remnants of the batter after it was poured into the baking pan. It used to take exactly 45mins in the cooker. During that time the whole house used to smell heavenly making us impatient for the cooking to end. I just miss those days now as I do not have any competition in my kitchen now. I think I have come a long way. Now I bake my own cake and I keep doing different varieties. Whenever I talk to my mom on phone I always remember to discuss my culinary adventures. She is very good at listening and giving suggestions. I have learnt my cooking from her. The basics of cooking and my interest for it were kindled by her. Now sometimes when she asks me for suggestions and wants to know about a few of my own dishes, it makes feel that I am on top of the world.

So this new year, to reminiscence those lovely memories, I thought of baking this cake. The other person that I remember and miss at this moment is my dad, who would have liked to taste my cake.  Love you and will always miss you dad….

Here I am sharing those recipes with my dear friends. Hope you enjoy.

Almonds chopped- ¼ cup
Cashews chopped- ¼ cup
Raisins-1 cup (mix of dark and golden)
Dates chopped- ½ cup
Homemade Ginger wine-1 cup
Orange juice-1 cup

Brown Sugar-1 cup
Vanilla essence-1 tsp
Butter-8 tbsp
Eggs-2 large
All purpose flour/Maida-1 ¾ cups
Baking soda- ¼   tsp
Baking powder- ¾ tsp
Mix of cinnamon-clove and ginger powders-3tsp
Candied Lemon and orange zest-1 tsp
Candied ginger- ¼ cup

Chop the nuts and dry fruits coarsely. Macerate overnight in a mixture of wine and orange juice in a closed container. I kept it for 10 days.

Take ½ cup of the sugar in a thick bottomed vessel. Add 1 tbsp water and caramelize it (7-10mins). Swirl the pan in between. Once it has attained a cherry wood color switch off the stove and carefully add ½ cup of water slowly.  Allow it to cool and mix in the vanilla essence.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Sift the flour, baking powder, soda and spice powders 2-3 times. Beat the eggs. Cream the remaining sugar and butter. Mix in the eggs. Add the caramelized sugar (it should be cool by now). Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Fold in the zest and ginger. Remove the nuts-dry fruits from the wine-juice mixture. Fold them into the batter. Pour into greased baking pans and bake for 45mins-1hour. Take it out of the oven and baste it with the wine-juice mix in which the fruits were soaked in. Cool for 15 mins before cutting. You can wrap it up in wax paper and store in a box for a long time.

1. Use Rum/brandy or rum essence in place of wine/juice.
2. Use candies pineapple, cherries, apricots, dry blue berries etc to 
make it more
3. If you do not want to macerate the dry fruits-nuts, microwave them with wine-juice for
    5 mins to hydrate them and use.
4. Instead of candied zest, you could soak them in alcohol mixture.
5. If you do not want to use any type of alcohol, then substitute them for grape juice or 
    apple juice.
6. You can use ordinary sugar in place of brown sugar. You can dust some icing sugar on
    top if you want.
7. Mix the soaked dry fruits in a little bit of flour so as to coat it. it prevents the fruits 
    and nuts from sinking to the bottom.


Suja said...

Happy New Year Urmila..
Fruit cake looks spongy and perfect and so is the pumpkin seed will love this..will surely try.

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