Sunday, July 8, 2012

Off Season Christmas Cake!!

Having studied in a convent school and college, I have very fond memories of Christmas festivities. The best part for me has always been the fruit cake. Going from home to home wishing friends and greedily gobbling the rum soaked delight. I have tried to make it a few times and it has turned out alright but never got the taste that transported me to those lovely Catholic homes. And just the other day a dear friend of mine asked that I stop being partial to the chocolate desserts and make him a fruit cake. So I started searching the internet to find the cake that looked like the ones I used to eat and I found this wonderful recipe on Swapna's blog. I tweaked it just a little and it was a super hit, with me and all my friends.

What you need:

My Kerala Plum Cake!!
  • Butter -225 gms 
  • Powdered Sugar - 300gm
  •  Eggs - 4 (separated) 
  • Vanilla essence - 1tsp
  • Sugar - 4tblsp (to caramelize) 
  • Mixed dry fruits – 600gms (I used dates, raisins, orange peel, apricot, prunes, cranberries etc) 
  • Brandy/Rum - 1/2cup 
  • All purpose flour - 250gms.
  • Baking powder - 1/2tsp
  • Baking soda - 1/4tsp
  •  Cinnamon power - 1/4tsp
  • Milk - 1/4cup
To Prepare the fruits~ Chop all dry fruits  finely and soak them in Rum/Brandy (I used Old monk dark rum)in a clean dry bottle for at least a week.
On the day of baking, transfer these fruits in to a heatproof container with lid and steam this in a pressure cooker/steamer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and allow the fruits to cool completely. I think part of the beauty of this cake is this step.
Pre heat the oven to 170 deg C.
To Caramelize Sugar~ Heat 4tblsp sugar in a pan stirring continuously. When it becomes brown (its a saw dusty brown) add 1cup hot water (adding the water makes it darker) and stir until it becomes thick.(It should be the colour of a dark rum)
Preparing the flour mix~ Sieve together all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder. Toss the steamed cooled mixed fruits in the flour-mix well in a large bowl, so that the fruit is completely coated.(Tossing fruits in flour is to avoid fruits falling to the bottom of the cake during baking time)
Cream butter, sugar; add egg yolks one by one and beat in. Then add vanilla essence,  caramel syrup and beat well. Add flour-fruits mix slowly alternating with milk to the cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour-fruit mixture. Stir well with spatula to blend uniformly.
Beat egg whites till stiff and fold in egg whites in to the cake mixture.
Line the bottom and sides of cake pans with lightly greased parchment. Pour cake batter in to prepared pan. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4hours or till a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. (Start checking after 1hr)
Storing the Cake~ Prick holes on the bottom of the cake with a skewer then sprinkle a teaspoon or two of Rum / brandy over cake, let it sink in for a few minutes. Wrap well with parchment paper and then in aluminum foil for storage. Every day, drizzle / brush another teaspoon or two of Rum/brandy over the cake. 
I only let the cake soak the rum for three days before we cut it and devoured it. But I had saved a small chunk of it and kept infusing it till today (2 weeks later) and Im eating it as i write this post...absolutely divine!!

Glossy rum infused slices
 Try this even though it is not Christmas for some off season festivities.


  1. oh the memories! i grew up in that lovely catholic home eating these culinary delights! but I have never made fruit cake! thank you for this that I think of it, i don't think my kids have ever tasted fruit cake!!
    I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

    1. Welcome to my blog momto8blog!! Thanks for reading!

      Im sure ur kids will love the fruit cake as much as you do!

  2. Awesome recipe, I love this cake, just reading the recipe has me salivating like a Saint Bernard :-)

    Going to so try it ASAP!! The cake you made looks DELISH!

  3. P: Try it try it!! Its excellent! Actually the process of chopping and soaking and stirring the dry fruits is so therapeutic!!