Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous year ahead. Come December, all the bakeries in Kerala will have piled up the plum cakes. Though those plum cakes are available through out the year, the ones that arrive during the Christmas, is something special. We never miss to buy them during the season. I have been on the look out for the recipe and Aparna posted a Kerala style fruit cake. Now she did quite a research on the variants of the fruit cake and finally zeroed in on Ammini Ramachandran's recipe.
I decided to follow Aparna's since she said that recipe is close to what she had in mind and her recipe has only two egg whites. As per her recipe, it was for two cakes. I wanted only one cake. So scaling down the recipe will mean only one egg white, which I decided to replace with milk. I agree the texture is not the same, but I got a decent cake and taste was close to what we got back in Kerala.
Here is my version
Dry fruits for soaking
- Raisins - 1/2 cup (I used a mix of black and brown ones)
- Dates - 1/2 cup
- Tutti fruity - 1/4 cup
- Candied orange peel - 2 tblspn
- Candied ginger - 2 tblspn
- Nuts - 1/2 cup
- Orange juice - 1/4 cup
For Caramel Sauce
- Sugar - 3 tblspn
- Boiling water - 1/4 cup
For the cake
- Maida - 1 cup
- Butter - 100 gms/ 1/2 cup
- Powdered brown sugar - 3/4 cup
- Baking powder - 1/2 tspn
- Baking soda - 1/4 tspn
- Milk - 2 tblspn
- Spice powder - 1/2 tspn (Combo of clove+cinnamon+nutmeg powdered together)
- Ginger powder - 1/4 tspn
- Shahjeera- 1/2 tspn
- Vanilla essence - 1/2 tspn
Take the dry fruit mix in a bowl. Add orange juice. The more it is soaked, better it tastes. I soaked for two days under refrigeration. On the day of baking, bring it to room temperature. Microwave it for 2 minutes or cook it on stove top till the fruits soften and the liquid dries up. Leave it to cool
To prepare the caramel, take sugar in a kadai and heat it. Let the sugar melt. Let the melted sugar take a dark brown color. Keep stirring it. Keep 1/4 cup of boiling water ready. When it reaches the brown color, slowly add the boiling water. Take care not to splash the hot liquid on your hand. Mix well. Remove from fire. Let it cool.
Bring butter to room temperature. Cream butter until cream and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar to the butter and mix well. Reserve 2 tablespoons of maida. Sieve the dry ingredients- maida, baking powder, baking soda together.
Stir in the dry ingredients along with the spice powders to the butter-sugar mix. Fold in gently. Don't over mix. Add the caramel sauce and milk too. Dust the soaked fruits with the reserved maida and fold into the batter.Grease the cake tin and transfer the batter. I lined the tin with a butter paper. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 C for 1 hour 30 minutes. Please check after 1 hour and 15 minutes. My oven tends to take more time than the suggested time.
Its always said, fruit cakes taste better as it matures. So decided to leave it for two days. But I was very impatient and couldn't control myself for more than a day and had to slice it to see, how it turned out.
I felt the cake was very sweet. Probably the dates and the candied fruits added to the sweetness. So may be next time, I will reduce 1/4 cup of sugar considering the dry fruits added to it.
Here is wishing all my readers, friends and fellow bloggers a very happy and sparkling 2011. As a blogger, I wish we see less of Plagiarism in the coming year.