Rich fruit Cake or Plum Cake is commonly known as Christmas Cake. In India,Christmas is not believed to be complete without Plum Cake. Its one of the commonly 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.
So believers please be cautious when you are offered a Plum cake. You might as well just ask the person offering you the Plum cake if there is any brandy or rum added to it. Or if you’re somebody who likes Plum cakes ask your baker to make it without the intoxicants. If you would like to make it at home, here’s a recipe :
Few tips for fruit cake:
- Always mix your fruit with the flour so the fruis will be scattered all over instead of sinking in the bottom of the cake.
- Try to preserve the fruits with apple or orange juice for about a week prior to making the cake, as the flavour will be more amalgamated and makes the cake tastes better.
- Ensure caramel is brown but not burnt (!) as this distinctly determines the flavour of the cake
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
½ cup mixed peel
½ cup glace cherries
¾ cup raisins
¼ cup dates
½ cup almonds
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 cup orange juice
(A pinch of salt if using unsalted butter)
For the caramel
½ cup sugar
1 cup water
( Melt the sugar and water on medium heat until it turns golden brown and concentrates into a 1/2 cup caramel)
1. Mix all the fruits and almond with the orange juice into an airtight container, and keep this in the fridge for a week prior to baking the cake.
2. Using electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until almost white in colour. Add in the egg yolks followed by the vanilla extract. Put this batter aside.
3. Mix the flour with baking powder and cinnamon. By a week’s time, the fruits would have absorbed all the orange juice but should there be remaining juice, drain the juice off and coat the fruits with flour mix.
4. Pour in the flour-fruit mix alternating with the caramel into the batter until well blended.
5. Beat the egg whites until it forms stiff peak meringue, this will take about 8 minutes with stand electric mixer, or slightly longer with handheld mixer. Add the meringue into the batter using fold in technique.
6. Pour mix into a 23 cm cake pan and bake for 1 hour at 170C or until an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean.
Cool the cake on wire rack and decorate it if you like with royal icing, or marzipan and fondant icing. This can be kept for a month in an airtight container.
Plum Cake + Rum / Brandy = Haram