Saturday, 4 July 2015

Fruit cake/ How to make Kerala plum cake/ Christmas cake/ Kerala fruit cake?



Any memory associated with cake is beautiful, isn’t it? Well, do you have something about romance and food?

 For me, my first romance is food.

Sweet or sour, if it there is a plate full of yummy food I fall in love easily.

 I have so many memories associated with food, considering my ability to keep things in my mind is pretty low, when it comes to food I can recollect even the first Pari sweet or Orange muttai I have (back in Kerala in the early 1980’s there is this sweets called Pari, deep green plastic wrap and honey-colored sweet inside that and another sweet which has deep orange flavors). I was nearly three and it was my grandmother who bought this for me.

Hey,  can you remember your first ‘sweet’ experience? How old were you then? Who bought you those sweets? Are you still in touch with that person?



Alright, coming back to cakes, my first cake consuming experience is having a Kerala Plum cake or Christmas cake during Christmas time. In the 1980’s (my childhood time) they were the most popular cake item in all bakeries. I reckon they had a monopoly over other cake bakes. People rarely bake cakes at home, they go to a nearby bakery and buy this plum cake. Even though they were called plum cake you could hardly see any plum. It is full of cherries, dates, and cashews.

What makes this Christmas fruit cake different from others?

 It is the taste of alcohol, back then parents were not bombarded with parenting ideas and rules and we didn’t have so many does and doesn’t, then for children, so they were quite happy to hand over a large piece of this alcohol flavored cake to their young ones. So we were lucky to get introduced to this all-time favorite. As a mentioned these were seasonal cakes, after the Christmas season they were out from store shelves. So when we started developing a taste for cooking this is the first thing I want to learn how to cook, for obvious reasons.
 (Do you have any special dish you want to learn cooking from an early childhood?)

Why this cake is still special for me?

So when I started my life with Mr.P for our first wedding anniversary I cooked this cake and this year for our 7th wedding anniversary we cooked this cake together.

As A lan D. Wolfelt rightly said

‘Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate’


Whom do you want to cook this again? Why?

I want to cook this cake for few friends,
Vinukuttan & Co.
Rahul & Co.
Vinaya & her Gunda gang
Josemon and Associates.
And to all my fellow food bloggers.

Reason: They are special and they share a special passion for food.

Here is the recipe for the famous Kerala Plum cake/ Fruitcake/ Christmas cake.

For better result this cake deserves, love, care, and patience. The success of the cake hugely depends on the fruit mix we use. So preparing a successful fruit base it the first step.



How to make Spicy fruit mix for Christmas cake/ Kerala Plum cake/ Kerala fruitcake?

Ingredients:

  1. Brandy or Dark Rum  – 1.5 Cup
  2. Fruits  & Nuts chopped finely
  3. Apricot - 1/2 cup
  4. Cashew, walnuts, almonds, pasta - 1 cup
  5. Cherries - 1/2 cup
  6. Dates  - 1 cup
  7. Kismish / Sultanas -1/2 cup
  8. Prunes - 1/2 cup
  9. Raisins / Black Currants - 1 cup
  10. Spices ( all crushed).
  11. Cloves – 2
  12. Cardamom – 2
  13. Cinnamon - a small piece
  14. Nutmeg - a small piece
  15. Ginger – a small piece


Preparation:
Mix all the ingredients together and keeps this in an airtight glass jar away from direct sunlight.
For best results, you should keep this mixture at least a few days in advance. Because their shelf life is incredibly long you can prepare this in advance and keep this for ages. 

How to make the Christmas fruitcake?

First step

Caramelizing sugar.

How to make a perfect Caramelized sugar syrup:

  • Water – ½ cup
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Grated ginger – ¼ teaspoon

Method:

  • Add the sugar with one tablespoon water in a heavy bottom pan, mix well and then use medium-high heat to heat the mixture.  The mixture should be wet before turning the heat on. Once the mixture is hot, then please don’t stir them.

  • Once all the sugar is crystallized and subsequently turned its color to a dark golden brown, then you can turn the heat off.  Carefully pour the water to this mixture, keeping the pan away from you. My method pours a bit first to make the mixture cool down and after few seconds pour the remaining water.

  • Now they bring the pan back to heat and heat the sugar mixture in low heat and add grated and stir in between till all the sugar crystals turned as a liquid, this may take 10 minutes. Allow this mixture to cool down completely.  Strain  and remove the ginger bits.


Other ingredients for the Fruitcake:
  1.  
  2. All Purpose Flour / Maida - 2 cup / 240 grams
  3. Butter (unsalted at room temperature) - 250 grams
  4. Medium Eggs – 5
  5. Sugar - 1 1/4 cup / 250 grams
  6. Baking Powder - 1 tsp
  7. Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
  8. Orange peel, grated-  ½ tsp to one teaspoon.
  9. Salt - 1/2 tsp
  10. Vanilla Essence - 2 tsp



Spice powders:
  1. Cardamom Powder / Yelakai Podi - 1 tsp
  2. Cinnamon Powder / Pattai Podi - 1 tsp
  3. Cloves Powder / Krambu Podi - 1/2 tsp
  4. Dry Ginger Powder / Chukku Podi - 1 tsp
  5. Nutmeg Powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. Caraway seeds – ½ tsp
  7. Flour- 2 tablespoons.
  8. Fruits drained from the alcohol mixture
  9. The leftover fruits prepared alcohol mixture – 2 tablespoon


Method:
  • Prepare oven to350 F or 180 degrees C for at least 15 minutes.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spice powders at least twice and keep to one side.
  • Separate egg yolks from whites and beat well in a dish without any water content, till it form a peak.
  • Beat the egg yolk with vanilla essence and keep this to one side.
  • Powder the sugar first, then mix the butter  in this and beat well, then add egg yolk mixture and beat well.
  • Add the caramel syrup and mix well. Add 2 tablespoons of leftover alcohol mixture liquid.
  • Now to this mixture, add the prepared flour mixture one tablespoon at a time and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the egg white mixture and carefully fold the mixture.
  • Toss the dry fruits in the flour and add this to the cake mix.
  • Pour the cake mix to a prepared cake tin and bake this for 45- 60 minutes, because of the amount of water based fruit mixture the cooking time varies from 45 to 60 minutes so I start checking them by inserting a fork from 45 minutes onwards. BUT NEVER EVER OPEN THE OVEN BEFORE 30 MINUTES…
  • Remove the cake and pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of leftover fruity alcohol mixture / juice based mixture (this step is optional and if you are not a fan of alcohol you can avoid this).
  • Allow the cake to cool down. For best result keep this for at least 12 hours before cutting the first slice.
  • Enjoy your fruity Christmas cake with a glass of wine and your loved ones.



Love and Food challenge:
I shared the thought of having a love food challenge to my fellow food bloggers in Food blogger central (https://www.facebook.com/groups/foodbloggerscentral/) and few of my lovely fellow bloggers expressed their interest in taking part. Thank you, dears.


So
I invite my fellow bloggers to participate in a love & Food challenge:
The Rules are simple.


1.    Create a dish around love as the theme.

2.    Answer the following simple questions.

  • Do you have something to say about romance and food?
  • Can you remember your first ‘sweet’ experience? 
  • How old were you then? 
  • Who bought you those sweets? 
  • Are you still in touch with that person?
  •  Whom do you want to cook this dish again? Why?

6.    Invite your favorite bloggers.
7.    Mention the blogger who invited you in your blogpost and back link them.
8.    The blogger who is invited has 30 days to complete the challenge.



IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN JOINING THIS CHALLENGE DROP A COMMENT BELOW.
That is it, let us spread love.

Bloggers I am inviting:

  1. Razena Schroeder From Tantalisemytastebuds . Razena is a great food blogger and I recommend you to try her Ramadan Specials.
  2. Byron Thomas from Prettypracticalpanty.com.  About Byron, he is an amazing cook and a multi-talented blogger. 









4 comments:

Christine said...

My earliest memory of food is hiding under the dining room table with my cousin, waiting for the salad to be put out and then stealing all the black olives off the top. Italian American so go figure! Thanks for linking up to #SaucySaturdays!

Dini @The Flavor Bender said...

That is such a beautiful history for such a delicious looking cake! :D One of my favourite food memories is a cake too! My mother taught me how to bake, so baking always bring back those memories!
This cake looks and sounds delicious Deepa! Thank you so much for sharing at #SaucySaturdays! :)

Jennifer Stewart said...

My first sweet memory was homemade coconut ice cream in the bahamas with my grandparents. Most of my good memories are associated with food. Maybe that is why I like to cook all the time so I can remember them! Great recipe for fruit cake! One that I will definitely make this Christmas as my mother-in-law loves fruit cake! Thanks for linking up to #SaucySaturdays and I hope you will party with us next week too!

swayampurna mishra said...

Thanks so much for linking up at #SaucySaturdays!! the cake loooks scrumptious.. I love fruit cakes with my evening coffee... :)

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