Christmas is fast approaching and I am so excited. It is vacation time, a wedding in the family and a lovely festive get together. It is the best time of the year in so many ways this year and I have begun my countdown! 5 days to go for Christmas and 5 days for me to shop, pack and catch the flight.
It is another wonderful season and like I said in my previous blog entry, I hope you are enjoying the season to the full. If not here are some perfect movies to watch this week -
- Santa Claus trilogy, a perfect family entertainer to watch with your family.
- 12 gifts for Christmas, reminds you that festive season is the time for your loved ones.
- Deck the halls - a comedy that keeps up the spirit of Christmas.
Have you put up your tree yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Hurry, put up your tree and star. hang your stockings, adorn your door with wreath, finish your Christmas shopping, let the baking begin and let the carol bells chime all the day through - because it is the best time of the year again.
I finally baked my own Christmas fruit cake this year :)
No more buying cakes for Christmas because I have already baked 4!
Here is the recipe for you -
For soaking -
- Candied fruits/tutti frutti
- Red wine - 500 ml
I have not specified the specific quantity since you could use any number as you like. One cake would require 1 cup of dried fruits.
For the Cake -
- All purpose flour - 2 cups + 1/4 cup for the soaked fruits
- Baking powder - 2 tsp
- Nutmeg powder - 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon powder - 3/4 tsp
- Clove powder - 1/2 tsp
- Sugar - 1 and 3/4 cups + 1/4 cup for caramel
- Water - 1/8 cup
- Butter - 400 gms unsalted
- Strawberry Jam - 5 tbsp
- Egg - 4 no.s
- Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
- Soaking fruits for cake is a tradition at most places and experts say that the longer you soak the fruits the better the cake tastes. Now that we do not have months to soak it, overnight would just be fine. Chop the nuts and fruits roughly and soak it in wine and keep it closed in an air tight container. If you have longer time to soak, make sure to shake the bottle every other day. Pour just enough wine to cover the fruits that you have chopped. Also make sure that you do not layer the fruits till the top of the jar as the fruits tend to swell up and would require space.
- Grease a round baking tray(8'') and keep aside. Pre - heat your oven for 15 minutes at 180 degree.
- Meanwhile sift together the dry ingredients - the flour, baking powder, nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder and clove powder.
- Prepare the caramel syrup by heating the sugar in a hot pan with constant stirring till it begins to form bubbles. Switch off the flame and add water to this constantly stirring. Switch on the flame again and bring this syrup to a boil still stirring and let it cool.
- Removed the soaked fruits from the jar and let the excess wine drain. Toss these fruits in the flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake. Sieve this and set aside to remove the excess flour.
- Break open the eggs, separating the whites and yolk. Whisk the whites till it forms peaks.
- Add the softened butter and sugar in a bowl and fold them together. To this add the egg yolk and vanilla essence. Fold them together using a whisk or a spatula.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients and once this is combined well, add the whisked egg whites. Avoid stirring too much once the egg whites are added.
- Add the caramel syrup that renders the color to the cake and fold it again.
- Add the jam scoops, fold in once again and finally add the flour tossed dry fruits and just give a stir with the spatula.
- Transfer this to the greased baking pan. Bake it at 200 degrees for first 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 170 degree till it is almost done and then increase the temperature again for the last 10 minutes.
- Transfer it to a cooling rack and brush it with the wine used for soaking fruits. Keep it covered with a cling film and keep brushing it with wine for 2- 3 days to get the most delicious fruit cake.
My Christmas Cake is ready!
Merry Christmas to all around.