Jingle bells, Jingle bells…Jingle all the way.
Santa Clause is coming around, riding on his sleigh… 🙂
Ho Ho Ho! Merry Xmas people..May you have the most beautiful life ahead! 🙂
When I look around myself this season, I feel so happy and so cheered up. Perhaps there is some magic in the air only.. I don’t know..I just go crazy!!! 🙂 Those beautiful trees, XMas lights, Santa clause sleigh, Bells, Decors and every single thing makes me feel so good. But the bestest thing for me on Christmas is that rich plum cake prepared with finest of ingredients and loads of love.
My very first memory of the plum cake was at my neighbor’s place. We all used to go to their Christmas party every year on 24th Dec. As soon as clock strike 12, the lady used to sprinkle rum all over the cake and the man used to light it up with a matchstick. Flames rose for few seconds and then all gone. But the added flavor it used to infuse was surreal. 🙂 I grew up with this authentic tradition over a rich plum cake and my secret wish always was to prepare it one day. Finally the day is right here! 🙂
I was very enthusiastic to prepare the Christmas Cake this year. Since the inception of this food blog in May 2015, I was keen to end the year with a blasting recipe and here I am, presenting my favorite and my best recipe of 2015.
I had no expert with me who can guide me at that time but just 2 ladies – 1 far away in Ireland and other far away at United States. These two lovely ladies were with me through their blog and Instagram. I would like to thank both of them as my recipe is a mix of both of their recipes. 🙂
Manju Nair – Thank you for such a detailed recipe here Manju’s Blog which really helped me a lot in gaining confidence and making my first ever plum cake. 🙂 The way you have explained the recipe, it’s simply Awesome. 🙂 If I say that your recipe laid the foundation for me to bake AWE-SOMENESS, trust me, I am not lying. 🙂
Marilyn Kennedy – When you are there, I know I will always come out with flying colors. This recipe is so close to my heart that I treated it like my baby. Reason being the generations old background of this recipe which was shared to me by you.
Guys, her heritage recipe is 169 years old and is passed down since generations. Marylin got this from her husband’s aunt who got it from her mother-in-law and so on. And now it’s with me. I really felt so proud to prepare it and nurture it and , trust me, I will treasure it and will pass it down to my generations as well. 🙂 That’s a promise Marilyn!
I remember that night, 4 months back, when I was awake throughout just to slice all the dry fruits and to soak them in rum. As it was first attempt I was bit scared but still confident enough to give it a try. 🙂 After a night long spree, finally all the dry fruits were sliced and soaked in a mix of McDowells and Old Monk Rum.
I used mixture of 9 dried fruits – Cranberry, Blueberry, Raisins, Black raisins, Sultanas, Apricots, Figs, Cherries and Dates. After the soaking, the ritual of stirring and mixing periodically started and it went on for whole 4 months when finally the dried fruits were all bloomed. 🙂
Let’s have a look on the complete recipe.
Cake size – 1 Kg cake baked in 6 inches cake mould.
Preparation time: 20 mins + 4 months of dry fruits soaking time.
Baking time: 1 hour 40 mins at 140 degrees. (I bake in Samsung Microwave Convection mode)
For Dry fruit ritual
I used mixture of 9 dried fruits – Cranberry, Blueberry, Raisins, Black raisins, Sultanas, Apricots, Figs, Cherries and Dates. Slice them finely and soak them in a mix of McDowells and Old Monk Rum in a glass jar. Keep the same in a dark cupboard at room temperature only.
Rum should be added only to the point till all the dry fruits are soaked ( just on the level). You can soak it according to your choice. May be 1 year in advance or 1 month, 1 week or even a day in advance. It will all depend on how strong flavor you want. Once soaked, lightly stir them in every 4-5 days.
For Spice mix
- 1 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp Nutmeg powder
- 1/2 tsp Ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp Clove powder
- 1/2 tsp Cardamon powder
- 1/2 tsp Black Cardamon or Badi Elaichi powder
I prefer a strong flavor of nutmeg and cinnamon, hence I use this measure. You all can tweak it according to your taste.
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 3/4 cup Hot Boiling Water
Heat sugar in a pan along with 1 tbsp water. Let it simmer slowly. Once it starts changing its color, stir it lightly. Let it be on gas till it changes it’s color to dark black. More the color, more beautiful your cake will be. 🙂 Once it is done, take it off the gas and add hot boiling water to it carefully. Make sure you are standing at a distance as it may splash and burn you. Stir it properly and your caramel is ready.
For the cake
- 100 gms Butter (I used Amul unsalted butter)
- 1.5 cups Icing sugar
- 3 Eggs ( Whites & Yolk separated)
- 1.5 cups All Purpose Flour or Maida
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 1 cup powdered Almonds & Cashews
- 6 tbsp Orange Marmalade ( I used simple Kisan’s one)
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar granules
- Spice mix
- Caramel syrup
- Soaked fruits
The best way to prepare a cake is to start once all the ingredients properly measured are kept in front of you. Beating the batter and mixing requires a very quick hand movement and is only possible once you have everything handy.
- Sieve APF, Spice mix, Baking powder. Baking Soda. Sieve for at least 4-5 times.
- Grease your cake tin and cover it well with parchment paper. Also keep the sides covered with brown paper which actually gives it more moistness and saves it from burning.
- Take your soaked fruits and drain the extra rum. Now add fresh tuti fruitis, coarsely powdered almonds and cashews for the crunch. Add 3 tbsp flour and mix it well. This will help in avoiding the sinking of dry fruits in the batter.
- Pre-heat your oven at 140 degrees.
- Beat butter and icing sugar together till smooth.
- Add yolks, one at a time and keep beating it lightly.
- Now fold in the dry ingredients and mix it well though slowly.
- Add powdered almonds & cashews. Mix well.
- Add Vanilla essence, orange marmalade and caramel syrup. Combine them finely. Mix well and let it rest for few minutes.
- Now, take egg whites in a separate bowl and start beating it. Beat till soft peaks are formed. Now add powdered sugar granule and keep beating till glossy peaks are formed. Fold it gently into your cake batter.
- If you feel that cake batter is bit runny, do add 1 to 2 tbsp APF and mix well. The consistency should be thick and not runny.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake at 140 degrees. In my Microwave convection, it took 1 hr 40 mins to complete bake. After 1 hr, I covered the top with aluminium foil so that it don’t get burnt.
- Do the toothpick test to check the status of the cake.
- Once baked, let it cool down for 15 mins outside the oven. Invert the cake over a wire rack and let it cool for at least 30 mins.
- Once cooled, brush rum all around the cake and cover it with aluminium foil. Wrap properly and keep in a tight container at dark place. Keep it away from any strong odor. It’s always better to keep it safe in a kitchen wardrobe. 🙂
- Do brush the cake with rum daily till the final day. Christmas plum cake matures with time so it’s always better to prepare it well in advance. 🙂
Connect on my Facebook Food group for more fun and discussions around Christmas. 🙂
Christmas Cake 2016 – Showcased in beautiful winter wonderland. 🙂