"Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, jingle all the way...
Oh! what fun it is to ride a one horse open slay...
hey! Jingle Bells..."
Christmas is here and it brings with it so much colour, brightness and cheer all around. Along with so many other goodies that is prepared for Christmas, a beautiful cake is baked. Here in India, you will find all bakeries filled with 'Rich Plum Cake ' or more popularly known as the Christmas Cake. It is dark brown in colour , dense in texture and rich with dry fruits, nuts and smells of so many spices.
Traditionally, the dry fruits and nuts are soaked anywhere between 3 months to a year in Rum/Brandy. The fruits soak up the alcohol and soften up . This adds to the deliciousness of the cake. Though I too love the soaked version of the cake, today I am sharing a recipe where you can bake a cake without using eggs and 'soaked' fruits.
Christmas Plum Cake :
Preparation time : 1 hour
Cooking time : 30 to 35 minutes
Yield: 1 kg Plum Cake (approximately)
Measurement : 1 cup= 250ml cup
1 cup All Purpose Flour/ Maida
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Butter ( melted)
1 cup Chopped Dry Fruits ( I used chopped figs,sultanas, raisins, black currant,apricot,glazed cherries,cashewnuts,almonds,walnuts )
1 teaspoon Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon Milk powder
2 teaspoon Fruit jam ( I used homemade Strawberry jam)
1 teaspoon Corn syrup ( optional)
1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup orange juice ( freshly squeezed)
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
Milk ( adjust)
A pinch of salt
For the ground spices: ( process them into a fine powder)
1 " piece cinnamon
1/2 nutmeg ( use half )- If using powder, 1/2 teaspoon
1. Chop all your dryfruits.
2. In a large bowl, add flour, cocoa powder, milk powder, ground spice powder, salt , baking powder and baking soda. Mix using a fork and sift the mixture.
3. Heat a wide pan, add sugar and water just enough to cover the sugar. Let the sugar melt and come to sticky consistency/honey like consistency.
4.Add the corn syrup, jam and few drops of lemon juice. Simmer for one minute and switch off.
4. Now add the chopped dry fruits , orange juice and mix well. Let it cool and come to the room temperature.
5. Pour sugar-dryfruit mixture and the melted butter into the flour mixture. Using a dry and clean Spatula, Cut and fold to mix . You are looking for a smooth , shiny ribbon consistency. Add milk to adjust the consistency.
6. Grease a cake pan with butter. Pour the batter into the pan and bake the cake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees C for 30 to 35 minutes or upto the time a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. After 20 minutes, you can loosely cover the pan with foil and bake to prevent browning.
7. Once baked, cool them in a rack completely.
Your Rich Plum Cake is ready on time for Christmas.
1. Since this cake takes time to bake, use a wider pan so that the baking time is lesser.
2. You can use dryfruits of your choice.
3. You can use wheat flour as a healthier alternative
4. You can use regular sugar instead of brown sugar and increase the cocoa powder to 2 teaspoons.
5. You can garnish the cake before baking with blanched almonds and glazed cherries to give a great look.
6. You can line the cake pan with 2 layers of butter paper to prevent drying up of the cake