Christmas Fruit Cake
I was waiting since so long to try Christmas Fruit Cake. I have had Christmas cakes since childhood alright not may be since childhood, that was a clear lie but at least in my teen years when all my South Indian friends mom’s would make it and I got to eat it. I still remember one of my christian friend’s mom had baked a wonderful fruit cake and I always wanted the recipe. Although, I never asked for the recipe. Her’s was perfectly sweet , full of fruits, and moist and made with love. As far as I know there are lot of variations on Fruit Cakes, but the one I am referring is the ones found in most of the Southern India or Sri Lanka.
It is thought to be a adapted from the Western fruit cake brought to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese and Dutch who eventually colonized Sri Lanka. It is commonly served during Christmas time in Sri Lanka. It is cut into squares, wrapped in a layer of wax paper and tied with ribbons on each end. It is often served to guests during this special time as they visit the home and it also given as a gift to neighbors to eat. From Sri Lanka it traveled to India’s southern states. There seems to be lot of Christian communities residing in the Southern India , although fruit cakes were not limited to Christian households but everyone savored the cake. The one that I have baked this year isn’t the Sri lankan Fruit Cake but similar to it.
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup candied orange
1/2 cup sun dried cranberries
1/2 cup glaced red cherries
1 cup Mixed candied fruit
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one orange
1/4 – 1/2 cup gold rum
1 cup Brown sugar
1 1/4 stick unsalted butter
1 cup orange juice
4 whole cloves, ground
1 teaspoon allspice ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 3/4 – 2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted cashews and almonds broken
Brandy for spritzing (optional)
Note – If you wish to make an alcohol free cake, increase the quantity of orange juice, substitute it with apple juice in place of the alcohol.
Soak the candied and dried fruits in rum and orange juice, zest of both the lemon and orange and macerate it overnight or more than few weeks, but if you keep it longer then keep stirring it once in a while.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9 inches round cake pan. Line base and sides with parchment paper. Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda and spices into a bowl. Using electric beaters or kitchen-aid mixer, cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 tablespoon flour mixture and beat until well combined. Using a large metal spoon, fold remaining flour mixture into butter mixture.
Mix in the fruit mixture along with the rum and orange juice. Then fold in the nuts. Mix it well. Spoon into non-stick round pan and bake for 1 hour. Check for doneness by inserting toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If not, bake another 10 minutes, and check again.
Remove cake from oven and place on cooling rack.
Baste or spritz top with brandy and allow to cool completely before turning out from pan.
When cake is completely cooled, seal in a tight sealing, food safe container. Every 2 to 3 days, feel the cake and if dry, spritz with brandy. The cake’s flavor will enhance considerably over the next two weeks.
If you decide to give the cake as a gift, be sure to tell the recipient that they are very lucky indeed.
I made the fruit cake also to gift to my Secret Santa Food Swap that I participate every year via Food 52. Enbe is the one who organizes everything for us i.e. she matches the names of the swappers and send out the information to all of us. So, by the deadline we send gifts to one blogger and receive a gift package from another blogger. It is so much fun. I start making a list of things I wish to gift and once I get the name, I try to search and find out what the person I am sending gift likes or dislikes. It is like officially you can stalk that person. Lolz! 🙂
I was matched to send gift to Gillian in MA. I sent her most of things homemade and also added some store bought goodies. I made her Besan Barfi which is an Indian Gluten free Fudge, Fig and Date balls with nuts in it, I had prepared some blueberry jam in summer, garlic and rosemary jelly from Beth’s Kitchen which I had bought from Union Square Farmer’s market, then we went to Vermont recently so I bought her Hot chocolate Chai mix from famous Lake Champlain, I filled a jar with lentil soup mix with recipe instructions and spices, I made Poha chivda which is homemade snack, I added ras-el-hanout african spice mix to the list of gifts, a wooden spoon and a loaf Christmas Fruit Cake with a Christmas Card.
In return I received from another Food blogger or enthusiast, a package full of all the stuff below which included candle, paper napkins, lip balm, peanut brittle, peanut chews (locally made), Cherry pistachio granola, a cotton coffee mug sleeve, 2 bars of locally made soap one of them is blood orange margarita which by the way I can’t wait to use and smell like Blood Orange margarita myself, strawberry jam, apple cranberry jam and pickled mushrooms with a Christmas card.
I have to say I have started to enjoy Christmas because all these little things I get to do. Sending a virtual friend a food gift makes me as excited as a child who receives a gift. I have embraced Christmas fully although I have not grown up celebrating it. Small things matter in life. It’s not the gifts but the fun and the excitement of finding a package at your doorstep during the Christmas days.
I wish you all readers a very Happy Merry Christmas!
Remember I just had the boozy Christmas Fruit Cake.