Rich fruit cake – Christmas cake

An early awakening call from Mom to update my blog as it is all dried up put me in a mood to nourish the same. Though super slow me (according to Dad’s standards) could not keep up with blogging as my cooking adventures proceeded, surely have been hoarding all the recipes. So you all may be well past Christmas, but in terms of blogging I have reached only Christmas eve and the recipe today is for a rich fruit cake. As the name suggests it is exceedingly fruits and lot less flour. It means you give it a bite right there, you enter into a  fruit world, wondering where the flour has gone, then sweet sour citrusy gingery kick, and you are no more fruit deficient. The alcohol hint just complements the sweet sour punch in a right way, which fruit cakes are supposed to do. So the idea was to feed the cake with some rum at intervals, but the cake could not see the second dawn and it did not move further than a pregnant friend’s house who live by next block.

I have been eyeing on the picture of a piece of fruit cake from The Big Book of Baking for quite long and it was like I wanna bake this. A first timer in making fruit cake, with no recipe to call my own, and with husband’s constant nagging to make one, I was pondering until last minute the feasibility of store bought option of a Christmas cake. When my mind was prepared to make one, it was just hours to go before the eve, and with the perfectionist in me popping only at times, I was on a hunt for fruit peels and then the reality hit me – peels are out of stock.

With the habit of cramming everything until last minute, my heart racing, and me gasping for breath, I did it and when the results turned incredibly good,  SIGH! The exhaustive work  saw fruition at 12:00, when baby Jesus was born, and to be exact that’s when we cut the cake. Everyone loved it except Abbey.

So shimmery December is going to stay for at least a week in my posts.

Sultanas – 350 g
Raisins – 225 g
Ready-to-eat dried apricots – 115 g
Stoned dates, chopped – 85 g
Dark rum – 4 tbsp plus extra for flavoring
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange
Unsalted butter – 225 g
Light muscovado sugar – 225 g
Eggs – 4
Chopped mixed peel – 70 g (I did not use this)
Glace cherries, quartered – 85 g
Stem ginger, chopped – 25 g
Blanced almonds, chopped – 40 g
Plain flour – 200 g
Ground mixed spice – 1 tsp

Soak the sultanas, raisins, apricots, and dates in a bowl and stir in the rum, orange rind, and orange juice. Cover and leave to soak for several hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Grease and line a 20 cm round deep cake tin. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, beating hard after each addition. Stir in the soaked fruits, mixed peel, glace cherries, stem ginger, and blanced almonds.

Sift together the flour and mixed spice, then fold lightly and evenly into the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the surface, making a slight depression in the center with the back of the spoon.

Bake in the preheated oven for 2 1/4-2 3/4 hours, or until the cake is beginning to shrink away from the sides or do the skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the tin.

Turn out the cake and remove the lining paper. Wrap in grease proof paper and foil, and store for at least two months before use. To add a richer flavor, prick the cake with a skewer and spoon over a couple of extra tablespoons of rum, if using, before storing. (I skipped this part, but the cake was packed with right balance of flavors …… yum yum yum)

Fruits soaked in rum

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