18 April 2007

Fruit Cake - II

Over the winter, with the new baby at home, there's been a steady stream of visitors. And I found it very easy to make up really large batches of fruitcake, and my visitors too loved those. And since fruitcake has such a wonderfully long shelf life, there's always something nice to snack on.

After my last batch of fruitcake, I trawled around for recipes, and finally located an old notebook of mine with a recipe of the very first fruitcake that got me hooked. And I got started on a marathon baking spree in late January.

When my mother visited me, a lot of friends from Mysore had sent me loads of snacks, spice mixes, podis and other assorted yummies. I thought this would be a great thank you gift. My mom was slightly stunned at the final amount of batter. It was almost a day long baking session. My only complaint is that my oven is in proportion to the size of my kitchen, and my kitchen is slightly larger than a closet. You get the idea. I could bake only 2 regular, or 3 small loaf pans at a time. And at the end of it all, I got some 6 small cakes, and 6 large cakes. And then never found time to take a picture or post that gem.

Everyone who received a cake was quite thrilled and most polished it off in less than 15 minutes. An average of 2 hours per cake, and all gone in 10-15 minutes??? Must have tasted great!!!

After packing off the gifts, I kept a few slabs for myself, and forgot all about them. Last week, I desperately wanted something sweet, and decided to attack some of this fruitcake, and it was awesome. It had matured beautifully, texture was wonderfully firm... and tasted absolutely wonderful!

In that mellow frame of mind, I now post one of the most time consuming, but still worth-every-minute of it recipe.

Before I get started, let me mention that one of the most important things needed for this cake, is a large (about 3 liter) jar/container with an airtight lid. And plenty of patience!

The Ultimate Fruitcake

Phase 1

250 grams mixed dried fruits
125 grams dried cherries
250 grams dried dates
100 grams dried plums
100 grams raisins
100 grams tutti frutti
50 grams candied peel
150 grams ginger preserve
100 grams walnuts
150 grams cashewnuts
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp clove powder
250 grams sooji/rava/farina/cream of wheat
500 ml brandy

Wash and dry plums and raisins.
Chop all fruits and nuts finely.
Keep aside the cashew nuts, walnuts and dates.
Roast sooji/cream of wheat till frangant, and very slightly browned. Allow to cool.
Mix all fruits (except cashew nuts, walnuts and dates) with the sooji/cream of wheat, spice powders, brandy and toss well.
Transfer to large airtight container.
Let soak for at least one week, and upto 3 weeks.

Phase 2

250 grams butter
500 grams sugar
12 eggs
100 grams flour
150 grams orange marmalade
25 ml honey
1 pinch salt
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp allspice
1/2 cup caramelized sugar

Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Sepetare eggs.
Add egg yolks to butter, one at a time, and beat till smooth.
Add salt, vanilla essence and allspice.
Beat egg whites till stiff.
Add mixed fruit, dates, nuts, flour, jam, honey and caramelised sugar a little at a time, alternating with egg whites.
Mix well after each addition, till all ingredients are used up.
Preheat oven to 175°C.
Pour batter into greased,lined baking pans (not more than 1.5" of batter per pan) and bake each batch for 45 mins or till done.

Notes on Storage:
Let cakes cool completely.
Wrap each cake in 3 layers of foil, and seal with cling-wrap.
Let age for at least a week.
Mine have stored for as long as 4 months.


"Lady Namu" said...

when do you gte the time to do all this??? just reading it makes me wanna eat it - wish I could right off my screen...lol

Vidya said...

haha... whenever i get stressed out! easiest way to work off some stress, beat the living daylights out of a dozen eggs.

Anonymous said...

Awesome. I like cakes.
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