Christmas is the time to celebrate and a time for baking. The bakery’s are loaded with yummy fruit cakes. Here is a recipe from Mishmash( click here for the original page)that was extremely tempting and I landed up trying the recipe for 2008 Christmas. It turned out great and since then, it has been Mishmash’s fruit cake recipe each year.
This process is not simple. But the result is amazing. I make the caramel a day in advance. I have a hand mixer that I use to beat the egg whites in a dry mixing bowl. I use the stand mixer to mix the cake batter.
We get the fruits and nuts from walmart (Sun-ripe fruit cake mix, which contains cherries) .
This year I made one and a half portion of the recipe to make three cakes. Finally I decided to use an angel cake pan to make one big fruit cake. It turned out really well. It took 1 hour and 45 minutes to bake( approximately). I kept checking regularly.
The cake has to rest for 4 or 5 days after it is baked for the best tasting fruit cake that is flavorful and moist. This is for the rum to seep into the cake and enrich it.
The caramel can be made a day in advance ( refrigerate the caramel). Making caramel is a bit tricky. I have always struggled with it. But this year I tried this method that worked perfectly.
Ingredients for fruits-alcohol mix:
- Candied lemon peels,orange peels, pineapple and cherries – 1 + 1/2 cup (used Sun-ripe brand fruit cake mix)
- Raisins – 1/3 cup
- Chopped almonds and cashews – 1/3 cup
- Spiced rum – enough rum to cover the fruits.
Method for fruit-alcohol mix:
- Mix the fruits and nuts in alcohol in a jar.
- Cover it and let the mixture rest on the kitchen counter until it is time to bake.
- The longer the better. Can be soaked six months in advance.
- If the fruits absorb the alcohol, add more alcohol as required.
Ingredients for Caramel:
- Sugar – 1/2 cup
- Water – 1/2 cup
Method for preparing caramel:
“Make sure kids stay away from the kitchen when you prepare caramel”
- Add sugar in a sauce pan and put it on medium heat.
- Do not stir using a spoon.
- The sugar will burn on the sides.
- Use the handle of the saucepan to swirl the caramel.
- Keep swirling occasionally.
- When half the sugar is burnt, use a spatula and mix the caramel.
- It will turn lumpy but will soon melt as you stir.
- It will also start to burn.
- When the caramel turns amber color like the one in the photo . Turn off the stove.
- Wear oven mitts and pour 1/2 a cup of water to the sauce. It will bubble and splash. Stay as far away as possible.
- It will start to crystallize.
- Turn on the stove to medium heat and use a spatula to mix the caramel.
- The crystals will dissolve.
- Turn off the heat and let it cool down completely before you refrigerate it or use it to bake the cake.
- It should taste sweet. But a very tiny hint of bitterness is fine.
- It should not be too bitter.
- The color of the caramel decides the color of the cake, so it is better to make caramel a day in advance.
- Since you dilute it with water, it will not be too thick.
- Dont lose hope if the caramel burns. Just try again. All you need is 1/2 a cup of sugar and a bit patience 🙂
Ingredients for Cake:
- All purpose flour – 1 + 1/2 cup, sifted
- Unsalted butter – 3/4 cup, at room temperature
- Sugar – 1+ 1/2 cup
- Egg – 3, separate the egg whites and egg yolks
- Baking powder – 1 tsp
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Spiced rum/wine – 2 tbsps (I used the rum from the soaked dried fruits)
- Black cumin seeds/ Shahi jeera powder- 3/4 tsp (powder shahi jeera into a fine powder)
- Ground nutmeg – 1/4 tsp
- Ground cinnamon – 1/4 tsp
- Ground cloves – 1/4 tsp
- Ground cardamom – 1/4 tsp
Method for fruit cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Butter one 9 inch cake pan and one 8 inch cake pan (two 9 inch cake pan or two 8 inch cake pan).
- Line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment paper.
- Sprinkle the cake pans with flour and tap out the excess flour.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together and set it aside.
- In a bowl, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form (when you stop whisking and remove the beater).
- Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until combined.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract and mix till well combined.
- Add ground shahi jeera, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground cardamom, ground nutmeg, rum/wine and 1/2 cup of caramel to it.Mix until well combined.
- Add flour little by little and mix until combined.
- Use a spatula and fold in the egg whites until just combined. Do not over mix.
- Drain the nuts and fruits. Set 1/2 cup of fruit and nuts aside.
- Toss the fruit and nuts into the batter and mix well.
- Add 1 tbsp of flour to the 1/2 cup of fruit and nuts and toss them.
- Pour the cake batter into the pans and before flattening the top of the cake batter, spread the fruits and nuts tossed in flour over it.
- Level the top of the cake batter with a spatula.
- Bake the cake for approximately 60 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
- Invert the cake onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.
- Wrap the cake air tight using plastic wrap and let it rest on the counter for 4 days.