Plum Cake

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I always look forward to baking during Christmas time. The aroma of the cookies, fruit cake fills the entire home with a scent of celebration. I had a lot of fun baking a plum cake for this Christmas. This is a treasured recipe passed on to me by my Mom. Typically for a plum cake , the dry fruits and fruits are soaked in rum or brandy, but myself and my Mom have been baking a version where we soak the fruits in coconut water. The cake turns out rich, yummy and flavorful

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year 2016 !

Ingredients

  • 250 gms butter
  • 250 gms castor sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 250 gms flour
  • For the candied peel
    • Mixed candied peel from one orange and lemon – (Instructions for making the candied peel follow below)
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 cup water
  • For the caramalized sugar
    • 3 tbsp sugar
    • 1/2 cup water
  • 150 gms raisins ( I used black California raisins )
  • 200 gms finely chopped black grapes
  • 100 gms fresh chopped dates
  • 40 g dried craisins ( dried cranberry raisins )
  • 40 g finely chopped figs
  • 40 g finely chopped apricot
  • 30 g dried berry mix (currants , blueberry )
  • 100 gms golden raisins
  • 50 gms finely chopped cherries
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut water
  •  1/2 cup of nuts to powder ( walnuts or cashewnuts )
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method

  • How to make candied peel
    • Peel one orange and one lemon with a peeler so that the white part is not included. Cut it into long slices
    • Heat 1 cup water and add ½ a cup of sugar. Heat it for 5 minutes, till the sugar dissolves
    • imageAdd the peel and keep it on low flame till the quantity is reduced to a quarter (Takes around 45 minutes to an hour). Keep an eye on the candied peel and keep stirring it in between to prevent burning
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  • How to caramalize sugar
    • Take 3 tbsp sugar, heat it till it becomes brown.
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    • When it becomes brown and liquidy, add half a cup water immediately. Sugar will become rock solid if you add water before it is brown and watery after it becomes very dark. Keep a watch on the sugar and add water accordingly to get the best result
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    • This is how the final caramalized sugar looks like ( You should see a light brown color syrup )
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  • Beating Eggs
    • Separate the egg into egg whites and egg yellow
    • First beat the egg whites well adding 1 tbsp sugar until it is nice and frothy
    • Now, add the egg yellow and beat it lightly until the mixture is nice and frothy
    • Place the mixture in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes and then beat it again. This step will give a creamy mixture and also enhance the texture of the final cake. This is my Mom’s tip and has also worked wonders in all cakes
    • Keep the eggs aside 
  • Clean, de-seed and de-stalk fruit. Chop up finely. Sprinkle one tablespoon cococonut water and mix well. Place the fruit mixture at room temperature for 4-5 hours and refrigerate for at least days ( or more until you are ready to make the cake )
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  • Make the candied peel just before you are ready to bake, as it will harden when cooled. You can discard the remaining water in the candied peel mixture and just add the peel
  • Beat butter and castor sugar till amalgamated and light
  • Add the eggs a little at a time, beating well after each addition
  • Add the caramelized sugar to the egg, sugar mixture when cool and beat it
  • Roll fruit  and candied peel in powdered walnuts
  • Halve the flour and fold in one half into the batter
  • Fold the fruits into the mixture
  • Fold in the remaining flour
  • Add 1 tbsp of coconut water and a teaspoon of essence
  • Line a 9 inch diameter cake tin with double greased paper. Also grease the tin with both flour and butter or oil
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  • Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes
  •  Bake in the oven for about two hours or until a skewer comes out clean
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Enjoy and wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year once again !

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