Christmas Fruit Cake/ Kerala Plum Cake 2015

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Happy new year everyone!

You remember this big Christmas bundt cake I made last year?  This time, I decided to change it up a bit and  bake my fruit cakes in my bundlette pan and make mini bundts. And much to my joy, it turned out really well. So cute and adorable…don’t you think? And perfect for gifting!

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This time, I skipped on the figs and apricots, and just used dates, raisins, cherries and prunes. I got about 14 bundlettes out of the recipe and the baking time was 25-30 minutes…you might want to start checking at 20 minutes though, just to be safe.

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That’s it for this post…See ya next time guys!

 

 

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Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Pound Cake

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This has got to be the fluffiest cake I have ever made. But of course, how could it not be? I mean, have you seen all the lovely, wonderful stuff that goes into this beauty of a cake…butter (duh!), cream cheese (aaha!), and a teeny bit of sour cream (sold!). A sprinkle of powdered sugar on top, and you are good to go.

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The addition of cream cheese lightens up the pound cake and gives it an ever so slight a tang which I found extremely interesting. So if you are not a big fan of the in-your-face butteriness of pound cakes, definitely give this one a try. I have a feeling you are going to be pleasantly surprised.

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The recipe is definitely a keeper, but I had one problem with it…the amount of chocolate chips in it. It calls for a mere 1 cup of chocolate chips, which, for a chocoholic like me, is way too disappointing. If you are more of a vanilla lover than a chocolate one, follow the exact recipe, maybe add more vanilla ( if you like) and you should be very happy. Next time, I would definitely increase the chocolate chips to 11/2 cups; maybe even 2 cups.

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Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Recipe source: The Whimsical Bakehouse

Ingredients:

2 sticks (I cup, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temp

8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp

11/2 cups sugar

2 tbsp. sour cream

1 tsp vanilla extract ( I used 2 tsp)

4 large eggs, at room temp

21/4 cups cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips ( increase to 11/2 if you like more)

Method:

Grease and flour a Bundt pan or two 9-inch round pans. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat well at high speed.

Add the sugar and cream at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix well at medium speed.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

On a piece of wax paper, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and beat on low speed until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Bundt pan: Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the pan. Cool completely.

9-inch pans: Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes on wire rack for 15 minutes before turning out of the pans.

Christmas Fruit Cake/ Kerala Plum Cake

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Finally the Christmas Fruit Cake is ready. Remember this? And guess what? I have found THE recipe. After years of trying many many recipes ranging from “not bad” to “it’s ok” to “well, that’s it, I’m done!”, I have fallen in love with this particular recipe. And yes, it has managed to do the unthinkable — convert me from a hardcore fruit cake loather to a budding fruit cake lover…😍.

Doesn’t it look absolutely gorgeous?…so dark and perfect!

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This recipe comes from the lovely Shema George at Life Scoops. This recipe is her family’s own heirloom recipe, handed down over three generations. It has got to be good, right? And she has very generously shared with us all this awesome recipe here. Although you can find the recipe at the end of this post here, I really urge you to go visit Shema and read everything about this wonderful cake and also about her family’s Christmas traditions. She also has some very valuable tips on making this fruit cake perfect. Thank you so much Shema!

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I soaked the fruits for about 4 weeks. Then I baked it, brushed it lovingly with rum, wrapped it tenderly, first in parchment paper, then some foil and finally put it in a ziplock bag and stored it away in a secret place, away from all the hungry monkeys in my house 😀.

The recipe yields 2 9-inch cakes, but I chose to bake this in my Bundt pan. The baking time in the recipe says about 1 hour, but my cake took almost an extra 20-25 minutes. So start checking at the recommended baking time and allow more time if needed.

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Taking this to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener!

Christmas Fruit Cake

Recipe source: lifescoops.blogspot.com

Ingredients:

Soaking the fruits

2/3 cup sugar

5 cups dry fruits (raisins, sultanas, currants, cranberries, cherries, apricots, figs, prunes, dates)

1 cup water

1/2 cup brandy/rum

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2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking Soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 3/8 cups (2 sticks and 3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

5 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp orange marmalade

1/2 tsp orange zest

3 tbsp lime juice

3 tbsp powdered sugar

1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, cashew nuts)
Method:

Soaking the fruits (A few weeks, preferably a couple of months ahead of baking the cake)

Finely chop the dry fruits.

In a non-stick sauce pan, add the sugar and let it caramelize. Once the sugar caramelizes or turns into brown color, take the sauce pan off the heat and carefully add water little by little. Be careful to avoid splashes as the caramelized sugar would be extremely hot. Stir well.

Add the chopped dry fruits and reheat mixture until it starts boiling.

Take it off the heat and add brandy or rum.

Let the mixture cool completely; cover and seal in an air tight container.

Making the cake batter

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.

Grease the cake pan and line it with parchment paper. Since I used a Bundt pan, I just greased it.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg) and keep it aside.

Mix the butter and sugar together and add the egg yolk one by one until everything is incorporated.

Add the soaked dry fruits and mix.

Stir in the flour mixture in batches and mix.

Add vanilla, orange marmalade, orange zest and the chopped nuts.

In a big bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the lime juice and powdered sugar and mix again.

Folding egg whites into cake – Pour 1/2 of the beaten egg whites into the cake batter, and stir it in. This thins and lightens the batter, making it easier to incorporate the rest of the egg whites. Mix until there are no visible streaks of egg white in the batter.

Pour remaining egg whites into the batter – This time, instead of stirring, gently lift batter from the bottom of the bowl and gently fold it over top of the egg whites. Handle the batter gently, in order to preserve the foam as much as possible. Repeat, until the egg whites are dispersed throughout the batter but still visible.

Pour the cake batter into prepared pans and bake for 1 hour or until the inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Storing the cake

Let the cake cool completely

Prick holes in the cake with a toothpick and brush/drizzle brandy or rum.

Wrap and seal the cake with parchment paper, followed by aluminum foil; cling wrap it and store it in Ziploc bags.

Repeat the process of feeding the cake with rum/brandy occasionally, to keep it moist and rich.

Deep Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake

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Well ladies, let me tell ya….this is one hunk of a cake! I mean, just look at him…err, at it…☺️. Tall? yes…dark?…oh yes…handsome?…of course! And the easiest part is that it is all done in a Bundt pan, no leveling, no filling, no frosting…just bake, glaze and enjoy.😃

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This recipe is yet another awesome creation by the wonderful Tish Boyle. Another success after her Brioche Cake and the other Chocolate Cake. Usually before I try out a new recipe, I do a quick Google search to find some reviews and tips on the recipe by other bloggers. Regarding this recipe, I saw that many people had reduced the amount of sugar since they thought it was too much. I was a little confused as to which route to take…the less sugar way or just follow the original recipe. I am always wary of altering the basics (sugar, butter, eggs, etc.) of a new recipe and in the end, decided to just put my trust on the author and bake away. The cake came out perfect. Tender, moist and as the title says, deeply chocolatey. The sweetness of the cake is perfectly balanced by the bittersweet glaze. The cake was so dark it was really hard to photograph well.😔

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Deep Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake

Recipe source: The Cake Book by Tish Boyle

Ingredients:

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

21/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

11/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

21/2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

Ingredients for Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze:

3 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 deg F. Grease the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan. Dust the pan with flour.

Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until very creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the mixture is well blended and light, about 4 minutes. At medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

In a small bowl, stir the vanilla extract into the sour cream. If your mixer has a splatter shield attachment, attach it now. At low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream mixture in two additions and mixing just until blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake the cake for 65 to 75 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

Invert the cake onto the rack and let cool completely.

To glaze the cake: Place the cake on the wire rack, on a wax paper- or foil-lined baking sheet. Slowly pour the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides. Let the glaze set for about 30 minutes before slicing the cake.

Bittersweet Glaze: Place the chocolate in the bowl of a food processor and process just until finely ground. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate to the pan. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer the glaze to a small bowl. Cover the surface of the glaze with a piece of plastic wrap and let cool for about 10 minutes before using.