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!
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!
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.
Taking this to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener!
Christmas Fruit Cake
Recipe source: lifescoops.blogspot.com
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
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)
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.