Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Recipe: Christmas cake
I have baked my Christmas cake well in advance this year. At first I thought I would follow the same recipe as I did last year for Anand’s birthday cake. I looked into the recipe and to my shock I realised that I had not included flour in the recipe. Uh Oh. I have since corrected it.
Since I did not have all the ingredients I had listed in last year’s recipe and did not feel like rushing to the store, I modified the recipe to include available ingredients. Hubby dear had cut the dry fruits (cashew, almonds, pistachios, dry pineapple, dry ginger, dates, raisins, walnuts, pecans, plums and prunes) and soaked them in plenty of brandy a month ago. Usually I would add cherries,which I did not have this time. I remembered how I enjoyed my trips to Whole Foods where I could pick up all dry fruits at one counter.
I had been using margarine or hydrogenated vegetable oil or butter according to availability at home. Since my (handsome and charming, natch) son recently prohibited me from using hydrogenated oil (contains transfat, he says) I used home made butter.
As I did not have brown sugar this time, I used 1 tbsp. of caramelised sugar to get the color. To caramelise sugar, heat 1 tbsp sugar in a heavy bottomed pan, stirring continuously. When it starts melting, reduce heat until the color changes to dark brown. Remove from heat and extract the caramel with 1 tbsp of water or milk.
The following is the list of ingredients.
Mixed dry fruits marinated in brandy :400 gms
Butter: 150 gms
Flour: 125 gms
Grated chocolate: 1tbsp
Caramalised sugar: 1 tbsp
Cinnamon powder: 1tsp
Mixed spices: 1tsp
Sodium-bi-carbonate: 1/2 tsp
Pre heat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg. F)
Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs one by one to the creamed mixture and continue creaming till the mixture is light. Add the caramelised sugar and melted chocolate. Cream some more.
Sift the flour twice with cinnamon powder, powdered spices and sodium-bi-carbonate. Transfer the marinated fruits to a bowl and mix with 2 tbsp of sifted flour (this will prevent the fruits from sinking to the bottom of the cake).
Fold the sifted flour into the creamed mixture gently, alternating with the fruits mixture. Pour into a well greased and dusted baking pan and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hr. Reduce the temp. to 150 deg C (300 deg F) and bake for another 15 min. Test with a skewer.
Remove from the oven. Rest for 10mins. Invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.