SIMPLE DRIED FRUITS (PLUM) CAKE RECIPE
Fruit cake is synonymously associated with Christmas. But why wait till Christmas to have a bite? I would prefer a fruit cake any time. Here is a simple plum cake recipe which does not require the long process and tedious wait.!!!!!! These types of cakes, commonly called as plum cakes in Kerala are my favorite. Plum cake’s sold in certain bakeries are so flavorful and moist.. Moreover, many do not like too much of fruits in a cake so this recipe will be apt for such a cake as it requires a minimal amount of dried fruits. My kids are not at all fond of fruit cakes so I make this often when icing cakes have started to cause a boredom. My last 2kg batch was polished off in less than two day’s time. I bet this will be your fav fruit cake recipe after a try. The aroma and texture is amazing.
- All-purpose flour, sifted – 2 1/2 cups or 325 grams
- Cocoa powder – 1 tablespoon (optional)
- Brown sugar – 1 1/2 cups or around 300 grams (powdered)
- Baking powder – 2 teaspoons
- Mixed spices powder – 1 teaspoon (I used Cinnamon, Cloves, Caraway Seeds and Nutmeg)
- Salt – 3/4 teaspoon
- Butter – 200 grams
- Eggs – 5 large
- Dry fruits mix (soaked) – 600 grams (refer tips 8, 9 & 10)
- Black treacle or Caramel Syrup or jaggery syrup – 2 tablespoons
- Milk or Sour cream – ½ to 3/4 cup
- Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon
- Pineapple essence – 1 teaspoon
- Orange zest and juice – 1 large orange
In a large mixing bowl, add the liquor, black treacle and mix well. To this add all the finely chopped dried fruits and peels and give a good mix with a wooden. Store it in an air tight glass jar in a dark, cool cabinet. Give in a thorough mix every alternate day, till the day of baking. (I use to feed more liquor, if the mix was found dry.)
Ensure all the ingredients are at room temperature. It is better to keep the butter and eggs needed for the recipe outside the refrigerator for an hour before you begin the mixing process.
Sieve together flour, baking powder, salt , the spice powder and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 160 degrees C. Prepare two 8 x 2 round cake pans 0r 2 9 X 5 loaf pans by greasing and flouring /adding parchment to bottom of the pan.
In a mixing bowl, add the measured softened butter and powdered sugar. Start creaming the butter and sugar mixture with a mixer or a spatula. Continue creaming it until it is soft and fluffy.
Start adding the eggs, one at a time, and continue with the creaming process. Continue until all the eggs have been added. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl in between until all the eggs are totally incorporated and the mixture is very soft and fluffy.
Add the orange zest, juice, vanilla and pineapple essence and mix well.
Start adding the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, little at a time (roughly in 4 turns). Gently fold the mixture until the flour is fully incorporated with the butter, sugar and eggs. Do not over mix. Instead keep folding gently. Finally add the soaked fruits mix and gently fold in to get a uniform mix.
In case you find the batter is too thick, add 1 tablespoon extra milk at a time and fold the mixture; (you need a thick non runny batter here). Scrape the bowl one last time to make sure all ingredients are thoroughly blended in.
Divide batter into pans and bake at 160 C for 60 to 75 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and dry. Cover the top with baking paper, after 45 minutes baking.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
Gently tap the bottom of the baking tin. If required, run a knife along the outer edges. Unmold the cake from the baking tin and let it cool completely on a wire rack. You can brush coat the cake with the liquor before serving. Slice the cake with a serrated bread knife and enjoy.
You can wrap the cake with baking paper and seal it in cling foil and store at room temperature for a week. It can also be refrigerated in an air tight container.
Basic tips to Remember:
1. Organize all the ingredients on your work table before you start. All mixing bowls and cooking utensils must be dry.
2. All ingredients should be at room temperature.
3. Add eggs one at a time only, or the mixture will curdle.
4. Do not use a mixer after you add the flour. Just gently fold in using a spoon or spatula.
5. Preheat the oven, and do not open the oven during baking.
6. Let the cake rest outside for 10 minutes after baking before unmolding.
7. It is always better to store the cake in an air tight container, wrapped with a baking sheet and sealed with a cling foil to retain the moistness of the cake. Slice the cake only when required because storing sliced cake will prematurely dry out the cake.
8. You can soak dry fruits in a mix of brandy and rum. This combo works best for me.
9. If you do not want to use rum or brandy, replace with fruit jams, red wine or fruit juices.
10. Choose your own preferred dry fruits and peels, but try using dark dry fruits for a rich dark colored cake like dark raisins, black currant, blue berries, prunes, cranberries etc:-