Christmas is not just a day. It’s a Season. The whole family sits together to soak all the nuts and dry fruits in red wine at least a month before Christmas. That marks the start of the year’s most awaited season. We cut Black and Golden raisins, Dates, Cherries, Tutti frutti, Cashews, Walnuts and Apricots. We fight for turns in mixing them with wine. Keeping it undisturbed is not that easy, we love to check how it looks then and there because that shows how far Christmas is.
This time, We soaked a week ago, that means Christmas was a month away. Now, I just made a trail Christmas cake, to tell everyone that Christmas is coming soon. To spread that mood, so that everyone can start planning to set their cribs, trees and stars.
Cake making has something special that none others have. That is, that Full family attendance. Some want to whisk the eggs, some want to mix the batter, some want to pour it in pan and every family has that one member who just waits for the empty bowl to taste the batter. 😀
The clock runs all time slow, when we wait for the cake to cook, agree? While the aroma of the cake slowly filling up all the house and our senses, ‘How is it going to taste? Is it going to be a disaster?’ The suspense factor adds up every minute until we say, “Wow..” at the cake. All in all, it always turns out to be a fun filled adventure.
Today too saw all those fun moments, nothing less than any other cake making day. And the cake, when we took out, was awesome soft and yummy. The colour, the flavour, the texture, everything was so perfect. Christmas.. is in the air!!! 🙂
See, What did I say!! I can’t stop photographing this beauty. But two armed men (My hubby and my son) with very powerful weapons (Spoon and Fork) are starring at me. I better leave their way.
“Start the music!!!”
Meanwhile, I share with you the recipe here. I’ve scaled down the recipe from a foodblog site, Pachakalokam.
- Nuts & Dry fruits – 1 cup (I used Black raisins, golden raisins, cherries, tutti frutti, dates, cashews, walnuts, apricots)
- Red Wine – 1 cup
- Sugar – 1/4 cup
- Water – 1/2 cup
- Maida or All purpose flour – 1 cup
- Sugar – 1/2 cup. powdered.
- Baking soda – 1/2 tea spoon
- Baking powder – 1 tea spoon
- Eggs – 2
- Butter – 1/2 cup
- Spice powder – 1/4 tea spoon (Cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, nutmeg ground together)
- Lemon zest – 1/4 tea spoon
- Cut the nuts and dry fruits into small and soak in Red wine. At least for a week, at the max of 2 months. Shake it once in a while.
- This is an important stage. The caramelized sugar gives the Christmas cake an unique flavour.
- Add 1 table spoon of hot water to the sugar and stir well. Switch on the flame and wait till the sugar syrup becomes dark brown in colour. Do not stir in between.
- Switch off the stove when you see the right colour, add the water slowly and stir. Keep it aside.
- Pour the nuts soaking wine into a drainer. Let it drain slowly while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Separate the egg whites. Whisk the whites till foamy. Keep it aside.
- Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder together. Keep it aside
- Add the egg yolks to the powdered sugar and mix. Add butter now and beat well till the mixture becomes creamy.
- Add a part of the sifted flour mix to this and mix well.
- Add the caramelized sugar syrup and 2 table spoons of the wine you drained from the nuts and mix.
- Add the remaining flour, spice powder and lemon zest and whisk well.
- Add the foamy whites now and mix. Do not whisk any more. Just fold them together softly.
- Add one or two table spoons of flour to the drained nuts and fruits and mix them. This will prevent the nuts and fruits from staying at the bottom of the pan.
- Add this nuts mix to the cake batter and fold them all together.
- Pour the mixture to a greased and dusted bake pan and even it on the top. Bake for 45 to 50 mins. Mm… Yumm!!!
- If you would like to avoid red wine, you can use Orange juice and soak it overnight, people say. But to be frank, I’ve never tried that yet. Will post for sure if I could successfully make that version.
- Keep the eggs and butter out in the room temperature hours before you start baking.
- Always add the flour and fluids in batches to check for the right consistency. Just before you keep the mix inside the oven, the batter should look exactly like Peanut butter, in colour and consistency. That means you are going to get a perfect Plum cake.
Here you go, one piece for you., Enjoy!!! 😉