Isn't Christmas the most beautiful time of the year? It is that time of the year when we buy gifts and send out greeting cards, set up the Christmas tree, put up Christmas decorations and ornaments, hang stockings so that Santa can give us those much awaited gifts, bake cakes and throw parties, and simply do all things that make us happy. I love the way the season seems to add life and colour to the entire town; stars, trees and decorations in every shop and mall, an extra spring in everyone's step as they go about their Christmas shopping and beautiful carols playing everywhere. And the best part is that clients everywhere seem to be taking a break, which means a relaxed and merry environment at work as well.
And what is Christmas without a fruit cake? This year, I decided to make my Christmas cake rather than buy one, and everyone seemed to like it. So here is the recipe for you, in case you decide to add a personal touch to your cakes.
150 gms black grapes
100 grms raisins
50 grms dates
50 grms orange peel
¼ cup finely chopped cashew nuts
½ tsp finely scraped lemon rind
1 tsp vanilla essence
¼ cup brandy
150 grms dalda
100 grms butter
300 grms powdered sugar
5 big eggs
¼ kg plain flour
¼ cup fine rava
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup caramel syrup
1. Cut the fruits finely. Soak the fruits in brandy for 2 days.
2. Cream the butter and vanaspathy. This can be done easily by bringing the butter to room temperature. Add sugar to it, and cream till fluffy. Then add the egg yolk one by one, and beat well.
3. Mix the f1our, baking powder and rava. Sieve everything together. Add this to the cake batter little by little, and mix after each addition.
4. Make caramel syrup with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup boiling water. Add this to the cake mixture once it has cooled down.
5. Whisk the egg white and fold into the mixture.
6. Add the lime rind and essence. Finally with fingers mix the cut fruits and cashew nuts sprinkled with almond essence. Keep the cake batter aside for 6 hours.
7. Pour the cake batter into a greased cake tin, and bake in a slow oven at 150 degrees till the cake is baked.
8. Remove the cake from the tin after it has cooled, and keep covered with a loosely woven cloth for a couple of days to soften it.
This recipe is from "Kerala Cookery" by Mrs K.M Mathew.
Wish you a Merry Christmas !!!