What’s Christmas without Fruit Cake! (which is how Christmas Cake is also known) When I was a kid, my mom would buy the most delicious Plum Cakes from a cake-seller who would come to their bank quite regularly. These fruit cakes are no replacement for those childhood memories of rich-dark cake, but do come close nevertheless.
I have been making Christmas Cake since the last five years, but not putting down the recipes in one place always led me into a mad scramble for the recipe that worked for me. So, I’m adding these fruit cake recipes, as much for my reference as it is to share with you, something simple, without a laundry list of ingredients. The perfect recipe for me would be low on butter or oil and also an eggless recipe that tastes as good as the eggy one, if not better, so that the friends who don’t eat eggs, don’t have to miss out on cake.
The eggless version, I got inspiration from Anushruti’s Divine Taste. The idea of using smoothly mashed potatoes in place of eggs was a first for me. And since it worked beautifully for her, I had no doubt that it would for me too. I am glad to report that my eggless version is yummier and softer that the one with eggs.
The recipe with eggs is adapted from Raaga’s blog. I used the same recipe last year too, with much success.
Both recipes have a common starting point which is soaking the fruit a few days ago and then making the caramel a few hours before starting the final cake making.
Although, fruitcake covered with white frosting is popular, i have never been a fan of any kind of icing or frosting, whose only purpose is to send us on a sugar overload. So here are the two recipes that I have used this year with much success.
Prepare in advance
3 cups of mixed dried fruits, citrus peels (raisins, apricot, fig, currants, tutti fruitti, glaced cherries soaked in 1 cup rum with 1 tsp cinnamon powder – for one week-1 month
[Chop the apricot, cherries and fig into small pieces before soaking] I use half this fruit (two cups) per recipe – so 4 cakes for this quantity of fruit.
One batch caramel – reqd per recipe that makes two 8” cakes.
Place ½ cup sugar in heavy bottomed pan. Keep ¾ cup water to boil on the side. On a low heat, let this melt. When it is melting, stir it until it is dark brown in colour. Once sugar has reached this stage, carefully add the boiling water little by little stirring well, until you get a smooth caramel syrup. You can make this ahead as it needs to be completely cool before using in recipe.