Fruit Cake is always there on any December menu – at home or in a bakery. An eternal favorite, the cool climes of December also heralds in the deep, caramel bouquet of rum soaked candied fruits, nuts and raisins. Typically, I soak these in October and make the first fruitcake of the season within week one of December. My worse half loves an upgrade on the traditional fruitcake - drunk on rum and redolent with flavor. Many a times, I wonder whether it’s the rum in the cake or the cake in the rum!!!
My egg version has more fruits and very little flour, just enough to bind the fruits together. This eggless version varies in this aspect – a little more flour is added.
A couple of other tips before you get into the recipe:
1. you can vary the proportion of fruit as per your liking; and
2. Remember to brush on a lot of rum the moment the cake is out of the oven.
This cake has all the flavors of winter, of December and of Christmas cheer. It makes you feel good, warm and satisfied. A lot of people love fruitcake but many also don’t favor it. With my version, you are sure to win all hearts.
Note: The recipe is adapted from here.
- For caramel: -
- Sugar - 75 grams
- Hot water - 50 grams
- For the cake: -
- All purpose flour - 200 grams
- Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
- Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
- Baking spices - 2 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Unsalted butter - 100 grams
- Nestle sweetened condensed milk - 1 tin or 400 grams
- Aerated soda - 150 grams / 150 ml
- Rum soaked candied fruits and nuts - 150 grams
- Rum for brushing on the cake - 1/4 cup
Soak in an airtight container raisins, dried figs, candied cherries, pineapple etc in enough rum. Store it in the refrigerator. This can be done 24 hours to many months in advance.
Preheat the oven to 1800C, grease and dust an 8” round cake pan.
Prepare the caramel first by heating sugar with a tablespoon of water. Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook on low flame. The steam that will form during the process will wash down any crystals from the sides of the pan.
Once the sugar melts and begins to brown in spots, swirl the pan to even out the color and to keep the hot spots from burning. When the sugar is golden color, take it off the stove and add hot water. Stir it carefully with a long-handled wooden spoon as the steam emitted by hot sizzling caramel may cause burns.
Put it back on the stove and cook on low flame to melt any hardened bits of caramel. Once it dissolves take it off the stove and let it cool down. The caramel syrup is ready.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and baking spices.
Soften butter in a pan; mix in Sweetened Condensed Milk and beat for a minute. Fold in the sifted flour mixture alternating it with aerated soda and caramel syrup, beginning with the dry and end with the dry.
Sieve the soaked fruits and fold them in the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for an hour or more till the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Add some more rum to the rum obtained from the sieved fruits to make it 1/4 cup.
Remove from oven and brush it with the rum. Let it cool for 10 mins, loosen sides of the cake and turn out onto a plate. Brush it again with rum and serve. It tastes better after 24 hours as the cake flavors mature.