December is my favourite month of the year. The air is festive, pretty decorations are all around, people are happy, the weather is lovely, holidays are around the corner….and it’s my birthday month (and I’m turning 30 this Monday)! So it’s celebration time! With a nice chill in the air, it’s the perfect time to bake. The house smells delicious with all the cinnamon and apples and chocolate. And it’s at this time of the year that I actually look forward to opening the oven and feeling the warmth, unlike the summer months when I dread the blast of hot air.
With Christmas upon us soon, I made my first fruit cake of the year last week. I wonder why though…because it’s so good that it should be made all year round! My dried fruits had been soaking in a mixture of rum, cognac, and whiskey for 2 weeks now. If you havnt soaked your dried fruits yet soak them NOW
! You still have time. Though traditionally the soaking period should be around a month, even a week is good enough for all the flavours to soak in. This booze-soaked mixture of dried fruits, candied peels and ginger is called mincemeat. Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with meat. Makes you wonder about the name! But that’s a thought for another day. Once your mincemeat is ready, you’re all set to bake!
I used a recipe from my friend Deeba’s blog, Passionate about baking. I skipped the garam masala and just used cinnamon and nutmeg to spice my cake. This recipes makes 2 cakes, so you could halve it if you want just one. Though, I suggest making 2, as it’s so good that it’ll be gone sooner than you can imagine! I made one using a loaf pan and the other using a round baking pan.
1 kg mincemeat (soaked dried fruits from here, strained)
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
300 gms unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
5 eggs (I used Egg replacer powder)
3/4 cup caramel syrup
1 1/2 tbsp instant coffee
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 150C.
Put the strained soaked fruit in a big bowl. Add 3 cups flour, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and toss well so that the fruit is completely coated. Keep aside.
Stir coffee into caramel syrup. Keep aside.
Beat the butter and sugar till soft and fluffy. Then add the eggs and beat well again. Now add the caramel syrup and vanilla extract and mix well. Add baking powder and whisk again.
Pour this batter over the flour and fruit mixture and stir well with spatula to blend uniformly.
Pour batter into lined loaf pans/baking tins and bake at 150C until the top appears done when you touch it. It took about 1 hour for the loaf pan, and almost 11/2 hours for my 10inch round pan.
Let it cool completely before turning it out and cover completely to store.
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