This cake is more about the preparations and variations. Every person I have met who makes Christmas Plum cake has a different recipe for this cake. For some bakers, it should be heavily loaded with rum-soaked dried fruits. For some, it should have lots of spices (Cinnamon powder, Nutmeg powder, All-Spice Powder, etc.) and for some, it should have juice and marmalade. Some people use Cocoa powder for the color and some people use caramel for the color. Be it any version, the Christmas cake of each family is special and is all about holidays, winters, and celebrations. And don’t forget to make that Mocha Coffee or Hot Chocolate with this cake.
Ingredients for Soaking Dry Fruits
- Dried Cranberries – 100 gms
- Dried Apricots (Chopped) – 100 gms
- Raisins – 100 gms
- Dates (Chopped) – 80 gms
- Dried Figs – 80 gms
- Tutti-Frutti – 50 gms
- Crystalized Ginger – 1 tbsp
- Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice – 150 ml
- Orange Zest – 2 tbsp
- Rum – 175 ml
Ingredients for Caramel
- Sugar – 200 gms (1 cup)
- Water – 100 ml
Ingredients for Cake
- Flour – 350 gms (2 and 1/2 cups)
- Brown Sugar – 200 gms
- Butter (room temperature) – 200 gms
- Baking Powder – 1 tsp
- Caramel – 120 ml
- Eggs – 4 number
- Vanilla Essence – 1 tbsp
- Almonds (Soaked Overnight) – 1 cup
Prepare the Dry Fruits (2-3 Weeks before the Cake Preparation)
- Chop the dried apricots, dates, and figs.
- Take a large glass container or bowl with a lid.
- Mix all the dried fruits in the bowl – Chopped dried apricots, chopped dates, chopped figs, raisins, Tutti-Frutti, Crystalized ginger
- Add 150 ml of freshly squeezed orange juice and 2 tbsp orange zest to the fruits and give it a stir.
- Add 175 ml of rum to the mixture. Give it a stir and close the lid.
- Open the lid every day and shake the dried fruits gently and close the lid.
- All the dry fruits mentioned can be replaced by the dry fruits of your choice.
One Night before baking the Cake
- Soak the Almonds
- Soak one cup almonds in water overnight.
- Strain the Dry Fruits
- Put the dry fruits in the strainer.
- Let the excess liquid strain out over-night.
Preparations before making the Cake
- Make the Caramel
- Spread one cup sugar on the pan on medium heat. Do not stir the sugar in between. Let the sugar brown. If required, swirl the pan slowly.
- Once all the sugar has been browned, add ½ water to the sugar. Be very careful while doing this step. Protect your face and hands from splashes.
- Lower the flame and let the sugar and water cook for 40-50 seconds.
- Take it out of the flame and let it cool.
- In the beginning, it will be of water consistency. It will turn thick like honey once cooled.
- Prepare the Baking Dish
- Take an 8 inch baking dish and line the dish with baking paper completely.
- Prepare the Almonds
- Peel and roughly chop the almonds.
- Add these chopped almonds to the strained dry fruits.
Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven at 160°C.
- Take a large bowl and add flour (Maida) and baking powder and mix well.
- Add soaked dried fruits with almonds to the flour and mix well until all the dried fruits are coated with flour. This step is important as this will prevent the dried fruits from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
- In a separate bowl, add butter and whisk with an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
- Add brown sugar to the butter and whisk again for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add one egg at a time and whisk till it is mixed well. Add vanilla essence to it.
- Add the butter-Sugar-egg mixture to the flour mixture. Mix gently with spatula.
- Add Caramel to the mixture and mix well gently.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish slowly. The mixture will be very dense and thick. With the help of the spatula, spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish. Garnish the batter with some more dried fruits.
- Bake the cake in the pre-heated oven at 160°C for 90 minutes.
- After 90 minutes, check the cake with the tooth-pick. Insert the tooth-pick in the center of the cake. It should come out clean. If the tooth-pick comes out wet, bake the cake for 4 more minutes and check again