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Christmas Plum Cake

                                     
                                                           




Yum
                                                 


                                    Christmas celebration is incomplete without grape wine and plum cake. I made this cake using dry fruits soaked in alcohol. Instead of alcohol, you can use orange juice to make alcohol free version of this cake.

                                      While hearing this word plum cake, everyone will think that this cake contains plum fruit. Plum refers to raisins or prunes only. 
                                     
                                      During the medieval period, people used to take fasting and abstinence before Christmas. A Porridge made up of oats, dried fruits, spices, honey, and sometimes meat, was consumed to 'line the stomach' for the upcoming feast, eventually turning into a Christmas pudding. People started making cakes using the same ingredients and fruits or dry fruits. Thus Plum cakes came into existence as a dessert. Irish Plum cake and Exotic Plum cake are famous plum cakes. 

                                  Some of you might have heard about the Cake mixing ceremony, which is conducted 40 days before the feast every year in Christian families. In this ceremony, the whole family sits together and soaks the harvested fruits in wine or rum that are dried and stored for baking the cakes.    
                                      
let's go to the recipe


                                                      Kerala Style  Christmas Plum Cake

                                              
                                                         
                                     


Ingredients and method:

 Mixed dry fruits:3 cups
Rum/Brandy/wine(Dark Rum is good)

-Soak dry fruits in alcohol.
( I made this cake using dry fruits soaked in alcohol. Instead of alcohol, you can use orange juice to make alcohol free version of this cake. )

-Prepare caramel syrup
           
For its preparation, we need to combine 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of water in a vessel. Heat it and melt sugar in it. when the color of the sugar becomes golden brown, switch off the flame and add the remaining 1/4 cup of warm water. When you do this, you have to be very much careful.
                    Again heat it, and boil it for a few more minutes. Switch off the flame and let it cool.you can prepare this caramel syrup early and keep it in the refrigerator. 

Cake
All-purpose flour-2cups
Baking powder- 1 1/4 teaspoon
Baking soda - 1/2 teaspoon
sugar- 3/4 cup+ 2 tablespoon
Unsalted butter-250 grams  at room temperature
Eggs- 4 at room temperature
Vanilla Essence- 1 1/2 teaspoon at room temperature

Spice powder-
cloves-5
cardamom - 4-5
Cinnamon- a small size piece
Nutmeg - a small piece
-Grind all the spices with a pinch of sugar to a fine powder and keep it aside.
-Preheat the oven at 180 C for 15 minutes before baking
-Drain the soaked fruits and keep it aside.retain 4 tablespoon from the drained alcohol. Toss these dry fruits with all-purpose flour (1-2 tablespoon) to prevent the fruits from sinking to the bottom of the cake.
Sift the flour with baking powder, baking soda, and powdered spices.
Powder the sugar and keep it aside.

Beat the eggs and vanilla essence together. Add the sugar little at a time and beat everything. Beat after each addition. Add the unsalted butter (room temperature).Beat again for a few minutes and add caramel syrup. Fold in sifted flour mixture, beaten eggs, soaked fruits, and 3 tablespoon of retained liquor. Grease the baking mold(12 inch),line with parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. (Baking time may vary ).This cake can be store for nearly 1 1 /2 weeks at room temperature.


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