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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Plum Cake

IMG_0861I used to travel over Taratolla in Kolkata to go to my college. During Christmas I used to see a bunch of ladies hanging out infront of the bakeries with large bags (big shopper) in their hand. I never quiet figured out what they were doing until the day I chanced upon an acquaintance doing the same. She solved the mystery, they were waiting for the baker to bake their cake. Since few had oven at home, they’d bring the ingredients  of the cake and get it baked at the bakery.

Thankfully we have it easy, the only waiting I need to do is for the oven timer to go off. But let me tell you that with the aroma of the cake filling the house, it’s hard to wait.

Ingredients For Rum / Wine soaked fruits

You can use any fruits and nuts of your choice. Here is the list that I have used for my cakeIMG_0200

  1. Cashew
  2. Almond
  3. Raisins
  4. Black current
  5. Dried blue berry
  6. Dried cherry
  7. Dried Prunes
  8. Dried Apricot
  9. Dried Fig
  10. Candied tutty fruity mixture

I used almost 3 cups of these fruit mixture and soaked them in Rum / red wine for a week. The longer you soak the better it tastes. If you don't like to use alcohol you can soak in either orange or grape juice.

For the caramel

  1. 1 cup brown sugar
  2. 1 cup water

In a pan bring the water to a boil and let it simmer on low heat. In a separate pan take the brown sugar and keep on a low heat. Soon it will start melting. Wait till the sugar melts completely. Once it melts add the boiling water to it and stir really vigorously so that it doesn’t stick at the bottom. Let it simmer till this becomes thick. Now allow it to cool.

For the cake

  1. 2 cups all purpose flour (Maida)
  2. 1 cup powdered sugar
  3. 150 gm. of unsalted butter
  4. 4 eggs
  5. 1 cup orange juice
  6. 2 tsp. baking powder
  7. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  8. Spice  powder made of the following which will later be referred as CNMC powder
    1. A pinch of Clove powder
    2. A pinch of Nutmeg powder
    3. A pinch of Mace powder
    4. A pinch of Cinnamon powder

Sieve flour and baking powder and mix with all dry spices and keep aside.

Take a big mixing bowl and with a hand mixer beat sugar and butter till they are light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat till they mix in.

Add half of the flour mixture and fold it gently with a spatula. Do not use electric mixer/beater after you add the flour.

Add in the caramel. Add orange juice and vanilla extract.  Mix well. Now fold rest of the dry ingredients into it. Finally toss the soaked dry fruits in 2 tbsp. of dry flour and  mix them in the cake batter.

Pre heat the oven at 300F.

Line a baking pan with butter paper and pour the cake batter. Cover the top of the pan with an aluminum foil. Bake for 60 mins. The covering with the foil helps to prevent the over-browning of the cake top.

Lower the temperature to 250F and bake again for 20 - 30 mins without the aluminum foil. Insert a skewer, if it comes out clean it means the cake is done. If not you need to bake for some more time.

Once done take it out and allow it to cool completely. Remove the butter papers once it is cold. Brush it up with little more wine / rum. Wait for atleast 24 hrs  to mature.

Decorate and serve.


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