December 31, 2014

Christmas Holiday Fruit Cake

Here is my last post for the year. Christmas and the holiday season brings a lot of memories for Malayalees.  One such memory would definitely be a piece of dark flavorful fruit cake. It is probably a representative flavor of the season and will be something that every Malayalee would have had over the years during this season. Initially when we moved to the US, we were not able to find Kerala style fruit cake here and I started to attempt to bake my versions of it. This is one cake I have been making for the past 14 years, though I have been refining the recipe every year based on our increased awareness about food and the cooking ingredients used. Nowadays, even though we can buy the Kerala fruit cake from any Malayali bakery, we still stick with our homemade version. This is the latest version of my christmas holiday fruit cake. It is made with all organic and pure ingredients, yet not compromising much on the flavor. Though, this recipe has egg, I have made eggless versions of this in the past without compromising much on the texture or the flavor. We end up making between 3-5 cakes during the 10 days as all of us love it and I hope you do too. I am making one for this New Year's eve as well.

Wishing all of you a very Happy, Healthy, Safe, Peaceful & Prosperous 2015 !!! 

  • Unrefined coconut palm sugar - 3/4 cup + 2 Tbs. 
  • Virgin coconut oil - 1/2 cup
  • Organic free range eggs - 2
  • Unbleached all purpose flour - 3/4 cup
  • Sprouted spelt flour - 3/4 cup
  • Mashed banana - 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda - 3/4 tsp
  • Ground cinnamon - 1 tsp
  • Ground nutmeg - 1/4 tsp
  • Ground dried ginger - 1/2 tsp
  • Ground cloves - 1 tsp 
  • Sea salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Raisins - 1 cup
  • Mixed dried fruit - 1 cup (goji berries, chopped apricot, chopped dried plums etc)
  • Cashew nuts - for garnish
To soak the dried fruits:
  • Freshly squeezed orange juice - 1 cup 
  • Myer's Jamaican dark rum - 1 cup 
  • Ground cinnamon - 1 tsp
  • Ground nutmeg - 1/2 tsp
  • Ground dried ginger - 1 tsp
  • Ground cloves - 1 tsp 
  • Soak the dried fruit along the spices in orange juice and rum for a day up to a week. 
  • When ready to make the cake drain the dried fruits, squeeze out excess liquid, mix 1/4 cup of flour with the dried fruits, stir until coated and keep aside. Reserve the rum-juice mixture. 
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Grease a 9-inch cake pan with coconut oil or line with parchment paper. You can also use 3, 4-inch pans or 2, 6-inch pans.
  • In a small bowl, add the remaining 1 1/4 cups of flour, spices, baking soda and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, cream together coconut sugar and coconut oil until light and fluffy. Add eggs one by one and beating well. Add mashed banana and 2 Tbs of the reserved rum-juice mixture, mix well. 
  • Add the flour mixture and mix till moistened. Beat with the hand mixture on medium speed for about 2 minutes, do not over mix.
  • Add the flour coated dried fruits, mix to incorporate well. 
  • Pour the mixture into prepared cake pan(s). Level off the surface with a spatula and arrange cashew nuts on top. Bake at 325 deg oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out clean. If using 3, 4-inch pans, baking time will be around 50-55 minutes. If using 2, 6-inch pans, baking time will be around 1 hour.
  • Cool upright in pan 5 minutes.(Optionally, while the cake is still hot, you can prick a few wholes in the cake with a toothpick and drizzle rum on top). Remove the cake from pan and cool completely on wire rack.  
  • Enjoy with family and friends for the season!!!

Note: For an eggless version - mix a tablespoon of ground flax with 4 tablespoons of filtered water. Keep aside for 5 minutes till they gel together. This replaces one egg. 

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