Desserts, Fruit Cake

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Spiced Rum Fruitcake
Course: Dessert
Ingredients
For the fruit
  • 3/4 cup dark rum
  • 4 oz dried apricots 3/4 cup lightly packed, chopped into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 oz dried apples 1 cup lightly packed, chopped into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 oz currants or dark raisins 3/4 cup lightly packed
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
For the batter
  • 5 oz unsalted butter 10 Tbs., softened; more for the pan
  • 5 oz unbleached all-purpose flour 1 cup plus 1 Tbs.
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar preferably muscovado
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 3-1/2 oz crystallized ginger 1/2 cup, finely chopped
  • Dark rum as needed for brushing
Instructions
Soak the fruit
  1. Put the rum, dried fruit, and orange zest in 2-quart saucepan, cover, and warm over medium heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Refrigerate for a minimum of 24 hours and up to 3 days. Before making the cake, bring the fruit to room temperature and drain, reserving any liquid for basting. (If the fruit was very dry, it may have absorbed all the liquid.)
Make the cake
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°Butter an 8-1/2x4-1/2-inch metal loaf pan. Line the pan with two strips of parchment in opposite directions, leaving an overhang for easy removal of the cake.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer), beat the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy and no lumps of brown sugar remain, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl and mixing for 30 to 60 seconds after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and salt. Add 2 Tbs. of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat briefly. Reserve 2 Tbs. of the flour mixture and add the rest to the batter; beat on low speed for 10 seconds to incorporate the flour and then on medium-high for 1 minute.
  3. Combine the crystallized ginger with the drained fruit. Scrape the batter into the center of the bowl. Put the marinated fruit on top of the batter and then sprinkle the reserved flour evenly over the fruit. Using a rubber spatula, fold the fruit into the batter until it’s evenly distributed. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, pressing it in to eliminate air pockets and smoothing the top to make it level. Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 300°F and bake until the center of the cake has risen slightly and a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, about 1-1/2 hours.
  4. Remove the cake and let it cool in its pan on a wire rack for 20 to 30 minutes. Use the parchment overhang to lift the cake from the pan. Place it on the rack, peel down the parchment sides, and cool completely. When cool, brush the cake with 2 to 3 Tbs. of the reserved fruit-soaking liquid or fresh rum. Wrap tightly in plastic and then in foil; store the cake at room temperature for a minimum of 48 hours before serving.
Recipe Notes

If serving within a week of baking, you do not need to baste the cake again. For longer storage, baste once a week with 1 to 2 tablespoons of rum and wrap in fresh plastic and foil. The cake will keep at room temperature for at least 3 weeks.

 

Fruit Cake 2
Course: Dessert
Ingredients
  • cups all purpose flour
  • 2.5 tsps baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Medium Oranges Pureed With Skin
  • 1 cup butter
  • eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 cup caramel  see below for the ingredients & how to make the caramel
  • cups of Assorted Dried Fruits & Nuts I have used Raisins, Currants, Cranberries, Prunes, Apricots, Tropical Mix- (Pineapple, Mango, Papaya, see Below for preparation of the dry fruits, Dates, Pecans, Almonds, Candied Ginger & Orange & Lemon Peel
You will also need:
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon clove powder
  • 1.5  cup rum preferably dark
  • cup red wine
For the Caramel:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup water
Instructions
[Use Orange juice if you do not want to use Rum & Wine. In the grocery store ( In the Baking Isle of Grocery Stores, they have some kind of a Rum Substitute/Flavor available, which does not contain alcohol. If you want the authentic Rum Flavor in your cake, do use this.]
  1. Chop all the Fruits & Nuts & whatever you have decided to use, into small pieces and soak them in rum & wine mix in a large jar. Mix in all the dry powders (nutmeg & clove), give it a big shake & let the fruits macerate for atleast a week. The longer they soak…even for a couple of months, the better. Make sure the there is enough space in the jar for the fruits will almost double in size. ( I used 2 large jars & half filled them each). Every few days shake up the jar.
How to make the Caramel:
  1. Heat a heavy bottomed pan and cook the sugar and a tbsp of water on low high heat. The sugar will melt and start to change color to brown. Swirl the pan around, once or twice. When you find that the color has changed to a little darker golden brown color, turn off heat. ( If you want dark caramel, let the sugar turn darker shade of brown, otherwise switch off the heat when the sugar starts to just brown lightly). Immediately, pour half a cup of water very carefully into the caramel and stir to mix well.
  2. My first time making this caramel, & reading around a little bit in other blogs about caramel flop shows, I really thought the first trial would be doomed. But Thanks to Sailu’s Instructions! This is how my caramel came out the very first time & I am very proud if it:-)
Preparing the batter to bake:
  1. Sieve the flour & baking powder & keep aside.
  2. Separate egg yolks from the whites. Whisk the egg yolks separately with vanilla.
  3. Beat the butter, pureed oranges and powdered sugar till smooth and creamy. Add the egg yolk mixture little by little,
  4. Combine the powdered spices  and caramel, & combine this to the above mixture till blended.
  5. Add the sieved flour & baking powder to this in few batches and combine till  blended.
  6. Strain the soaked fruits & nuts. Save the rum & the wine.
  7. Add the dried fruits (toss the dried fruits in couple of tablespoons of flouand fold it gently into the batter with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  8. Whisk egg whites till it forms peaks and gently fold into the cake batter till well combined.
  9. Grease the cake pans and line with parchment papers. This cake will need 2-3 layers of paper to prevent it from getting dark. I actually greased Newspapers & used them to line the cake pans.
  10. Pour batter up to half of the prepared cake pans and bake in a pre-heated oven at 325 degrees F for about 45 minutes. Check once at 45 minutes & do a toothpick test.
  11. You  might have to bake beyond an hour. So bake at 200 degrees F after 45 minutes, till the cake is light brown and when the toothpick or a skewer comes out clean.
  12. Cool on a wire rack. When cooled to touch,  remove the cake from the pan and  peel the paper.
  13. Make few holes on the cake and drizzle the top with the saved rum & wine. You can do this several times & use more rum if you want it really rum soaked.
  14. Cool the cake completely before wrapping it.