Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Treats - Part I : Plum Cake

Its that time of the year, when you bake n bake until you drop, and that's exactly what I did :))

While in the US, I used to love the holiday season. Everywhere you go, you see christmas lights..switch on the radio, hear those wonderful chrismtas carols...switch on the tv (used to love watching food network shows during the holidays) - you see chefs baking cookies, cakes, pies, puddings and so on....I did miss that festive spirit here in bangalore.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

Plum cake:


All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg powder - 1/4 tsp
Cloves powder - 1/4 tsp
Dry Ginger powder - 1/4 tsp
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Dates - 1/4 cup
Plum, Cherry, Cranberry, Tutti Frutti - 1/4 cup
Gold Rum - 1/4 cup(optional)
Cashewnuts(chopped) - 1/2 cup
Butter - 1/4 pound/4 oz/1 stick
Sugar - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/4 cup (To make caramelized sugar)
Eggs - 3
Salt - 1 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Almond extract - 1/4 tsp


Slice the dried fruits and coat them with 2 tbsp of flour. Mix the fruits with rum and keep this closed at room temperature for one day. Chop cashews and smear them with almond extract and keep them also closed for one day. Next day,sieve flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, cloves powder and dry ginger powder together. Add fruits, nuts to the flour and mix well.

Caramelizing sugar:

Use a heavy-bottom steel pot or saucepan with a handle. Place 1/4 cup sugar(distribute sugar in pan,not heaped) in the pot and add 2 tablespoon water. Turn the stove to high and place the pan on the stove and let it boil. Don’t stir the contents at all. As sugar melts and caramelizes, you may swirl the pan a bit once or twice. Within 7 -10 minutes, a cherry wood colored caramel forms. See that all sugar is melted completely.Remove the pan from the stove and very carefully add 1/4 cup HOT water to the caramel. Carefully hold the pan above the sink, and slowly add the water to avoid splashing. Stir the contents well . Keep aside to cool.

Beat the butter and sugar and until it is creamy. Add the egss, one at a time, and beat until combined. Add vanilla and caramelized sugar to this and mix again. Add flour ,a little a time,to the batter and mix thoroughly.

Grease a pan and line with parchment paper. Pour batter till half the pan and bake in a preheated oven at 350F for about 35-40 minutes. (please check after 30 minutes. Cooking time depends on the oven used and the depth of the pan)
Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. When cool, smear with 2 tsp of rum. Cover the cake completely with wax paper and then with aluminum foil. Keep in the refrigerator. Use after a week or two.

Serves 6

NOTE: The cake can be made without rum - it still tastes delicious with all the fruits and nuts.


Springbird said...

WAW! so many treats for the festive season...i guess u r enjoying it more than we r here....good to see u baking.Nice posts.

Shilpa Sunny said...

thanks for the recipe Aarthi, it is one of sunil's fav. cake. Did it come close to Nilgiri's plum cake?

Arathi Sridhar said...

yes it did shilpa..I baked the cake 3 weeks before - traditionally they make it a month before so the rum is well absorbed in the cake. It was very moist and gone in a jiffy!

Preeti said...

WOw .... looks very nice Arathi. This is P's fav cake. We don't get this here as we do it in India right? Some how P like this cake from India :) Need to try this and may be surprise him ;) Thanks for the recipe and happy holidays to you and family.

Arathi Sridhar said...

thanks preeti..

shahana said...

first time got a wonderful blog with a lot of delicious desserts

Arathi Sridhar said...

thanks shahana...

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Plum cakes are my fav... Am book marking this am so tempted looks very nice...

Arathi Sridhar said...

Thanks Ramya...loved your blog, will try the recipes sometime..