Dec 18, 2012

Traditional Christmas Fruit Cake....with Rum soaked fruits!

Hello my lovely readers. Merry Christmas and Seasons Greetings to all !! Are you all enjoying the holiday season? Today I'm going to share a really lovely recipe for a Traditional Christmas (rum soaked) Fruit Cake and two lovely events in my life centered around this cake :-)

My main inspiration to bake a fruit cake was a Christmas Cake Competition held by the Minnesota Malayalee Association (MMA) for their yearly Christmas celebrations. Its a fun gathering mostly of Minnesotan Malayalees and their friends to celebrate and be merry during this Christmas season. Every year they conduct Christmas Tree and Christmas Cake competitions. A lovely Christmas lunch is served followed by a blast of awesome and spectacular cultural events performed by adults and children alike. Events include plays, solo/group dances, solo/group singing and lots of fun activity. Its an event we try not to miss every year. So this time I planned to take part in the cake competition!
Actually I baked two Christmas Fruit Cakes, first one for our Wedding Anniversary , which we cut on a private plane by the way (story coming ahead) and the second cake for the competition for which I bagged 2nd prize...so a lovely read coming up, keep all your chores aside and enjoy the post and the lovely pics :-)
Christmas cakes are usually made well before Christmas, almost a month in advance, and the cake is stored upside down and put into an airtight container. Then a small amount of Rum/Brandy/Sherry is poured over the cake periodically. This is called "feeding" the cake. The cakes usually have red and green candied fruit (tutti-fruitti), raisins and other dried fruit, orange peel , cashews or other nuts, in addition to spices and just enough flour to keep all the fruits together.
During Christmas season, bakeries in Kerala would be selling out these traditional Fruit/Plum cakes in bulk and every house will have atleast 4-5 or more fruit cake boxes, either waiting to be gifted or received as gifts.

Its best if the dry fruits are soaked in Rum/Brandy several weeks/months prior to making the fruit cake, as this allows the fruits to become moist, juicy and absorb all that Rum goodness :-) But I hadn't planned in advance, so I soaked mine for just 2 weeks. We went and bought a bottle of Rum and chopped up the dry fruits and soaked them in the Rum with some Caramel syrup. Here's a before and after shot of how these fruits look 2 weeks later. (By the way, for those who want a non-alcoholic version could use Orange or Grape juice and refrigerate them, from what I've read)
The cake tastes best if baked a few days (if not a month) in advance of cutting it, and that it should be periodically brushed with or sprinkled with Rum/Brandy, to keep the cake moist and to add extra flavor. So I thought of making my cake atleast a week in advance...but due to several factors I couldn't start with baking my cake until 3 days before the event.

And so, after I finalized on my recipe after going over several blogs and friend's recipes, I baked my first ever Christmas Fruit Cake or Christmas Plum Cake or Rum Cake, call it what you like...
I only know one thing, my home smelled 'A'mazing while baking the cake and the taste was so sinfully yummy, it had an exotic flavor from the spices and the rum soaked moist and juicy fruits just melted in your mouth! And we celebrated our Wedding Anniversary with a slice of this fruit cake, cutting it on a plane ;-)

OK, I'm going to digress from my Fruit Cake story here to share my lovely Wedding Anniversary surprise. So we celebrated 4 years of married bliss on Dec 13th and Manish had told me there was a surprise and that we had to reach somewhere by 11:30am and that we could cut the cake there.
As we drove, I had no idea what to expect, specially when it was all snowed out everywhere and he had already mentioned it was not a restaurant or resort. And then he drives into this place which almost looked barren but had lots of private airplanes , some in their hangars, some stationary and some taxiing away. And my jaw dropped when I realised we are going to FLY in a private airplane...and my heart wouldn't stop thumping from the excitement...Lol!!! Best surprise ever , would you agree? :-)
 We had a lovely Pilot and Manish also got a chance to fly the plane for sometime and thus we spent the most amazing one hour flying over Minneapolis and St.Paul downtown, the MSP Airport and Lake Minnetonka. In between we cut the cake and had a slice each. Let me tell you guys, the whole airplane smelled of fruit cake :-) It was so flavorful ! I've shared a few snaps for you all :-) We then had a lovely lunch and went to watch a movie (thankfully our little guy slept throughout the film ;-) ) SO it was fun day to remember for a very long time!
I took the rest of the cake to my office the next day and everyone loved it and some even came for a second and third slice...hehehe!

I baked again for my MMA cake competition The cake would be judged based on Flavor, Cake Texture and overall Presentation and also no Icing for decoration but Rum in the cake was ok :-).
For the cake presentation I wanted a lovely Christmas theme and as I was using a  Red tablecloth with golden thread pattern , I decided to incorporate the same colors in all my decoration along with some Green. And this is what I came up with :-)
There were a total of 8 cake contestants and everyone had beautifully arranged their cakes. It was stiff competition :-) While the judging process was going on, we went and had lunch and I was able to get a quick sneak peak of the inside of my cake...It looked nice and brown and fruity :-) And finally after judging was over, we were all allowed to sample the cakes. Trust me none of the cakes lasted more than 10 minutes on the table :-) It was devoured instantly , and I was soooooo happy when few people came to me and said they tasted my cake and that they really liked it. So I kept my fingers crossed ;-)
After this came the Cultural events and finally the announcement for the winner of the Chritmas Cake. And they announced my name for 2nd prize and I was like, Yaaaayy!! I was soooooo happy and I absolutely loved being a part of it. It was a fun packed day. Thank you so much MMA for this opportunity and memory!

Here's a pic with me walking off the stage with my award, smiling from ear-to-ear! :-) (Thanks a lot to an MMA friend for having taken this snap)
Now coming to the much awaited recipe :-) Like I say in most of my cake recipe posts, do not get scared by seeing the lengthy description of the preparation process. I have written it in detail such that you will understand and I can also remember what I did (for future reference).  And don't forget to read the Tips and Suggestions at the end.
This recipe yields about Two Round 8" cakes or a large Bundt Cake :-) (I bet if we used 6" cake pans, you may get 3 cakes, so its a lot of batter)

Christmas Fruit Cake Recipe
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You'll need
For Soaking the Fruits
Dry fruits  - 3 cups (I used Golden raisins,Black Currants,Prunes,Dates,Glazed Cherries & Pineapple, Apricot, Cashews)
Rum - as required  (I used CaptianMorgan's Spiced Rum ,  Unflavored Dark rum preferred)
Caramel syrup - 4 tblsp (4 tblsp sugar + 2tblsp water)
For Caramel Syrup (to be used in Cake)
Sugar - 1½  cups
Water - 1 tbslp
Hot Water - ¾ cup
For Spice mix
Cinnamon powder - ½  tsp
Clove powder - ½  tsp (crush about 8-10 cloves)
Cardamom powder - ½  tsp
Nutmeg powder - ½  tsp
Jeera powder - ½  tsp
Dried ginger powder - ½  tsp

For Fruit Cake (entire ingredient list)
Butter - 1 cup or 2 sticks (at room temperature)
Powdered sugar (confectioners sugar) - 2 ½  cups
Eggs Yolks - 4
   ****
All purpose flour - 2 ½ cups
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Spice mix  (as mentioned above)
Coarsely powdered nuts (skinless Almonds and Walnuts) - 1 cup
  ****
Orange Marmalade - 4 tblsp
Orange Zest - 1 tsp
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Caramel Syrup (as mentioned above)
  ****
Rum soaked dry Fruits - as mentioned above
  ****
Egg Whites - 4
Powdered sugar - 2 tblsp

Directions:
For Soaking the fruits
Atleast 2-3 weeks in advance , chop all the dry fruits and place them in an airtight container, soaking them in required amount of Rum and 4tblsp Caramel syrup. For Caramel syrup, heat 4tblsp sugar on medium heat until the sugar melts and browns up. Take off the heat and carefully add the water and stir well and use.

For Caramel Syrup (to be used in Cake)
Starting by heating the 1.5 cups of sugar with 1 tblsp water on medium heat in a deep bottomed saucepan. Shake/stir the sugar once in a while and wait patiently until it slowly melts without any lumps. Keep stirring now and allow it to continue heating until the caramel syrup looks almost dark brown or black in color. Take it off the stove and add the hot water and stir well.
Tip: The sugar syrup will splash out when adding the hot water, so its best to stand away a bit and I used oven mittens on the hand with which I was pouring the water in, to avoid any unwanted burns :-)

For the Fruit Cake
1. Preheat Oven to 350F and grease your Cake pan(s) and cover the bottom and sides with greased parchment paper. (I used a non-stick Bundt cake pan, so I only had to grease the pan)
2. Sift together all the dry ingredients - Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Spices. Add the powdered nuts, mix well and keep aside.
3. Beat the butter with powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.  Add the egg yolks one at a time until well incorporated. Add in the dry ingredients slowly and mix until combined.
4. Add the Vanilla essence, Orange Marmalade, Orange zest and Caramel syrup and smoothly combine everything together.
5. Strain the rum soaked fruits (save the rum) , and coat them with some all-purpose flour to avoid the fruits from sinking to bottom of cake and add the fruits into the cake batter , Use a large wooden spoon to fold/mix the fruits into the cake evenly.
6. Beat the Egg Whites (in a clean bowl) until soft peaks form , then add 2 tblsp powdered sugar and continue to beat until the peaks look stiff and glossy and gently fold it into the cake batter.
7. Pour the cake batter into your prepared cake pan(s) and bake for 1 hour. (Mine baked for 1 hr 7 mins) - Each oven is different, so do a cake test at 55 mins - insert a toothpick into the cake center  If it comes out clean, the cake is ready.

After Baking
1. After taking the cake out from the oven, pour 2-3tblsp of the saved rum over the cake. Allow the cake to cool for 15 mins and then flip the cake pan onto a wire-rack.
2. Once cooled release the cake from pan and brush the sweet rum (from the strained fruits) all over the cake.
3. Keep the cake covered with aluminium foil/plastic wrap and everyday brush the cake with more Rum , until you cut the cake.

Very useful Tips and Suggestions:
1. Though its best to soak the fruits several months in advance, soaking them for just 2-3 days is also quite sufficient. They will still absorb most of the rum and the fruits will be juicy and moist.
2. Another method is to boil the dry fruits with the rum and caramel syrup, so that the fruits get tender and still absorbs all the flavors.
3. The Rum mixed with the fruits and caramel syrup has a lot of flavor , so that's the best for brushing over the cake.
4. The blacker your caramel syrup , the darker your Cake will be (we don't want yellow fruit cake now, do we? :-) ) , but be careful not to burn the syrup or your hand :-P
5. The Spice mix adds a lot of flavor to the cake and balances the sweetness from all the caramel syrup and fruits, so don't skip it. You may reduce the quantity if you prefer.
6. The Eggs add volume to the cake and keeps the cake together. If you prefer to use less eggs, then you may have to reduce the quantity of flour too.
7. Placing the greased parchment paper at the bottom and sides of cake pan is very important , it allows the cake from not drying up during the long baking time.
8. If the cake takes longer to bake than 1 hour, cover the cake top with aluminium foil and turn the cake pan and continue to bake and check every 5 mins until done.
9. The Cake flavor and color matures more and more each day. So resist your temptation for atleast 1 or 2 days after the cake is baked :-)
So there you go people, my winning Cake recipe and lots of useful tips, which I used while baking mine.I hope you'll try baking one for this Christmas. And do let me know how it turned out :-)

I definitely had a lot of fun making Christmas Fruit Cake for the very first time and I'm sure I'll be baking one every year from now on! Happy Holidays everyone!!

I'm sharing this cake with my fellow bloggers for the lovely events they are hosting:
1. Cake for Christmas event hosted by Ramya of Ramya's Recipe








2. CC - Holiday Baking hosted by Sravani of Srav's Culinary Concepts







-Manju

85 comments:

  1. wow what an exciting post and exciting you :) congrats on winning the award, my anniversary wishes to you. I am sure the cake is a treat, by looking at it i can say its so moist and perfectly bakes... love the idea of a private aeroplane :) cool enjoy girl, happy for you

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    1. Wow, that was a really quick comment :-) Thank you so much dear!!

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  2. wow... Really very surprised for u dear... Betn Belated wishes for your anniversary and prizes dear... God bless U n ur family... Happy for u dear!!!
    Melting Cookies - Low fat version
    VIRUNTHU UNNA VAANGA

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    1. Thank you sooooo much Vijayalakshmi!!

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  3. Congrats Manju!!! The cake looks super moist and yummy!!! I also tried making one, but I messed up one important step (was in a hurry) and the cake didn't come out soft, but it tasted yummy though. I agree that the aroma that spreads while baking this cake is heavenly. Next time I want to take my time and bake it carefully...no mess up.

    It was so sweet that you had your Anniversary celebration in a private plane!!! Where was little Manav? I didn't see him in the pictures.

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    1. Oh, what part did you mess up? well as long as the cake tasted good its fine right and this cake does require some amount of patience and concentration :-)

      Little Manav was left to play at his daycare as Manish wasn't sure if he would be able to enjoy the 'surprise' and I kinda agreed later as he would have never sat steady in that little airplane under a seat belt!! We picked him up before we went to eat though! :-)

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  4. Belated Anniversary wishes to you dear..glad that u got such a big surprise for ur anniversay ! And loved the way u presented ur cake..I already baked fruit cakes 2 times way before christmas so i was planning to make balckforest for christmas but this fruit cake pics is tempting me to bake one more fruit cake :) Merry christmas and Happy new year to u in advance :)

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    1. You wouldn't beleive Vineetha, out of these 4 years of marriage, this was the first time we ever celebrated it. All past 3 years something or the other would come up on that date and we never celebrated well. So this was a much deserved celebration and we loved it!

      I love Blackforest cake and Thank you so much for the compliments too!!

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  5. Congrats!!!!! For your award and hope you enjoyed your day. Between th e cake looks sooooo delicious and yummy.

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  6. Omg, wat a fabulous surprise for ur better half, my belated anniversary wishes to you Manju, girl you rock with ur cake. If am the judge there,i would have announced ur name for the first prize.

    Christmas fruit cake looks absolutely marvellous and very festive presentation.Cant ask more na.

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  7. Oh wow manju .. ur so pretty :) And congratulations on your MMA award, u completely deserve it. I live the traditional booze filled rum cake, perfect for the Christmas winter.
    Have a great Christmas and a New Year and Happy to Follow you :)

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    1. You r so sweet Gauri and thank you very much for the compliments! :-)

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  8. Perfect anniversary surprise dear..a ride on an aeroplane is sure exciting 7 fun:)
    Congrats on the fabulous bake dear..U truly deserve much more than this,God bless.. a delicious slice of cake:)

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  9. Manju,
    So the day we met for the practice was on ur anniversary? Belated anniversary wishes and congrats on winning the prize.
    Didn't get to taste any of the cakes that day including mine:-)
    Next time it is.
    Happy Holidays
    Sonia

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    1. Yes Sonia and Thanks a lot for your wishes! :-)
      We managed to get a small slice of every cake, so I got to taste everybodys !! Judging would have been so difficult bcoz all the cakes tasted so so good :-)

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  10. Congratulations on your award Manju...My anniversary wishes to you. Cake looks so beautiful..Done perfectly.

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  11. It such a huge cake and with no cracks at all, wow super job and congrats on your award you deserved it.
    Btw, decoration is too catchy, loved the pics.

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  12. Congrats Manju,for winning this and belated anniversary wishes as well...
    the cake looks so perfect and by looking itself you can realize how admirable the win was ! I loved all the clicks here..Nice read too..Cheers Dear !

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  13. Looks so perfect for Christmas !Belated ANniversary wishes and congrats for the award! :) Lovely festive presentation.

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  14. Awesome blog post! What a cake! and congrats on all your victories! U deserve much more! God bless! :)

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  15. Wow cool, you had an amazing experience I guess. and the cake looks so awesome. Congrats on ur win and Happy anniversary

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  16. congrats lady!!! and wedding anniversary wishes..You know dry fruits are getting soaked in a jar for the past 2 weeks back..I have to start making cakes from this week end :)

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  17. Our Sri Lankan Christmas cake is very similar to this. We also share this cake for weddings. Congratulations on your wedding anniversary... what a romantic your husband is to take you on a private plane ride. Wow!! Congratulations on also winning a prize for your beautiful cake. That first picture is stunning... it belongs on a Christmas card!

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    1. even my sis-in-law said the same thing abt the first pic being a Christmas Card :-) Thank u dear!

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  18. awesome cake with beautiful decoration

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  19. Congrats...Looks yum...love it...

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  20. What a lovely idea to eat the cake while flying :-) looks like you all had a great time. Happy christmas to you and your family.

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  21. cake Looks Delicious..nice post.really ur very lucky......enjoy....
    maha

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  22. Belated Anniversary wishes to you... lovely surprise, btw. Congratulations on the prize winning cake and thanks for sharing all the moments with us! I remember always getting a fruit cake for Christmas by one of my Dad's friend and collegue. This one reminds of tht.. looks great and am sure it tasted wonderful!

    Will now keep a tab on MMA events... next time you participate, I'll try to be there ;-) as i live in MN too... :-)

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    1. Oh, Thanks a lot for the wishes and compliments Alamelu, nice to know you are from MN too :-) Hopefully we'll meet next time!

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  23. Manju,

    I nominated you for the 'Liebster Award'. Please grab the award from
    here

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  24. Exotic, rum soaked fruits?? Oh MY!! I think I could polish off quite a bit of this award winning cake all by myself! And how fun was that plane ride?? My husband is a pilot and he tried to teach me to fly in one of those... sadly I didn't do so well, and now I leave the flying to him. So glad you enjoyed!

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  25. Beautifully done!!
    Manju, that theme for Serve It was for last year.. Sorry!

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  26. Wow...what an awesome experience and cake...jus browsing for a simple fruit cake and the write up was so exciting that I forgot to read the actual cake recipe...too gud...

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  27. Dear Manju it was great reading your post. Sooooo exciting flying in a private plane, n what a blessing to have you LO sleep thru the whole movieeeeeee........mine hs never ever allowd me to watch one snc she is born. I have loved going hru your blog. You are great n I am your newest member. Shella - www.kitchensecrets.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much Shella. Actually it was the first movie we went to as well after after LO and we just thought of taking a bold step of practicing to be in a theatre with him :-P luckily he slept, else it is quite impossible even still...Lol! Will check out your blog too :-)

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  28. hi manju...thats a really amazing fruit cake recipe...i just loved it...but i just wanted to know that when i soak the fruits in rum n caramel syrup n put in an airtight container, should i put the container in the refrigerator till 2-3 weeks...n also u mention pineapple n glazed cherries,should the pineapple be tinned or fresh...n can we use tin cherries...will be waiting for ur reply...thank u... :-)

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    1. HI Puja,

      When I soaked the fruits & nuts, I just kept the airtight containers at room temperature outside. It stays fresh, but I'm not sure if you are staying in a hot and humid location , then to be safe, keep it in the refrigerator.
      The glazed pineapples and cherries are not the tinned ones, they are like the tutti-frutti that we get in India. (Do not use tinned fruits) Hope this helps, let me know if you have more questions.

      -Manju

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  29. hi manju...its me again...thank u for ur reply...well i stay in a small town in the state of assam, india... n we don't get any glace type pineapple n cherries here...but we do have green n red colour tutti-frutti that taste like cherries...can i used that in the rum... :-)

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    1. hello again Puja :-)
      Yes I was referring to those red-green tutti fruitti only. Here I got red-green and yellow ones and they called it glazed cherries and pineapple here. Feel free to use it to soak in rum!!

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  30. alright..this comes almost a year late..but better late than never !!! omg !! that was sooo sweet of ur husband to plan such a great surprise for you !!!! superb !!! he deserves a great appreciation for being soo thoughful. and Manju !! the cake is soo perfectly done..so so well shaped...no words..the overall presentation...so christmasie..it wud have been really unfair if u hadn't won the prize !!! kidos !!!love...

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  31. Thanks Manju , will try and let you know

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  32. Hey...that was the kinda recipe I was looking for. Been searching all over for the plum cake recipe with fruits soaked in rum. Definitely, going to try this. Looks a bit lengthy though :(
    Can we do without the caramel?

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    1. Ya I know its a bit lengthy, no wonder its so sought for and made mostly only once a year ;-)
      The caramel is really good if you want a deep brown chocolaty color for your fruit cake, which is a crucial part in Kerala style Christmas Cakes. But I know there are recipes where you don't use any caramel either. It's your choice I would say.

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  33. oh btw, that was a wonderful surprise for the Anniversary...I think your anniversary is coming up again....advanced wishes to both of you :)

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  34. Hi Manju I landed on your blog looking for fruit cake recipe with rum but after reading your post I can not go without commenting. First of all the cake sounds really good, second there can't be a better surprise than flying in private airplane and cutting the anniversary cake in air.Second, Congratulations for winning the second prize for this cake and third I am going to bake it. The additon of jeera powder is what really intrigues me.

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    1. Thank you Balvinder for the kind words and compliments :) I hope you'll like the fruit cake. Jeera powder is one of my fave spice in this cake as well!

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  35. ma'am i'm very new to this cooking, can you explain the measurement for cups unit please. thank you

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  36. ma'am i am new to this cooking, so can you please explain the measurement of cups unit over here in grams. and also let me know if i can use brandy instead of rum.
    thank you

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    1. I'm not very good with the conversions as I always use cups. Please check online, you'll find plenty of conversion charts and you could use that.

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  37. my microwave works in wattage and not in centigrade or farenheit, so please guide me the microwave heating instructions.

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  38. For a novice Baker like me who has learned by experimenting, usually any new recipe's first batch is a mess since either that quantities seem higher than necessary or my oven takes longer time to cook the cake (thereby burning it outside while still slightly soft inside) Hence was skeptical about trying this recipe because it's honestly a huge batch. But am so glad now that I did! This is the first recipe I've come across that turned it perfect without requiring any modification on ingredients or cooking time. Cake has turned out amazingly well and perfectly balanced. Can't wait to take it to office tomorrow. Thanks Manju for sharing this gem of a recipe!! :)

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    1. Thank you so much for such a wonderful feedback....simply on the moon now :-)

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  39. Merry Christmas Manju, we just cut the cake and you just made our Christmas merrier :) thanks for sharing the recipe and posting such lovely pics.

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    1. You're welcome Anju...and thanks for sharing the pics on FB :)

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  40. Merry Christmas Manju. We just cut the cake and you made our Christmas merrier :) thanks for sharing the recipe and posting such lovely pics.

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  41. Hi Manju...the fruit cake looks indeed yummy.. ,I have already soaked fruits in the rum...will be baking the cake in a couple of days...my question is wether I can use brown sugar instead of white sugar in the cake to give a darker colour..my caramel syrup hasn't come out well...hence checking for alternatives

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    1. Prajakta,
      To be honest I have never made my cake with brown sugar, but you definitely can. I'm assuming Dark brown sugar might give a darker color than light brown sugar. Do try and let me also know how it comes out :-)

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  42. Hi Manju,

    Finally I made the cake last night. I didn't realise that I don't have some of the ingredients until I began cooking. I didn't have Nutmeg, Orange marmalade, zest and baking powder. However, I still went ahead and baked the cake as my nuts have been soaking for more than 2 weeks now. other than that, I have followed every step and measurement exactly the way you have mentioned....
    I didn't try it yet but looks like the cake is pretty dry inside..I coated with rum, wrapped plastic and put it inside...will coat it that way for another 3 more days...
    Also, my caramel syrup isn't turning dark at all...despite heating it for so long...after a while, the sugar starts crystallizing and becomes white powder again and again :( any tips? Because I wanted to make it perfectly one day...

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    1. Hi Found in Folsom,
      Happy New Year to you and Thank you for trying the cake. Now to the points where you mentioned it went wrong.
      a) Baking powder is quite an important ingredient and not something that can be easily omitted. It helps the cake to rise and fill with air bubbles, creating a soft and airy cake. That could be one reason why your cake felt dense.
      b) Orange Marmalade can be omitted, but I feel it adds some flavor and moistness to the cake. Else use any regular Jam.
      c) what type of sugar are you using for the caramel syrup? Use regular granulated sugar and keep it along with 2 tblsp water on medium flame, it will take time but will slwoly melt and start turning brown and later more brown and almost blackish and slowly start bubbling up. (it cannot go wrong)....and once it reaches that bubbly stage, turn off heat and quickly add the remaining quantity of water (be very careful as it will splatter, i use my oven mits in one hand and use a lid to cover the pot while I add the water to avoid the splatter from falling everywhwre)

      Hope these points help. I have heard of recipes using brown sugar instaeda of caramel syrup, you could try that as well.

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    2. Manju, the cake came out delicious...my son says, amma you should make this often...I have shared it with friends at work too and they loved it...they even asked me for the recipe..I sent them your blog link..:) I am going to making it another time..I think now I will make it year round until I get fed up with it..
      Coming to the syrup, that's mystery for me, honey. Kept stirring it...kept stirring it and it crystalises again and again :( I am using regular sugar only...is your email Id on the blog? I want to send you pics of how the cake looked..

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    3. Yaaay....so glad to know it turned out great! Thanks a lot for the feedback and sharing my blog with your friends. Yes, my email is shared in the 'About Me' page at the end, but here it is: manjuseatingdelights@gmail.com

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  43. Hey Manju....I just baked the cake with brown sugar instead of caramel syrup....the colour of the cake is perfect! I guess this can help people like me who are unable to make a good caramel syrup...will be feeding the cake for next two days at least before I cut it.... Hv to really resist the temptation now....

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    1. Thanks a lot for your feedback Prajakta, next time even I'll try with Brown sugar :) Hope you enjoyed the cake.

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  44. Dear Manju,
    I tried this recipe for this xmas. Made 2 big 10 inch cakes in London and taken it all the way to India to enjoy with my family. They were very good, moist and really rich. After tasted it, store bought cakes tasted like rubber to us. I did change the recipe a bit, reduced the sugar, and replaced a cup of sugar with molasses. Thanks a lot for this wonderful recipe.

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    1. Hi Anitha,
      Thanks a lot for sharing your feedback and I'm glad you liked it so much! Did u use molasses along with the caramel syrup? Just curious :-)

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  45. Yes Manju. I've replaced 1 and half cup of sugar with 1 cup of molasses and 1/2 tsp baking soda. And added caramel syrup made from 1 cup of sugar. But cake was very dark. Next time, I would stick with either caramel or molasses and not both :)

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  46. The first time came out well..baking now again with all the ingredients..somehow I felt the batter was bit loose than last time. I poured it all in my pan. A round one and put in three cup cakes for kids...I noticed the cup cakes spilled. Even my batter puffed all the way up..taking this for a school reunion...I hope it comes out well....can't get disappointed..I had been soaking the fruits for so long :(

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  47. WOW, sounds like quite the process to making this cake but it sounds wonderful and well worth the effort! ♥

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  48. Hi Manju .. I am not sure where my last two comments vanished... Any ways I bumped into your recipe while I was looking for a good plum cake recipe... And I simply loved it... After lot of homework today I soaked the dry fruits in rum for baking in Dec 2014.... Can't wait ... I have two questions
    1. Do I have to do anything in these 5 months (like stirring etc) , the jar in which I filled with rum (I used captain morgan spiced rum)
    2. I live in Singapore which is quite humid and hot (around 31degree Celsius) , so should I place it outside or in the fridge ?
    Can't wait to bake one !!

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    1. Hi Dona,
      No need to stir the fruits. If you feel they are not fully soaked in the rum, just shake your bottle once in a while.
      I doubt if it'll go bad, but if you feel the climate might make the dry fruits in rum go bad refrigerate it. :-)
      Happy baking...it'll come out great I'm sure.

      -Manju

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  49. Hi Manju,

    I am glad to tell you that I couldn't wait till December to bake the cake.. So I went ahead and baked it .... And it turned simply delicious !! It was compared with the famous Kolkata Flurys bakery !!! I am so thankful to you for sharing the recipe !!! I have become your ardent fan now !! Wishing you loads to success in every walks of life !!!

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    1. Wow! I'm just as excited as you reading your comment :-).... thank you so much for the feedback and wishes!

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