Its that time of the year……..
Christmas trees, the nativity plays, red and white dress code, carols……..and all that, that so symbolizes Christmas. The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
My daughter did her first Nativity play this year….
Brought back so many memories of school nativity scenes every year! The hum-drum, the fight to get the role of an angel, I dont want to be the donkey, running around in the costumes throughout the day, the incredible opportunity to wear a bright red lipstick even if you were the sheep!! OH MY GOODNESS …..how incredibly childish, but children we were, and we had so much fun.
Growing up and christmas time was even more fun as we joined the choir, cold winter nights in Delhi, going from house to house singing our guts out. The chill did not deter our spirits, and we were welcomed with hot coffee and an amazing slice of christmas cake. Each house had a different taste to their cake, a closely guarded recipe that aunties used to pass from generation to generation. The long lines of catholic families outside bakeries to have their cakes baked, was truly nothing less than a funfair.
I miss being able to taste so many different variety of cake. However much I try, my cake comes out the same every year, and I do not enjoy eating as much as I did when I was at my mom’s house. The cake was made enough to last us through winters, and she stored it in a big tin box, every piece of cake wrapped carefully in brown paper, and by end of February the tin box was empty, not even morsels and crumbs were left behind, everything was carefully wiped off…..till next Christmas the ritual started again.
Here’s how I make my christmas cake
Soaking fruits – ideally at least by October you should have a jar full of cut fruits soaked in dark rum
Batter making – 30 minutes approx
Baking time – 45 minutes
1 cup soaked fruits (this year I soaked dried kiwi, cherry, dates, mango, strawberry, black raisins, orange slices and ginger)
1 cup chopped walnuts, cashewnuts, melon seeds, almonds
2 cups flour
1.5 tspn baking powder
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn ginger powder
1/2 tspn cinnamon powder
1 tspn cumin powder
1/4 tspn nutmeg powder
1/4 tspn cardamom powder
a big pinch black pepper powder
a big pinch salt
1 cup butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
.5 cup regular sugar
1 tbspn vanilla essence
2 tbspn mixed fruit jam (I used orange marmalade this year)
1 tbspn instant coffee powder (again a new addition)
3 tbspn thick caramel (homemade by burning sugar till it is on the verge of burning)
2 tbspn of rum from the soaked fruits
Sift the dry ingredients together (flour, salt, spice powders, salt, coffee, baking soda and powder)
Already I can smell Christmas!
Beat the butter till soft, add sugar till fluffy, add one egg at a time
Add the vanilla essence beat
Add the caramel – beat
Add the jam – beat
Add the rum – beat
Now add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat till a smooth batter is formed
Add the fruits and mix well
Add the nuts and mix well
Pour into greased and butter paper lined moulds and bake in a preheated oven of 180 deg cel
To bake a 1 kg cake you will need at least 40-45 minutes
Depending on the size of the mould please check the readiness of your cake
From this batter I got 2xalmost 1 kg cakes and 6 cupcake
is an animal by itself…..you have to learn to master it. Burn 2 cups of sugar in a pan without stirring it and when it is melted and almost at the verge of burning add 1 cup of water very very very carefully, cause if it spatters, you’ve had it……
once the water is all mixed in the burnt sugar let it cook till thick and then store it in a jar