Xmas fruit cake mix recipe

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Xmas fruit cake mix recipe

I love cooking, more so baking. Whatever the reason be, the festival be or even my mood be, one would always find me dilly dallying in the kitchen. Though each festivals has its own charm and joy, Christmas is somewhat special. I think for a Bengali, Christmas is the next favorite festival after Durga Puja. There is no Bengali whom I know, would not buy Christmas fruit cake on Christmas eve. You would find long queues in Flurys, Nahoums, Great Eastern Bakery for their share of the fruit cake, and mind you most of them are Bengalis.

When we were little my father would always buy a pound from Nahoum's in New Market. Then later when I grew the passion for baking, right since my college days, I started baking our own fruit cake at home and share with friends and family. Some of my family members do not even buy fruit cake, because they know I would be sending them. And they wait for it too. With each passing year the sharing list grew, so grew the quantity of cakes baked. In between when I was staying in Bangalore, my baking marathon took a pause, since I did not have any oven neither the arrangements. But even since I moved back to Kolkata, there's no way I miss my Christmas baking and start my preparations way in advance. Every year I make it a point to at least soak my dry fruits for more and 2 months. But this year with all the demonetization and cash crunch, things got delayed. But thankfully I can soak my mix for at least 3 weeks before Christmas. If you are running short in time, overnight soaking also gives good taste. A friend of mine soaks her fruit mix for a year!

Any fruits which you can get your hands on dried, its good to go. Dried apricots, prunes, figs, dates, raisins, black currants, strawberries, blueberries, cashews, almonds, walnuts, tutty fruity ( they are nothing but candied papaya ), candied ginger, candied orange, cranberries, cherries. But I do avoid dried pineapples and mangoes. Somehow I do not like the taste of liquor soaked mangoes and pineapples. This year my mix contains apricots, black raisins, green raisins, all three nuts, tutty fruity ( which was added one day later to the mix, I did not have it handy when I was mixing) and kimia dates. I love the soft gooey texture of the Arabian kimia dates. They are just heavenly. I also add a mix of different liquors like rum, brandy and whiskey. The quantity of liquor depends on quantity of dry fruits also. The idea is to submerge it completely. I had nearly 1 kg of dry fruits mix so bought equivalent to 1 liter of liquor. I also add honey about 500 ml and dry ginger, cinnamon as spices. I just love the warm scent of ginger and cinnamon, it makes all flavors come together beautifully.

Xmas fruit cake mix recipe
Xmas fruit cake mix recipe
Xmas fruit cake mix recipe
Xmas fruit cake mix recipe

I usually spread in new paper and make my mix on it. I am quite clumsy at times and spill things. And I do not like the stickiness of honey on floor and then mopping. Mopping, ufff!! something I detest doing. In a large bowl mix all the dry fruits and add in honey. Get your hands dirty and mix in the honey in the dry fruits well. Then add it all the liquor one by one. Next add the dry spices and mix well. Keep it in an air tight container and store in a cool dry place away from sunlight. Every day make sure to stir the mixture. In a day you would see most the liquid would have been soaked by the dry fruits. I always keep a bottle of rum handy, just in case my mixture needs more liquid. If there could be any such thing as too much liquor. Lol ! In the picture below my mix does look very runny but when I added the tutty fruit mix, about 250 gm, it was all good.

It's the most simplest of recipes and with time it just gets better and cakes are more yummier. If you are planning to bake a fruit cake this Christmas, try soaking your fruits in all the goodness of liquor and honey. Happy cooking :)

Xmas fruit cake mix recipe
Xmas fruit cake mix recipe

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