The preparations had started a long time back. When all the leading bakeries and the hotels were doing the cake mixing and we had been attending them, Madhushree also got enthusiastic about prepping for our cake. Its not a new feature but then we were not blogging then, where we could have planned to showcase what we had been doing year after year.
New Market is the place that is sought after and one can pick up whatever is necessary to bake this cake. There is one section in between the fruit market and the chicken market inside Hogg market, where they sell all kinds of dry fruits and spices. Then there are stores like Apna Dukaan, Baborally Sardar and Saha Stores, who store everything that one needs to bake.
The dry fruits were soaked in Rum and Brandy (one more bottle of my fav Old Monk getting alternatively used and not being replenished) almost a month ago and when the Christmas and New year holiday started, the baking festival at home began. Contrary to popular perception that a Bengali household only smells of fish and mustard oil and spices, this is the time when we only smell of cakes and bakes. What an amazing feeling it is to wake up with cakes to have with your tea and to go to sleep with cake as final dessert. The wait gets over and almost like when you plant a seed and wait for the plant to grow up, Madhushree takes out her rum soaked rich fruits and starts for baking the cake.
We already had the mince pies and now its the rich fruit cake – what I can guess is that there will be some more to come. Winter has been shortlived but lets not restrict the cakes. Bring them on.
Eggless Rich Fruit Cake
Ingredients for dry fruit soaking in alcohol
|Golden Raisins||100 gms||Dark Raisins||100 gms|
|Dried Black Currants||90 gms||Dried Cranberries||50 gms|
|Cashews||50 gms||Walnuts||100 gms|
|Candied Peel||100 gms||Tutti Fruity||100 gms|
|Candied cherries||100 gms||Dark Rum/Brandy||1/2 lt|
Point to be noted here is that the above quantities of the dry fruits makes more than one cake. Every year, I (Madhushree) soak the above quantities in Rum for at least a month. You can even keep it for a week or may be a couple of days. However, the longer the better is the flavour. When it comes to alcohol, feel free to mix anything you have from dark rum to some brandy or port wine. Cover the entire dry fruits with the alcohol and store in a glass or ceramic container. Every morning, stir it all a little bit and watch the dry fruits plumping up in alcohol. There is no need to refrigerate this. Use as required for baking different kinds of cakes.
Ingredients for the cake (Makes one 8 inch cake)
|Flour||1 1/2 cup||Whole Wheat Flour(Aata)||3/4 th cup|
|Brown Sugar||1 1/2 cup||Soaked Dry Fruits||2 1/2 cups|
|Melted Butter||1 cup||Milk||1 cup|
|Baking Soda||1 tsp||Apple Cider Vinegar/ any white vinegar||2 tbsp|
|Baking Powder||1/2 tsp||Vanilla||1 tsp|
|Nutmeg Powder||1/2 tsp||Cinnamon Powder||1 tsp|
|Cake Spice||1/2 tsp||Soaking Liquid||3- 4 tbsp|
- Pre heat the oven at 180 degrees celsius and prepare an 8 inch cake tin. For preparing the cake tin, remember to cover the bottom and the sides with extra butter paper (if from inside) or aluminum foil from the outside.
- In a mixing bowl, take the butter and sugar and mix well.
- Then add the soaked dry fruits and the vanilla.
- Sieve in the 2 flours along with baking powder and the spices.
- In a smaller bowl, take the milk. Add the apple cider vinegar and the baking soda. This will become frothy. Wait till it becomes completely frothy (about 2- 3 minutes) and then add to the cake batter.
- Add the soaking liquid, since the batter becomes too clumpy.
- When everything is mixed well, pour in the cake tin and spread evenly with the help of a spatula.
- Bake for an hour or sometimes more, depending on the size of the oven. Insert a skewer in the centre of the cake to check if it is done. The skewer should come out clean.
- Once done, let it cool down completely before removing from the cake tin.
I have been soaking dry fruits and baking cakes for years now. However, this eggless recipe is an addition for the past 2 years since I found it on Veg recipes of India and the flavor of the alcohol along with dry fruits comes out very strongly in the cake. This is a very light and moist eggless recipe worth trying out.
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