Monday, December 30, 2013

Instant Indian Plum cake ~ Tried and tested

Oh boy I am late I am late!!! I feel like the bunny from Alice in the wonderland.. Late in posting this recipe which should have been ideally posted around Christmas.. But I was so busy baking, eating and sharing(Yes!!in that very order) that I did not have time to sit down and post! This has to be the most easiest and yummiest plum cake that I have ever come across. Except for making the caramel this cake is easy breezy. Making caramel is tricky but not tough.

My fondest memories of Christmas is associated with plum cakes and Kuswar. Our neighbours back in Mangalore (both at my in-laws house as well as mums) are friendly Christians. We share sweets during major festivals. Come Christmas we are loaded with plum cakes and we don't complain as everyone in the family loves them. After coming to US I missed plum cakes the most. I searched the blogs and bookmarked a lot of recipes from blogs. Then began the search for tutti frutti. I did not want to leave these behind as they are the most important and my favourite part of the plum cakes. Wal-mart had tutti frutti with nuts in a jar with some liquid in it but was not sure of it so did not buy them. Finally got them at an Indian store that was miles away from our place. I wanted to soak the fruits but was not comfortable making boozy cake. I decided to make them in orange juice as i had seen in a lot of blogs.
In between all this I got to taste a wonderful piece of plum cake from one of the parents from my son's class and I got hooked. I shamelessly ate a big slice of cake and asked her for the recipe. She mailed the link to me and I was happy to see that it was the same recipe that I had bookmarked long back! After tasting the cake I was 100% sure that the taste would be great and made up my mind to bake the cake for Christmas.

This recipe is a from a wonderful blogger, Nag's. She has an awesome blog with many recipes that are easy to follow with step by step instructions. I have referred this recipe from her blog and made few changes.

Here is what's needed:
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup chopped cashewnuts and walnuts
1/4 cup chopped big green raisins (I am not fond of black ones so replaced it with green)
3/4 cup mixed dry fruits (chopped dates, chopped cherries,tutti frutti. I did not use orange peels as I am not very fond of it. Instead used the zest of orange which gave a wonderful aroma to the cake)
1 + .5 cups white sugar
2/3 cup butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
1 huge pinch of all spice powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp grated orange zest
A pinch of salt

Procedure:
1. Caramelizing sugar: Keep cool and In a pan on medium heat, melt 1/2 cup sugar slowly. It will first melt and then turn into a dark brown thick syrup. Keep stirring and let it turn a deep dark caramel colour. Don't let it burn. Turn off heat and add about 1/4 cup water. The sugar will harden. Turn the heat back on and slowly heat the mixture until the sugar crystals dissolve. This will take around 10 mins. Let this cool and set aside. If you doubt that your sugar is burnt then make a fresh batch of it. I burnt once and was so worried that I was extra careful next time. The trick is to watch carefully.

Pre-heat oven to 350F / 180C.

 2.Mix the dry fruits and nuts with orange zest and add 3 tbsp of flour to it. Mix well so that they are evenly coated with the flour. This is done to prevent the fruits from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking. Set aside.

3. Mix the remaining flour and baking powder, spices, and salt until well combined.

4. Beat the butter and 1 cup sugar until fluffy, 3-4 mins with an electric beater. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Next, add 1 egg and beat. Then add a bit of the flour mixture and fold. Likewise, alternate between the eggs and flour mixture until they are used up.

5. Add the cooled caramel and dredged fruits and gently fold in. Pour batter into a greased cake pan and smooth the top.

6. Bake for 50-55 mins until the top turns a dark brown and when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with dry crumbs.

7. Cool completely before slicing the cake.

I made a first batch of this cake to share with my friends and it got over within few minutes. The same night I made a second batch as I was expecting few friends over for dinner. The recipe is so simple and easy and the result is a perfectly baked cake. Thank you so much Nag's for sharing this wonderful recipe. I never imagined that I would be baking Plum cake at home

Update:
1)Here is a link that explains how to zest an orange pretty simple..http://www.wikihow.com/Zest-an-Orange
2) Instead of All spice powder: 1 clove + 1 cardamom pod + small piece of cinnamon + a pinch nutmeg (pound together to powder) can be used as per the original recipe. I just had access to this spice powder which worked well in the recipe.

3 comments:

Poorna Rao said...

Awesome... It looks so easy... Will try it soon n will let ya know... Thanks Ujwal once again...

Mai said...

Ujwal, I dont know if we get all spice powder here in India, or if its got a different name. Anything else that I can substitute it with?

Uj said...

Poorna: Do try and let me know how you liked it.

Mai: I have updated the recipe you can use 1 clove + 1 cardamom pod + small piece of cinnamon + a pinch nutmeg (pound together to powder) as per the original recipe. Please do try and let me know if you liked it