Monday, December 22, 2014

Eggless Fruit Cake


It’s impressive how our elders insist on fresh food all the time, even on bakery items, which have pretty good shelf life. I remember, whenever we craved for some bakery food in the evenings, my mom would send my brother to get some freshly made stuff from the bakery. Fruit cake was always on my list. My mom would specifically instruct my brother to ask for fresh loaf of bread or any stuff; if it were an old batch he may not buy it. Packaged food was never appreciated. After coming to US, of course, all my “fresh food” privileges got hit. The packaged fruit cake available here in Indian stores doesn’t even come close to the fresh ones I used to gobble up back home. They were/are so bad that one would just give up the idea of eating it, than getting used to the taste of it. Few years back, when I came across this fruit cake recipe, I was more than eager to try it out. Who knows, if it clicks then I don’t have to wait to go to India to eat it again. And it did click! Actually it came out better than my expectations. Since it is eggless, many of those who don’t prefer a strong egg smell(particularly in fruit cakes) can also enjoy it. 

Only after coming to US did I realize that this cake is associated with Christmas. 

Make one right now and enjoy your holidays! 


Merry Christmas!!!


Ingredients

Dry ingredients
All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Butter - 7 tblsp(I used 6)
Sugar for caramel - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/4 cup

Spice Mix(approx) -
Cinnamon Powder(1/4 tsp)
Cardamom Powder(1/4 tsp)
Clove Powder(1/4 tsp - skipped this)

Wet Ingredients
Fresh orange juice (used kids juice instead) - 3/4 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Orange marmalade(or any other jam) - 2 tblsp

Dry Fruits - (approx)
Raisins - 1/4 cup
Tutti Frutti - 1/2 cup
Chopped Pecans - 1/2 cup
Chopped Walnuts - 1/2 cup 
Chopped Cashews - 1/2 cup(skipped this)
Prunes - 1/4 cup(skipped this)

Method

Preheat oven at 350 F
Take dry fruits in a bowl. Melt butter and add to this mixture and mix well.

Make caramel(recipe here) out of 1/2 cup of sugar and add to this fruit mixture and mix well. 
Add wet ingredients, sugar(1/4 cup), salt, spice mixture and mix well.

Dry Fruits + Butter + Caramel

Mix(or sieve) dry ingredients together. Add little by little of this dry mixture to the fruit mixture and mix well. 

Pour this mixture into a greased baking dish(with some melted butter and flour) 

Ready to go into the oven

Bake for 25-30 min until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let it cool for a good amount of time before taking it out into a serving dish.

All done!

Notes
  • Orange marmalade gives this some tartness. If you don’t like this add any other fruit jam.
  • Don’t overdo the caramel as it can give bitterness(tip from aayis recipe)
  • This cake comes out super crumbly so handle with care :). 
  • This time when I made it, I tried to cut them in rectangles and the cake just fell apart. It was extremely crumbly.  I didn’t have this problem when I baked them in a bread pan and cut them in slices or when I tried in a regular circular pan and cut them in regular triangular slices... really not sure what makes the cake crumbly.. maybe this cake is not for bite size pieces. Another alternative is to make cupcakes instead of cake so that you don’t have to deal with cutting the cake :) .. or, leave it in the fridge after cooling it down and then cut it perhaps.. 


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