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Simple but good & a must!

It is Christmas already and my ritual to surprise my family with a special bake is here. But for the last one week I was confused over what to bake this year. The market is flooded with all varieties of fancy cakes, you name it and you can get it. So what special can I bake for my family? I was nervous that I would miss my ritual this year. It was only on Saturday that I could think of something. It was a simple idea but I thought it was an indispensible part of Christmas and sharing it with your loved ones would make the occasion special. I thought of baking the Christmas Fruit Cake. This too is easily available in the market but baking it before Christmas with your family around is a real fun. So I plunged into action and followed the ritual quite well. Here is the recipe. I hope you will enjoy baking and eating too! Happy Christmas!
Ingredients (For two 15cm round cakes):
All-purpose flour/maida – 2 cups/240 gm
Sugar – 1-1/4 cups/250 gm
Soft unsalted butter – 250 gm
Eggs – 5
Baking Soda – 1/2 teaspoon
Baking Powder – 1 teaspoon
Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
Dry ginger powder – 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon powder– 1 teaspoon
Cloves powder– 1/2 teaspoon
Nutmeg powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Cardamom powder– 1 teaspoon
Vanilla essence – 2 teaspoon
For Caramel: Sugar – 1/2 cup
Water – 1/4 cup
For soaking:
Dates – 1 cup chopped finely
Apricot – 1/2 cup chopped finely
Prunes – 1/2 cup chopped finely
Cherries – 1/2 cup chopped finely
Kishmish/Sultanas -1/2 cup
Black currants – 1 cup
Nuts – 1 cup chopped finely (cashew,
walnuts, almonds, pista)
Dark rum – 1 cup
All-purpose flour/maida – 2 tablespoons
for tossing dry fruits
Baking time is 40-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180 degree C. Start by soaking dry fruits in rum for a day. I did it for two days. By this time the fruits will absorb the rum completely. Take two baking pan and line it with parchment paper, butter the sides and bottom of the pan and set aside. Take sugar in a sauce pan and heat it on low heat. Now it will start to crystalise. Keep stirring and it will slowly start to melt. Keep heating on low heat till it gets a nice dark colour. Now take it off the heat and add water and heat till the sugar dissolves again. Set aside to cool.
Take dry fruits in a bowl and toss it with two tablespoons of flour. Set aside. Sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spice powders and set aside. Take butter, sugar, vanilla in a bowl and beat using an electric beater till it is creamy. Add two eggs first and beat till creamy. Add three eggs and beat again till creamy. Now add half of the flour mix and half of the caramel. Fold gently.
Now add the remaining flour and remaining caramel and fold again. Add in dry fruit mix and fold gently.
Pour this in the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove it and let it cool. Now invert it and peel off the parchment. Slice and serve.
(Chef Md Enamulla Khan (Ali) of Eden Group of Hotels and Restaurants)

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