December is a month of hope,celebration and holidays.We used to eagerly wait for the half - yearly holidays ,so that we can go to our grand parent's home.We used to get plum cake from our neighbour every year for christmas.I will always think,that this cake is prepared only for christmas:) This cake become my favourite ,and always used to buy it from Hot breads or Adyar Bakery.My thirst for finding the recipe of this cake was quenched by this particular recipe.Its full of fruits and nuts with hand full of flour dusted all over.The lemon peel gives extraordinay flavour to the cake.Adding rum or brandy to the cake will make it flavourfull.But I have omitted this step.
I would like to thank Swathi of "Zesty south Indian Kitchen" for giving this extraordinary recipe.For this month "Baking partner's " challenge,I selected plum cake out of 3 cakes.
Recipe Source: Archana of Tangy Minds
Ingredients:1.Raisins or Tutty fruity – 1 cup
2.Dates – 1 cup, chopped
3.Candied Orange/Lemon Peel – 1/4 cup, sliced thin
4.Brandy or Rum – 1/4 cup
5.Unsalted Cashew Pieces – 1 cup
6.Lemon Juice – few drops
7.Boiling Water – 1/2 cup
8.Unsalted Butter – 2 sticks (8 oz) at room temperature
9.Powdered Sugar – 2 1/2 cups
10.Eggs – 3 large or 4 medium (separated)
11.Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
12.All-Purpose Flour – 2 cups
13.Baking Powder – 1 tsp
14.Cinnamon Powder – 1/2 tsp
15.Ginger Powder – 1/4 tsp
16.Clove Powder – 1/4 tsp
17.Nutmeg Powder – 1/4 tsp
18.Brandy – optional for soaking cake
19.Cashews & pistas - 2 tbsp (chopped) for garnishing
20.Butter - 1 tbsp (for brushing)
For Caramelised sugar:
1.Sugar – 6 Tbsp
2.Water – 3 Tbsp
* In a medium pan, add Brandy/Rum(or water), Dates and lemon Peel. Cook for 1 minute on medium heat. Add Cashews and continue to cook for 1 minutes until heated through. Keep aside..( I didn't use brandy or rum.Just used water to infuse the flavor of lemon peel with the dates & cashews)
* In a small pot, add 6 Tbsp Sugar and 3 Tbsp water and few drops of lemon juice. Swirl pan to mix – do not use spoon.Heat until sugar changes color and becomes caramelized. (approx 7-8 minutes).
Add 1/2 cup boiling water and swirl pan again to mix well. Keep aside.Make sure the boiling water is mixed with the caramalised sugar very well.
* Take a tbsp of flour and mix with the tutty fruity.This helps the fruitt mixture to spread evenly,if not it may settle down in the batter.
* In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and powdered sugar and beat with hand blender.
Add one egg yolk at a time to the mix and blend well.Add Vanilla Extract and blend.Combine all dry spices, baking powder and flour and sift it into the bowl, adding little at a time and blending.
* Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
* Lightly coat baking pans with Olive oil or regular cooking oil.Add caramelized sugar syrup a little at a time into mixing bowl and blend. Add tutty fruity,dates,cashews, into mixing bowl and mix with a spoon.
* In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until they are fluffy and soft peaks form. Fold beaten egg whites into the cake batter.
* Pour batter into greased baking pans and tap it .so the batter is evenly spread.Garnish with chopped cashews and pistas. Bake for about 55 - 60 mins or untill the toothpick comes out clean. For smaller pans, baking time may vary.Remove cake from oven and brush with some butter.Allow it to cool completely and slice it.Store in air tight container.
* Adding lemon peel gives a unique flavor to the cake.The amount of dry spices can be altered to our taste.
* I have not used rum or brandy,so used water to infuse the lemon flavor into the cake.
* Brushing some butter on top of the cake. makes it soft.
* Since I didn't have raisins,so replaced with tutty fruity.
* When the sugar is caramalised,add 1/2 cup boiling water and mix well.If not the sugar will settle at the bottom,you will not get the original brown colour of the cake.
* Mixing the fruits with flour before adding it to the batter helps it to spread evenly in the batter.
* I have halved the recipe,as it is too big for my family.
Linking this to Baking Partner's Challenge #5