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Friday, December 23, 2016

How to Soak Dry Fruits & Nuts for Christmas Fruit Cake

    Christmas can't be complete without a rich fruit cake. A rich fruit cake is very moist and delicately flavoured with spices and loaded with all types of dry fruits and nuts. Recipe of a Dry fruits and Nuts cake and an Eggless & butterless version of this fruit cake can be found on my blog, which I posted last year.

      To make a rich fruit cake,  there is a strict process you have to follow. Traditionally, Christmas cake is made using dry fruits and nuts that has been soaked in alcohol for at least 3 months or even up to a year. The cake is baked couple of weeks ahead of Christmas. This is to mature the cake which make the cake more rich in taste. After which, you “feed” the cake with the same alcohol that was used for soaking. Feeding the cake ensures the cake taste much better as they age or mature. It is done by making small holes on the top of the cake with a small skewer, then spoon over a few teaspoons of the same alcohol. This is done only once a week and should not exceed more than 3-4 times in total. Else, the cake will be too moist and will crumble. If you are making the cake two or three week ahead of Christmas, then "feed" the cake once for each week, then wrap it in cling wrap, that should be also brushed with alcohol, cover it in 2 layers of foil, keep it in an airtight tin and store in a dark place.

      I'm so sorry that I couldn't post this earlier this year, but for next year please follow this for a rich fruit cake. I don't soak my dry fruits and nuts fully in alcohol, but partly. I prefer to soak them in orange or apple juice and add little amount of Rum inside. But anyway, if you are soaking in alcohol or fruit juices, process is the same. Just make sure you are giving enough time to soak your dry fruits and nuts for a moist Fruit cake.
   The core ingredients for fruit cake are all sorts of dry fruits and nuts. The most commonly used dry fruits are dates, figs, black and golden raisins, glazed Cherries, orange and lemon peels. You can also use dried peaches, apricots, prunes if you can get hold of these. In nuts, you can use cashewnuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans etc. But make sure you chop all of them into bite size pieces to make a nice bite.

You need : (I used)[enough for 3, 8-9 " Fruit cakes]
Black raisins : 200 gms.
Golden raisins : 200 gms.
Dates : 100 gms.
Figs : 100 gms.
Orange and lemon peels : 100 gms.
Orange Zest : zest of 4 oranges
Glazed Cherries : 75 gms.
Cashew nuts : 100 gms.
Almonds : 75 gms.
Walmuts : 75 gms.
Tutti-frutti(candied fruit pieces) : 50 gms.
Orange/Apple juice : 2-3 cups or as much needed to completely soak all the dry fruits and nuts
Rum : 4-5 tblsp.

How To : 
Do this at least 2 weeks in advance for better results.
  • Chop all your dry fruits and nuts in bite size pieces.
  • Do this in any non-reactive container, best in glass container.
  • Pour the brandy or your choice of alcohol or in orange/apple juice into it till all your dried fruits and nuts are fully drowned. Mix.
  • Close the container with a tight lid and keep it in dark place.
  • Shake the contents at least every alternate day till you are ready to bake the cake. 
  • If you notice after few days that the alcohol or juices level have gone down, then pour some more to cover them fully. It's because fruits have absorbed the alcohol, nothing else.
  So if you have decided to bake a fruit cake this Christmas and havn't soaked the dry fruits and nuts yet, then do this right now. Never bake a fruit cake at least soaking them for few hours or overnight.
                           WISH YOU ALL A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!!!!!!!! 
Come back soon for another Christmas Cookie recipe I'm going to post soon......................................

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