The spirit of Xmas is incomplete without the traditional yummy Christmas plum cake. Once our Christmas tree was, up my 8 year old daughter - who loves baking, was after me to start preparing to bake the plum cake.
I have been trying different plum cake recipes every Christmas for the last few years. This year, I am greatly inspired by fellow food blogger Aliena Varghese 's recipes on her blog, and have tried to follow her plum cake recipe, with a little variation in some ingredients. Thanks for this Ally.
My daughter and I baked this plum cake together last evening. Here is how we did it.
Butter - 250 gms
Brown Sugar - 200 gms
Eggs - 4
Plain flour - 350 gms
Rum/Brandy - 3tbsp
Salt - 1/2tsp
Mixed Spice (powdered nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves) - 1tsp
Vanilla Essence - 1tsp
Molasses - 5tbsp
Apricot Preserve - 1/4cup
Orange Marmalade - 1/4cup
Orange and Almond Essence - few drops
Baking soda - 1/2tsp
Almonds/ Cashew nuts - 200gms
Cherries - 125gms
Raisins - 100gms
Sultanas and Currants - 250gms
Tutty Fruity - 250 gms
Dates - 200gms
Mixed peel - 125gms
Chop and soak all the fruits in dark rum or brandy one week in advance. Stir everyday.
Pre-heat the oven at 140 degrees centigrade. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda and keep aside. In a separate bowl cream the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Whip the eggs separately and add them little at a time, making sure the mixture does not curdle. Add in the essences and keep beating. Fold in the flour and continue stirring till batter is fluffy. Add the fruits, peel, spices, apricot preserve and orange marmalade and mix thoroughly till well combined. Pour the batter into a greased baking tin. Bake at 140 degrees centigrade for 45 - 55 mins (depending on the oven) until the top turns a dark brown and when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with dry crumbs.
You can use caramel instead of molasses and regular sugar instead of brown sugar.
The quantity and type of fruits/nuts is entirely your choice, however I'd recommend to use orange rind if you can because it enhances the flavour a lot. You could also throw in some
dry sugar coated ginger.
If you plan to ice the cake, reduce sugar by 1/3 cup. This cake is sweet enough on it's own.
You can soak up the cake after it has cooled completely with a little dark rum.
Baking time will vary as per the oven, but typically, keep checking after 40 mins.
Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.