Yes, I am actually posting a fruitcake recipe after Christmas, that too a fruitcake recipe adapted from the Bengali Five Spice Chronicles, explicitly billed as a Christmas cake. Well, I did make this for Christmas actually as a gift for my mother and the most prominent adaptation is actually swapping most of the molasses for dark maple syrup mostly because that was what I had readily available in my pantry. Molases is usually readily around my pantry along with other non-white sweeteners, but it turns out the last batch was used for a winter recipe by my daughter. Since, this was a part of a writing and measurement contest that in turn won her a 10 dollar gift certificate from Barnes and Nobles, she is forgiven.
The idea of the writing exercise was pretty interesting, since they had to come up with a recipe, write it, try to cook from it, re-write it with changes and re-test. Sounds familiar? She just might have some familiarity with the process… Just saying!
I sit is cold and foggy New Delhi, I sit surrounded by the new sadness of the girl struggling and fighting for her life. It has been difficult for me to shake the the general sense of sadness as I walk around city. I had initially thought that escaping the aftermath of the Newtown incident, which reduced me to tears every time I looked at a newspaper seeing those parents mouring for their little ones not much younger than my own children. Moving away, I feel envolved in a different kind of sadness, I cannot help wondering what why we human beings need to resort to violence to express our frustrations.
Now back to the cake, I make the original at least a couple of times a year, and since I personally finish half of it, I do not make it more frequently. The lighter version that has evolved from the accidental lack of molasses is even more likely to feature on table for days in and around Christmas.
This cake is of Anglo India origin, a culinary heritage with British India roots. This interesting tradition of cooking can be explored further in this blog.
This trip to India, is different for me since unlike my other trips I am not spending a lion’s share of my time in Kolkata. I am taking more time to explore the country. This is something that we are trying to work through, I feel that it will allow both me and the children to learn this facinating country that is India.
In fact, before I move onto the recipe, my New Year’s resolution is to share more of my India pictures on a regular basis, possibly on my facebook page. Speaking of the book and the facebook page, if you would like to win your own free copy and are not on my page, please do like me and enter this giveaway!
My recipe for an Anglo-Indian Maple Rum Fruitcake
- 1 cup raisins or a mixture of raisins and currants
- 1 cup chopped candied citrus peel
- 1/2 cup chopped cherries
- 1 cup dark spiced rum (I use Captain Morgan's)
- 2 cups all-purpose white flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup loosely packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 cup dark maple syrup
- 3 eggs, well-beaten
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- Place all the fruits in a non-reactive bowl. Add the rum.
- Cover and set aside for at least 2 days,or for best flavor, for a month.
- Grease an 8-inch to 10-inch loaf pan and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Drain the fruit when you are ready to use and reserve the soaking liquor.
- Sift together the flour and the baking powder.
- Sprinkle about a ¼ cup of the flour mixture over the drained fruit and toss to coat.
- Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
- Stir in the molasses and maple sugar.
- Add the beaten eggs to the mixture and beat to combine.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in batches,alternating with the orange juice, and beat until well combined.
- Beat in the vanilla almond extracts.
- Stir in the shredded coconut.
- Stir in the floured fruit.
- Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool for about 30 minutes
- Invert the cake onto a plate and pour the reserved soaking liquor over it. Allow to sit to absorb the liquor.
- This cake can be served warm or alternately wrapped and stored and served when needed.
Recipe from The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles, Hippocrene (2012)