Traditional Christmas Fruit & Rum Cake

I can’t believe it’s almost end of the year and finally I am baking the most awaited cake of the year, the traditional Christmas Cake, which is one of my favorite cakes from my childhood days but I baked this for the first time and it is simply decadent.

Ingredients:

Candied Fruits to be soaked in rum:
25g black seedless raisins
25g white raisins
25g dried candied ginger
25g dates, chopped
50g candied orange peels
50g mixed candied tutti frutti
1 Stick of cinnamon
¼ Cup Rum/brandy
¼ Cup Red Wine
¼ Cup draught beer
1 heaped tsp of mixed spice powder or garam masala

For caramelized sugar:
½ Cup white sugar
¼ Cup water, at room temperature
A heavy bottomed pan

For the cake:
125g All Purpose Flour
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g regular white sugar
3 Eggs
1 Tsp salt
1 Tsp Baking Powder
2 Tsp Rum Essence (Optional)
2 heaped spoonfuls of caramelized sugar
1 Tsp mixed spice powder (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cardamom)
120 – 150g mixed fruits, soaked in rum

Instructions:

For soaking fruits, mix all the candied fruits in a bowl and pour in rum, beer and wine along with cinnamon stick and mixed spice powder. Mix nicely with fingers and transfer to clean airtight container. This can be done one month before or you can either do it one – two night before.
Caramelize sugar before starting the cake and set it aside to cool down. In a pan on low heat, melt sugar slowly. It will first melt and then turn into a dark brown goop. Keep stirring and let it turn a deep dark caramel colour. Don’t let it burn. Keep flame on low, add about 1/4 cup water and stay away because there will bubbling and roaring like volcano eruption. The sugar will harden and form crystals. Slowly heat the mixture until the sugar crystals dissolve and keep stirring it. This will take around 10 mins. Let this cool and set aside. Do not worry about the consistency it will be like thick honey or molasses.
Sift the remaining flour, baking powder, spice powder, and salt in a bowl. Add fruits in this mixture and mix nicely until all coated well.
Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale in color – about 10 mins by hand, 3-4 mins with an electric beater. Add rum essence and mix until combined.
Add egg one at a time, beating each time for about 1 – 2 minutes.
Fold in the flour mixture ⅓ at a time and fold gently with spatula. Mix until all ingredients combined well and moistened.
Add the cooled caramel gently fold in.
Line baking tin with parchment paper and grease sides well with butter. Pour batter into a greased cake pan and smooth the top.
Pre-heat oven to 350F / 180C. Bake for 50-55 mins until the top turns a dark brown and when a skewer inserted into the cake comes out with dry crumbs. You can start checking from 45 mins but usually in our oven, it takes up to 55 mins. The top will look like it’s overdone but don’t worry, make sure the inside is also completely cooked.
Once the cake cools down completely, brush it with some leftover rum and cover it with foil and leave it in the oven or some warm place overnight or until you need it. This way it has a nice matured flavor.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.

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