GOAN CHRISTMAS FRUIT CAKE
Traditionally, preparation of this Christmas cake begins way back in July and requires you to soak the fruits in an aromatic concoction of orange juice, rum and classic baking spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla pods. If you missed the soaking train we feel that a soak over 24 hours will suffice though the depth of flavour won't be as intense.
The recipe has several steps so we’ve done our best to chunk up the steps with a timeline.
1 JULY - SOAK FRUIT (Ideally for 3 months, but a minimum of 24 hours is fine)
- In a large bowl empty 450g mixed fruit - use any combination (currants, sultanas, raisins, Glace Cherries, chopped mixed peel) you like.
- Add in 2 tbsp marmalade or any jam you have.
- Scrape in 1 vanilla pod or 1 tbsp vanilla extract.
- Sprinkle in 1/4 tsp ground clove, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg.
- Add 2 tbsp, finely chopped, candied ginger - optional.
- Pour in 1/2 cup fresh orange juice and 1/2 cup rum.
- Mix together then pack into a jar and store in the fridge.
1/4 tsp ground clove (or 12 cloves powdered)
2 hours before you bake
- Take the previously soaked dry fruit out of the fridge and mix in 30g semolina.
- Also take 4 eggs and 250g unsalted butter out of the fridge
- Grease a 9”/23 cm tin with butter then line with baking paper/parchment.
- Sift 250g plain flour into a small bowl
- Chop 50g of unsalted cashews or blanched almonds and stir into the sifted flour
When ready to bake
- Heat the oven to 150C
- Separate the eggs – whites in one bowl and yellows in another.
- Beat the egg whites till fluffy and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together 250g Rapadura/soft brown sugar and 250g unsalted butter
- Now add in the yolks, one at a time, and beat, for a minute each time.
- Add in the previously soaked fruit and mix well.
- Fold in the previously sifted flour.
- Stir in the *Caramel/2 tbps Treacle
- Empty the beaten whites into the bowl and mix.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for 1 hour
- As ovens vary, you might want to check with a skewer if it is cooked at this stage.
- If not, leave it for another 30 minutes and check again.
- When done place the cake on a wire rack
- Prick the cake lightly and pour over 2 tbsp sherry/rum (optional).
- Decorate with Glace Cherries and Nuts, as in the picture, then brush 2 tbsp melted jam for a glaze.
* We normally make a caramel with ½ cup sugar and 1/4 cup boiling water but you can skip this step and just add 2 tbsp treacle to the batter. We make a caramel because treacle is not available in India).