What an year it had been, health and wellness had been the major goals as I stepped into 2016 and it was a roller coaster ride all the way. Half way through which, I started this blog <3. Cooking, going gaga over best angles to shoot food, pestering friends and family while doing so ;P , connecting with fellow foodies and bloggers on Instagram, I have done quite a bunch of things out of love for experiments. Of course there were many tasks which weren’t initiated or left incomplete. One such incomplete task includes a huge chart of recipes that I jotted down to share on the blog which I never took them to kitchen. Gasps. Still, working on disciplining myself.
Last post of this year is about this fantastic, rich, boozy plum cake I adapted from Marias Kitchen. This cake summed up this year for me at one go. The process of whipping whites and yellows, caramel preparation was arduous but, it was all worth it. Just a bite into this cake and I was mesmerised at subtle explosion it created on the taste buds. It is soft, fluffy with sharp notes of sweetness and punch from rum. And no fancy sugar pastes or extra chocolate indulgence just a simple yet a poignant flavour profile. A combination which I always craved for.
Growing up, I have only had local bakery plum cakes and I couldn’t wait to try my hands on prepping up one from scratch. I have soaked the dried fruits for about 20 days. You can soak them for one day – one year too. The more you soak, the intense it gets. 😉 Peeping into the jar everyday was so much fun. Use only a glass jar for this purpose as alcohol might react with plastic. Also, stir the dry fruits every alternate day and store in dark place away from heat.
Let us get into the recipe.
- 2 cups Plain flour (maida)
- 1 ¼ tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Baking soda
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter @ room temp
- 4 Eggs @ room temp
- Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
- 1 tbsp Jam (I used Apple Jam)
- ¼ cup – Candied Ginger
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour to coat the dry fruit mix
- 2 Cloves
- 2 Cardamom
- Cinnamon – a small piece
- Nutmeg – a small piece
- Sugar – ½ cup
- Warm water – ¼ cup
- Mixed fruits – 1 cup (¼ cup each of Almonds, Black raisins, ½ cup Kismis)
- Rum/Brandy – 1 cup (I used Bacardi dark rum)
- 2 inch Cinnamon stick
- 1 Star Anise
Mature the Cake: Black rum – 6 tbsp ( I have fed 2 tbsps per day approx after baking the cake)
- Take sugar in a saucepan and heat it on low heat. Allow it to slowly melt. Keep heating on low heat till it gets nice dark colour. Now take it off the heat and add in water and heat till the sugar dissolves again. Set aside to cool.
- Drain the dry fruits. Preserve the rum. Roll them in 3 tbsp of maida and keep them aside.
- Powder the sugar.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
- Separate egg yolks and whites. Beat them separately. First beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Then you can use the same whisk to beat yolks.
- Add softened butter and sugar to the yolks. Cream them together.
- When it turns smooth enough, add cooled caramel, jam and vanilla essence into it. Beat slowly (min speed).
- Add sifted flour mix into this batter in 2-3 batches and whip.
- Add the flour dusted dry fruits and nuts along with 4 -5 tbsps of preserved rum.
- Now slowly fold in beaten egg whites in 3 – 4 batches. Mix it in using the cut and fold method. Do not over mix or whip at this point. It would release the trapped air in the whites.
- Pour the batter in a lined baking tin.
- Bake the cake in a preheated oven for 40 – 45 mins or you can even use a cooker like me. Cooker method took for about 90 minutes on low flame.
- Take it on to a wire rack, cool it down. Prick holes with a fork or knife and pour in rum over it. Seal it with a plastic wrap and keep it in a cool place. Repeat the process as many times as you can. I did this for three days. Slice it down and serve with a choice of toppings – ice cream, ganache or even more rum , may be 😛
Bake this treat for yourself or your loved ones and get all the brownie points 😉 This year has been an amazing journey. I can’t feel more alive than ever , with more so ever gratitude, peace and love.
I will end this post with a powerful note from one of my favourite travel blogger, Abhinav.
So move ahead, it’s your time now. For now you can connect dots, creating constellations out of wayward stars, and you’re not among the ones who fade across the sky, but now is your time to burn like a sun, and inundate everyone in your light.
So move ahead, for you know of pain and happiness, for now you know of peace that’s contained within everything, and the peace within every piece of you, and now you know that you are not a puzzle but a beautiful story revealing itself by every passing second.
Life is so endlessly delicious. Embrace and savour it. Wish you all a very happy and prosperous 2017! 😀