It’s almost Christmas! Yay! I love all things Christmas. From the albums that are released by artists, I love carols and as a kid, it wasn’t Christmas without us decorating the living room (this would last well on to February), and watching our church host a Christmas play. Technically, I start singing carols as early as June because Christmas is never long enough. Currently obsessed with Pentatonix Christmas albums
The beauty about Christmas is that we all get to relax, spend time with loved ones and best of all, there is no traffic, (Nairobi people understand this well). We also get to eat a lot of desserts since no one is judging, and there’s no better dessert that screams Christmas than a fruit cake.
When I told my cousin fruit cakes take a week to three months to be ready, he was intrigued and shocked and was convinced I was just messing with him. But I am not.
A good fruit cake needs to be matured. It gets its lovely aroma from the spices and the dried fruits having been presoaked give the cake a moist feel when bitten into.
Brushing the cake with rum once in a while, not only helps in preserving the cake for a much longer time, but contributes to the flavor and moisture of the cake.
The beauty about this recipe is that, if you didn’t have ample time to prepare the cake, you can serve it when it cools, though it genuinely tastes a lot richer the longer you let it mature.
Ingredients (makes a 1kg cake)
- 200g Pradip dried fruits
- 750ml rum (you don’t need this much though) – can be substituted with water
- 250g margarine
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon Pradip caramel
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons Pradip mixed spices
To begin, soak the fruits with rum for at least 24 hrs. This is done so that the fruits can absorb the rum, thus softening up. The dried fruits I use contain raisins, sultanas and mixed peel, that I get from Pradip.
Once the fruits are soaked, measure out your desired amount.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Grease and dust your desired baking tin (I’ll be using a loaf pan).
In a bowl, sift together the flour, mixed spices and baking powder.
Add the caramel. It acts as a substitute to sugar giving the cake a sweet taste. If you find the cake not desirably sweet, you can add an extra 1/2 0r 1 tablespoon of the caramel. If you find it two sweet, you can reduce the caramel by 1/2 a tablespoon.
Next, add the flour mixture alternately with the rum, starting and ending with the flour.
When your batter is well combined, pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
When the cake is ready, let it cool for 30-60 minutes before removing it from the cake pan. Let the cake cool completely. The next steps are optional especially if substituting rum with water.
Using a fork or a skewer, gently poke the cake and brush it with a little rum. Wrap the cake with aluminium foil and let it sit in a cool and dry place until you’re satisfied with maturity. You can opt to brush the cake with rum every week or every three weeks but it’s at this point optional.
Serve the cake as breakfast, snack or dessert. Everyone’s guaranteed to enjoy.