1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup caramel
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 cup mixed dry fruits and nuts(raisins, cashew, dates, tutty fruity, apricot, dry cherry) or can use any dry fruits or even dried welch' dry fruits
3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of caraway seeds or shahi jeera,powdered (optional)
1/4 tsp each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves powder,ginger powder(at least two items)
1/2 cup of Rum(Substitute with juice, keep the cake refrigerated)
1/2 cup red sweet wine
To make Caramel :
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1. Before making the cake, we have to soak the dry fruit for several hours, overnight or few days ahead, the more number of days, the better. I soaked for 4 days.
Soak the dry fruits in 2-3 tbsp of rum and 1/2 cup of red wine. Keep this at room temperature. (If you do not want to use alcohol, then read the notes below)
2. Preparing Caramel :
Spread 1/2 cup of sugar in a thick bottomed pan and heat it. Keep about 1/2 cup of hot water ready on the side. Control the heat when the sugar starts burning. Shake the pan a couple of times, do not stir.
When the sugar starts to turn brown , pour slowly the warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Keep ur face away! (caution: it will splitter so be cautious!). Do not burn the caramel or it will make the cake bitter.
The syrup will thicken when it cools down, add water to lighten it. For the cake use the caramel only after cooling down.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Grease an 8" round or a square pan. Keep aside.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and all the spices. Keep aside.
5. In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar. Beat until creamy and fluffy.
6. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
7. Pour in the caramel syrup and mix well.
8. Add the flour spice mixture and mix until the flour is completely incorporated with the wet ingredients.
9. Strain the dried fruits and mix with 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour.
10. Add this to the batter. Also add the nuts at this point. Mix well.
11. Spoon the batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes(my cake took 1 hr to bake including the extra time) or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of he cake comes out clean plus about 5 minutes. The cake might look burnt because of the extra time but its not.
12. Once cake is cooled, make small pores on cake with tooth pick and pour 1to 2 tbs Rum and let it soak.(This step is optional)
13. Cover the cake with wax paper and keep it 4 to 5 days or more for a better taste and texture. (This step is optional)
14. Slice the cake only after it cools down completely, else it will crumble.
I did not slice the cake, as i am going to brush the cake with rum and leave it covered for 5 days.
1. You can use orange juice instead of alcohol. Warm the orange juice in microwave and mix the dry fruits and you can also add rum extract(optional) and keep in a air tight container for several hours, overnight or days. If it is soaked for days, try to stir time to time.
2. Since the cake is moistened with rum or juice, bake the cake for 5-8 minutes longer than usual, until the top is dark brown. We prefer to use Captain Morgan spiced rum, any rum should do though.
3. Make sure to use wax paper on the sides and bottom of the pan, caramel make this cakes sticky.
4. Cake will look hard after baking, but wait for couple of days, and wow! it will be much softer and a yummy flavor.
5. The alcohol is evaporated while baking so we can safely feed the kids. Rum is the key flavor , it gives the flavor of the original plum cake we get from the bakery. You can always skip the rum and soak in fruit juice but the flavor is different.
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