Thursday, 24 December 2009

Rum Cake with Fruits & Nuts




When I came across this wonderful Fruit & Nut cake in Sunita's beautiful blog, I knew I had to try making it. So inspite of not blogging for a while .... oh ... am not away from the kitchen though ... just don't feel like making the beautiful dishes always a subject and train the camera on them till they fall flat or go cold with disappointment.
With a little cold here finally, hot dishes & soups are being enjoyed real hot .... from the stove or oven to the plates and famished tummies. :-)

A small disappointment did rile me for a while ... our travel plans were cancelled .... no, postponed ... for hubby's work. :-(

And my very original Instant Moong Dal Halwa , which has been made and loved by a lot of readers .... both bloggers and non bloggers equally .... showering me with mails and comments .... which has made me very proud of my recipe and happy too ... is unhappy.
A blogger who has appreciated it here has gone and used another blogger's comment space to call it yuck (without trying to make it). :-(
I really don't know what to make of it.

But such little things are not going to put me down.
The first issue is solved ... I have been promised a trip soon .... so am happy. :-)
And I am deluged with visiting friends and family now that the hols have started .... best friend D is here from Dubai ... my KG friend is visiting next with wife .... hubby found a long lost friend from college ... so the days are rushing by in a blur.



I was very excited at the thought of baking a rum cake. Back from a Book Fair, with two huge bundles of books in my arms, I was a spectacle ... well ... the guys in the shop looked real amused ... when buying rum from a shop ( hubby's presence did not help much ). ;-)
I went through Sunita's recipe and for a change did not want to experiment or deviate too much.
Just made a few changes more out of necessity than anything else ...

* I used maida / APF instead of atta / whole wheat flour.
* I reduced the amount of eggs to three.
* I used plain white sugar.
* I added a little vanilla essence lest my veggie ( ok ... eggitarian ) hubby gets a 'smell'.
* I had no nutmeg ... so could not add it.
* Ground a few cloves ( that I put in the sugar jar ) with the sugar.
* And since I tend to keep my cake batters a little too liquid, I added some Cranberry juice ( that was the only juice I had at home then) to make it more liquid.

I have stuck to my usual measurements of a cake ... still the batter was voluminous ... I made two cakes and six cupcakes out of these measurements.

Visit Sunita's World for the original recipe and some great snaps.


Need :
2 cups maida / apf ,
3 eggs,
1/2 tsp baking soda,
2 tbsp baking powder,
1 and 1/2 cup sugar,
a few drops of vanilla essence ( do not use too much ...
... or you can skip it too if you are used to eggs ) ,
a few cloves and cinnamon,
dark rum,
8 tbsp cooking oil,
zest of one orange and juice of one orange ( I used the same orange ),
dates, walnuts, cashews, black raisins.
Any fruit juice ( if needed ) ... I used a little Cranberry juice.

How to :

Chop or break the fruits and nuts and soak them in a cupful of water and rum in 1:1 ratio ( I used a small soupbowl and soaked them for half an hour).

Then pour them into a pan and cook on low heat till they are almost dry. Cool.
Add the orange zest ( added the juice and pulp too ) and keep aside.

Grind the sugar finely with the cloves and cinnamon.
Mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda together.

Whisk the eggs + oil + sugar + a drop of vanilla essence + 4 tbsp rum with an electric beater or in a mixie.
Add the flour in and mix well.

Pre heat oven at 150 degrees ( I am used to baking cakes at this temperature .... refer Sunita's recipe for her version).

Mix in the dry fruits to the batter.

Grease a cake mould and dust it with a little flour.
Pour in the batter and put to bake.
Do not forget to keep checking ... I often switch off the oven in between for even baking.
Bake till an inserted toothpick or skewer or knife comes out clean.

Sunita advises to cover the mould after a while of baking .... listen to her. :-)
I did not ... and the top got browned very quickly.

But all was not lost ... I decreased the temp. immediately and let it bake in a very low temperature.

Later I tried to pry off the top layer ... it was very thin and came away like an obedient child .... and there was nothing noticable at all.




This turned out to be the most wonderful cake I have ever baked .... too soft .... I pressed a piece with a finger and it slowly rose up again!

And when I bit into it, I was taken back to my childhood .... when Bapi ( Dad ) would get a Fruit cake everytime he went to Calcutta on a bussiness trip. I used to pick out the raisins then .... I still do from other cakes .... but this time I savoured every bit.

I just closed my eyes and was back home in the chilling winters .... holidays ..... school chapel .... a singing choir ... the nativity scene .... friends yelling out "Haaaaaappy Holidays!" .... Sisters smiling indulgently when we asked for an extra piece of chocolate cake from the Convent .... and asking us to be good in the holidays and not to trouble our parents .....

Oh! I can go on and on and on .....



Instead .... here's wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful and Happy New Year 2010 !!

Stay well ... stay warm ... stay happy ... and savour the love and happiness of your dear ones around you!! :-)

Good cheer to all of you .... c'ya all soon!


38 comments:

  1. Cake looks soft and yummyyyy....Happy x-mas dear....

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  2. cake looks yum,..me gng to bake one now,..;-)will be glad if u send this for jingle event at my blog,..merry christmas,..:-)

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  3. Dear Sharmila
    I was virtually enjoying your vacation and I suddenly see this post.(enjoying your vacation means, enjoying the joy I will get when you post travelogue and photos:-)
    Anyway the vacation is postponed, thats accepted. In my case it has been always the opposite..your boudi has been cancelling forever. :-).
    Nice cake and your judicious adjustments are great.
    I am planning to get back to baking cakes and cookies after decade. I am not allowed to touch the main micro & grill combo. So the vintage Oven has been retrieved and cockroaches rendered homeless.
    Let me see if I can finally start it. :-)
    Merry Christmas

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  4. Wow Sharmila...your post took me back ..not long but few months when i used to enjoy these delicious fruit cakes almost everyday :-)
    Its been on my mind making one and with all these delicious fruit cakes floating around in blogosphere its getting harder to resist :-)

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  5. Looks lovely Sharmila. Happy Holidays! to you. Your nuns were nice folks, they gave you chocolate cakes and indulged with extra pieces. We were not that lucky :)

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  6. Your recipes are simple and easy to follow....but they are probably not what has me hooked to your blog.....it's the way you enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
    I am away from home on work and your blog makes me want to rush back home. Keep writing! You have a gift....

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  7. Welcome Back Sharmila.love this recipe. my cake is also ready and has matured enough to emanate houseful of christmassy aroma. will post it tomorrow. Merry Christmas.

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  8. I almost bit the screen and I will say it in everyone's blog :)

    Amazing.

    I have fellow bloggers over for dinner on 25th. One has baked a rum and fruit cake so Sharmila your wishes have reached us.

    Merry Christmas to you all

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  9. Merry X'mas & Happy New Year

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  10. awesome post and i loved the nostalgia... I haven't made a cake this winter yet - inspires me to bake one....

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  11. Thanks Tina! :-)

    Thanks Priyanka! Post your cake soon. :-)

    Thanks Ushnishda' ... am hoping too that this trip will materialise. And I always prefer the good and trusty old OTG for baking ... so no worry. :-)

    Thanks Parita! Go ahead and bake one ... it is cake season. :-)

    Thanks ISG! Our Sisters were the best! I am still in touch with my class teacher in 10th. happy hols to you too! :-)

    Thanks Roshnai! Always love to hear from you. :-)


    Thanks Sayantani! Looking forward to your cake. :-)

    Thanks A2Z! :-)

    Thanks Kalyan ... that is compliment enough. Rum & fruits cake on the 25th .. made for each other! :-)

    Thanks Preeti! :-)

    Thanks Somoo! Great to see you back! Go ahead and bake one quick. :-)

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  12. Merry Christmas to you.
    Unfortunately i do not have an oven...would have loved to try this one. I am trying to convince the husband to buy an OTG this new year. Looking at the tiny size of the kitchen, the task looks pretty daunting. There is absolutely no place for it.

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  13. good to see you back with a great cake ....happy Christmas to you too..
    hugs and smiles

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  14. Dear Sharmila, Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays and a new year ahead.! The cake looks delicious.
    Please do not let somebody's comment bother you. Enjoy the much deserved vacation.

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  15. Thanks Aparna! There are many small sized OTGs that serve equally well ... try one. :-)

    Thanks Arundhuti! :-)

    Thanks Jaya! :-)

    Thanks RC! Yeah am trying not to give much thought to irresponsible stuff. :-)

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  16. Happy Holidays Dear Sharmila and a Very Happy New Year too
    have lots of fun with family and friends

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  17. wow, that looks so decadent!

    Happy New year, dearest J

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  18. I was wondering about your absence and missed your quick comments....lovely post and equally lovely and perfect looking fruit cake...you know amar most favorite cake...happy holidays and happy happy new year to you two...take care

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  19. Another golden cake from your wonderful kitchen Sharmila!! :-)
    Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year...

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  20. Dear Sharmila..I stumbled upon your blog when I was searching for some recipe few days back and frankly had to revisit today, even amidst a busy day at work just to see 'whats cooking"! :)
    There is an amazing simplicity and a palpable 'goodness' in all your blog posts...it simply reminds me of my childhood in kolkata, my mom's kitchen and wraps me in a strange nostalgia..
    Do keep up the good work and keep posting...
    Arunima

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  21. Thanks Sandeepa! :-)

    Thanks Rashmi! :-)

    Thanks Indrani! I'll be back with my comments soon. :-)

    Thanks Joyee! :-)

    Thanks Arunima! Always a pleasure to hear from my readers. :-)
    Hope you found whatever you were looking for.

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  22. Sharmila, your blog makes me travel back to those years which I have left behind and at times crave for...those childhood fruit cake days.
    Enjoy reading your posts and at present can say...the cake looks yummy.

    ...and keep smiling...

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  23. Have a great 2010. Looking forward to many more fab delights from u.

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  24. don't let these comments get you down Sharmila. I love your posts. Happy new year to you and yours!

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  25. Thanks Gouri, Sunetra, Priyadarshan, Priyanka, Mandira! :-)

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  26. Wishing you and your hubby a very happy and blessed new year!
    The cake looks fabulous.
    I love the instant moong dal recipe...so creative and it comes out so well. Please don't let uncalled for, rude comments get you down. Hope your are doing well and everything is good at your end.

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  27. We are fine and hope the same with you dear Bharti. Much thanks! :-)

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  28. Happy New Year Sharmila.. tomader!! We were away for vacation.

    "Yuck"? .. pretty weird people around I must say:-(

    The fruit cake brings so much memories as u have said.. looks rich and lovely (yes I had eyed Sunita's cake). I have not made anything this holidays.. nothing at all. But I do wish I had baked a fruit cake atleast.

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  29. Scrumptious fruity cake.My best wishes for 2010,Sharmila :D

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  30. Happy 2010 Sharmila. Thanks for friends like you, feels great to be appreciated always. Hugs to you and what can say about Rum cake!!! My kinds cake, yum! :))

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  31. I hope you are enjoying your vacation a lot. I have an award for you waiting at my place. please collect.

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  32. Thanks Soma! Your cakes are always out of the world. Go ahead and bake one soon. :-)


    Thanks Yasmeen! :-)


    Hugs to you too dear Asha! Great to have you back. :-)


    Thanks for thinking of me Sayantani! I ususally don't do tags ... but guess this will be fun ... will do it for a change. :-)

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  33. mmm the cake has come out really well, looks very puffed airated and soft!!!

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  34. I just bumped in to your blogspot couple of days before while searching for bengali food recipes.
    I must admit that the beauty of your prose charmed me much more than your complicated recipes.May be they are good but I could not try them out as the geographical location where I am now, those beautiful ingradients are not available.

    However, a friendly suggestion....why don't you take up writing on a regular basis. Try to send them to NOW and AGAIN in Statesman or editorial page in THE TELEGRAPH. Indian writers never bothered much with belles letres. Such a lovely genre has no Indian contributor.

    Sam

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Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!