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KERALA FRUIT CAKE

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Cook: 35 - 40 minute

KERALA FRUIT CAKE

(Non-Alcoholic) This is best after a week.

  • 250 g unsalted butter
  • 250 g cake flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar (just take normal sugar and grind it to fine)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Dry fruits: 1 heaped cup, you can increase half cup more if you like more dry fruits. Any fruits you prefer or use mixed dried fruit.
  • ½ cup sugar caramel (see recipe below..)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom powder

Preheat oven to 180 ºC. Grease and line baking pans.
Make the caramel syrup (see method below..)
Sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of spice powder (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom), and salt into a bowl, keep this aside.
In another bowl, cream butter for a minute with an handheld beater until fluffy.
Add in the  castor sugar. Cream for 2-3 minutes.
Add in eggs one by one, beat after each egg.
The batter will be very creamy.
Add half of the sugar caramel syrup and mix.
Add in the flour mix and rest of the caramel syrup, add the syrup cautiously, as you do not want a loose batter
The batter will be very thick yet fluffy and creamy.
Take 1 cup of dry fruits and add 2 tablespoons of flour into it, this is very important!!…..so do not skip this. Mix with a spoon.
Add this into the creamy batter and fold the fruit with a spatula into the batter very gently.
Pour the batter into the greased cake pans.
Bake at 180 ºC for 35-40 min or until done.
Once cooled down, dust with icing sugar.

  • CARAMEL SYRUP: (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup warm water

Take a deep pot, preferably a steel one, as it helps you to see the colour clearly.
Add sugar and 1 tbsp water. Bring it to heat.
Twirl it once in a while, I usually don’t stir it. It will start crystallizing after 3-4 min.
Don’t worry keep twirling it.
You can see the colour starts changing around the edges. Slowly the crystals become clear bubbles and it changes to a clear golden-colour liquid.
Once you reach this stage, reduce your heat to the lowest and keep cooking till it reaches your required colour consistency. If you feel that it’s getting too hot in between, just take it off the heat for a few seconds.
Make sure you twirl the pan in between.
Once it reaches a dark caramel colour (make sure it’s not burnt), remove from heat and add warm water.
It may splash, so be careful while adding it. Bring it back to the heat. The syrup will be boiling for some time. Keep twirling the pan and keep it on the heat at the lowest for another 4-5 min.
Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
***It’s a bit of a time consuming process and it requires your undivided attention. If you follow the steps correctly, you won’t go wrong.
Note:
I usually make this on the smallest burner on my gas stove. I melt the sugar on medium -high flame till it reaches the clear golden syrup consistency. Once this consistency is reached, make sure you reduce the flame to the lowest.
You need to keep a close watch on this, since the colour changes very quickly. I keep the water (1/4 cup) in microwave for 30 seconds when the syrup has reached the clear golden syrup consistency. This can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Bring it to room temperature before adding it to the cake batter.
Do not bake in a cold oven…always preheat to 180 ºC before baking.

Recipe: Amanda Conradie
Photo: Elize de Kock

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