Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas come early -Caramel Fruit Cake with Red Red Wine

Christmas has certainly come early here. What with the unhappy ,foliage full diet that I am on, I was just craving for some soul satisfying, alcohol drenched, sweet stuff. I have had enough of beetroot and lettuce and apples for now...
Real calorie dense and sweet Christmasey kind of cake.

One unfinished bottle of red wine and a bowl full of cashew nuts and raisins was all it took . We did munch through a lot of the macerated raisins so had to substitute that with tutti fruity. ..candied pumpkin. They dissolved beautifully into the cake and sacrificed their identity to glorious taste . The wine was every where and the flavour grew more intense the next day. To save myself the pain and torture of abstaining from the absolute pleasure of munching through the cake, I gave it away with a heavy heart. 

The cake was soft in the centre with an awesome crust and a dreamy caramelised wine flavoured raisin bottom. Easy to make and easier to eat. .

For the

Caramel Fruit Cake with Red, Red Wine-and Whole wheat flour...

you need

2 cups plain all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4cup sugar for the caramel
1 cup raisins and cashew nuts or tutti fruity
1 tbs shredded candied orange peel
3 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon and clove powder
1/2 cup red wine
6 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 pinches of nutmeg

Best if you start the night before. Place the raisins , the shredded candied orange peel and the cashew nuts in
a bowl and add two thirds of the dry spice mix and pour all the wine over and allow to be soaked in at least
 for 6 hours.

Start with the caramel. In a heavy bottom pan place 3/4 cup of the sugar and place on the stove and heat. 

Heat ,stirring constantly till the sugar crystals melt and look like honey. Reduce the heat and stir till the sugar acquires a  coppery sheen. Quickly add 1/4 cup of water and stir. 
The caramel hardens but with tender love and a strong hand it will melt again. Turn off the heat and allow it to cool down to room temperature. 

Turn your oven on to 170 C and grease and flour and line a 3 pound cake tin with paper. I used a 2 lb and a 1 lb tin...

I now follow Rose Levy Brenabaum's theory that sifting is not enough, you need to mix the dry stuff together. So I whisked the flours ,the baking powder, the soda bicarbonate and remaining spices together with with a balloon whisk and set aside.

Whip up the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl.
Add in a third of the oil and then blend in a third oyf the flour mix. I use my  electric blender...my muscles are better built with the help of my yoga mat.
So...

Third time round you need to quit the blender and use  muscle power...the batter is now doughy,time to add the alcohol enriched fruity mix and the now thickened caramel. The caramel now feels like molasses...only a wee bit paler.

Tip the dough into the prepped tins half full and pop them into the oven.
At least 55 minutes for the small tin and around 75 minutes for the larger tin...We had a power cut for about 6 minutes so my big cake sunk a little in the centre,but otherwise the cake was amazingly soft for a fruit cake. Mine took 73 minutes -by the clock.

Test the doneness of the cake with a skewer and if the skewer comes out clean,pull the tin out and leave it to cool.One tin was attacked as soon it was cool enough to tip over while the other one waited for 6 hours. Run a knife around the edges and turn out the cake. Peel off the paper-yes, that's why the paper was needed.


Slice and serve with coffee or green tea to balance the sweetness of the cake.
Awesome.

I took some to school and gave away some to the neighbours and a friend's...after all the diet would really suffer ...
Mine was mostly for the sniffing pleasure.
Caramel...
Sends notes of dates and walnuts and old days gone by. 
the raisins add just that hint of tartness to this very straight cake and the cashew nuts were just lost...I added really few,as you know,I'm not a nut person at all.

And the wine left an aroma and a taste of heady decadent flavours.
Christmas came early...
PS I had soaked much more than what was needed for the cake,and we ended up snacking on that...double duty of good nuts and good wine...
Way to go...
So more soaking of fruits...

This cake evokes good memories . Of a happy childhood and the aromas of mums cakes baking in the oven,when cakes were uncomplicated and wholesome and there was no stress to frost cakes. The character of the cake was in the flavour ...only the flavour!
This recipe may sound and look familiar to many...it is a mish mash of the recipes tried over a long time...
The caramel comes from my Egg less Date Cake and the soaking in wine is a result of an unfinished Red Wine Bottle- cant bear to waste good fruit...
And eggs are good for you...I like oil better than butter-its always there and saves the whipping up and waiting for softening...
Whole wheat flour is the best...

So go ahead and bake a cake with a good character.
And enjoy without too much guilt.Remember, if it has the tendency to sit on your waist...share it-let the next person work out.

So what are you baking today???




2 comments:

Canary said...

looks so so so delicious that I can't imagine how it will taste!! :)

http://crispingcanary.blogspot.in/2013/11/to-turkey-with-so-much-love.html

Sweet said...

canary...thanks for visiting...and the cake was awesome...try it...

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