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Christmas plays a special place in my heart. My mom was born on Christmas and so is my sister. And, 2 years ago my son was also born on Christmas eve – yes in our house we celebrate birthday of three generations on Christmas eve.
My earliest memories of Christmas was standing in line with my dad and sister at Nahoum and Sons in New Market for their awesome Christmas cakes. Winter in Kolkata is not a freezing, but pleasant. The city gets decked up in Christmas lights, and Park street is a sight to see.
You cannot talk about Christmas without mentioning the fruit filled cakes. The dark rich cake with fruity goodness is the best part of the season. Many start preparing for the cake almost 10 weeks before Christmas, soaking the dried fruit in rum in air tight jars and then bake the cake with those tutti frutties. The rum enhances the flavor of the cake, but with a toddler at your toe, it’s a no no to add any kind of alcohol in your food. So, I changed this Christmas fruit cake recipe from AllRecipes to suit my needs. If you don’t have an oven then you can bake the cake in pressure cooker.
Christmas Fruit Cake
- ½ cup all-purpose flour, + 1 tablespoon
- 1 cup tutti frutti
- ¼ cup raisin
- ¼ cup pecans
- 1 egg
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup molasses
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 tablespoon milk
- Preheat the oven to 325F/160C
- Cream the butter and the brown sugar till its fluffy. Add the egg and beat for a little longer to incorporate
- In a separate bowl mix in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Now add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in two matches mixing in the molasses and milk in between. Pour in the vanilla essence and mix well
- In a bowl add the tutti frutti, pecans and raisins and mix in the tablespoon of flour. Add the dry fruits to the cake mix.
- Spread the mix in a 6” circular pan or two 6” loaf pans. Put in the oven and bake for 40-45mins or till a knife comes out clean when poked in the middle
- You can substitute tutti frutti with dried fruits like sultana, cranberries, dried pineapple, cherries or mango.
- If using rum, then soak the dried fruit in 1/4 cup of rum for atleast 24 hours or upto 10 weeks in an air tight container. Once the cake is baked, soak a cheesecloth with another 1/4 cup of rum and wrap it around the cake(s), then wrap it with a parchment paper and let it age in an air tight container
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Sohini, the new lady in the B(log)-town and the proud owner of the catering company Cassia Bark Ltd. in Cambridge, U.K. She is our guest blogger today. Sohini had prepared these wonderful cup-cakes for Father’s Day and we just thought of sharing this yummy recipe with you all.
Makes 12-14 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- Natural Yogurt – 150 ml
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 175g caster sugar
- 140g plain or self-rising flour
- 175g unsalted butter
- 75g ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Mango Jam – ½ teaspoon for each cupcake (you can replace it with any other jam of your choice)
For the Icing:
I used Betty Crocker readymade Vanilla Butter Cream Icing.
For the Cupcakes:
- Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases and heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.
- In a jug, mix the yogurt, eggs and vanilla extract. Put the dry ingredients, plus a pinch of salt and mix well.
- Add the yogurt mix and melted butter, and quickly fold in with a spatula or metal spoon – you don’t have to whisk just fold everything nicely together until mixed well. Spoon and fill 2/3 of the cases. Add ½ a teaspoon of Mango Jam in each one in the center and fill the rest of the case with the cake batter again. Bake for 18-20 mins or until golden, risen and springy to the touch. Insert a skewer. The cakes are done if it comes out clean.
- Cool for a few mins, and then lift the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Now scoop the icing into a piping bag and use your favorite nozzle to decorate. Or you can just spoon a little bit of icing on each cake and spread it out evenly with the spoon. Sprinkle with a few chocolate chips. You can also decorate with some cupcake toppers.
Hot Tips – Sohini had used the readymade icing, you can also prepare your own, just follow these simple steps:
- 140g butter, softened
- 280g Icing Sugar
- 1-2 tbsp Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Beat the butter in a large bowl with a hand held electric whisk until soft. Add half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add the remaining icing sugar and one tablespoon of the milk and beat the mixture until creamy and smooth.
- Beat in the milk, if necessary, to loosen the mixture. Stir in the food coloring until well combined. Add a few drops of the food color of your choice. I used Blue as I made these for Father’s Day.
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