Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Fruit Cake - No Alcohol No Soak Cake | Christmas Recipes

Christmas Fruit Cake! Well, I love to eat it. But to bake one.. Hmm.. I thought it was not for me. Honestly, I didn't think I would bake one when I woke up this morning. But then this recipe which I came across in a magazine haunted me. It is a pretty simple recipe with no alcohol and no pre-soaking of fruits is needed. The preparation takes less than 30 minutes but it still has all the richness and elegant taste of the traditional fruit cake. Now that I fell in love with this recipe something tells me I may try my hand in the traditional recipe soon. May be next Christmas?!

Preparation time - 30 mins; Baking time - 60 mins
Candied fruits/Tutti Frutti - 2/3 cup
Chopped Dates - 1/3 cup
Chopped Figs - 1/2 cup
Raisins (black and golden mix) - 3/4 cup
Pecans - 1/4 cup, chopped
All purpose flour - 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup + more for dusting the pans
Ground Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 1/4 tsp
Nutmeg - less than 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1/4 tsp
Butter, room temperature - 1/4 cup
Dark Brown sugar - 1/4 cup
Egg, room temperature - 1
Molasses - 2 tbsp (see recipe below if not available in stores)
Orange juice, fresh - 3 tbsp
Preheat the oven to 275 F/ 135 C. Grease 4 - 7 oz ramekins (I used 2 small and 1 big) with butter and dust with flour. Shake off excess flour. Mix the fruits and nuts with 1/2 cup of flour in a large mixing bowl. Set aside. 
In a small mixing bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup flour, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking powder well. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the egg and molasses. Mix until blended. Now add the flour mixture alternating with the orange juice until just mixed, scraping sides often. Now pour the butter-egg mixture over the flour-coated fruits and use a spatula to mix until no streaks of flour remain. Fill the ramekins and smooth the top. Place in a baking sheet and position in the center rack of the oven. In the bottom rack place a 9" or 8" baking pan filled with hot water. Bake for 45 minutes for small ramekins and about 60-65 minutes for large ramekins. When done, the toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack. When cooled completely, remove from pan and place in the rack. Pack in a plastic wrap and store in fridge for a couple of days.
The types of dried fruits and nuts used is purely your personal choice. Mix and match for texture variations. Other than what I have used, dried apricots, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried pineapples, cashew nuts, walnuts are good options. 2-1/2 cups of dried fruits and nuts for this recipe is what we are looking for.
This recipe can easily be doubled.
Molasses Recipe:
Heat 3 tbsp, tightly packed brown sugar with about a tsp of water in a small saucepan in medium heat. When the syrup becomes a little thick, remove from heat and allow it to cool. Use in place of molasses as needed.   

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