Christmas being next month it is imperative to start planning from now what to make and the tastes and preferences of the people whom we serve them to.The highlight of any Christmas evening is the Cake which is loved by all but again on the reverse side has its own issues.The traditional Christmas Fruit Cake has a lot of eggs – to be precise 5 eggs in a normal cake by weight.
There are people in the world who do not have eggs – the reasons are many and which we cannot (and should not) argue upon.There will be people who would love to eat cakes with eggs or egg treats but are allergic to them.Some people cannot tolerate the “odour” while others refer to it as “aroma”.Some people are reared in vegetarian families (with cases where alliums like Onion and Garlic are also not tolerated) with childhood teachings being that eggs come from animals and thus termed “non vegetarian” while some accept eggs as “vegetarian” and therefore call themselves “eggitarian”!
This Cake is for all those who want “vegetarian cakes” with the same awesome taste!
This Cake has 2 main ingredients :
- Buttermilk – which acts as a raising agent
- Soda Bicarb which helps in areation
No baking powder is used in the recipe.
For the people who cannot tolerate eggs this is THE recipe for the perfect eggless Christmas Cake!
- Make this cake a fortnight before and refrigerate it without slicing it.On the big day take it out 5 – 6 hours before serving and slice it into thin portions just before the party begins.
- You can sprinkle any liquor on it if you want to.
- You can add macerated fruits (dry fruits soaked in Rum,Brandy or any liquor of your choice) to it or make it plain like I have.
- The cake can be topped with a mixture of 1/2 cup icing sugar,3 tbsp water and 1/2 tsp vanilla essence.Mix everything in a bowl and pour over the cake.Allow to set for 1 hour.
- I have made the cake in a Loaf Pan for neat and even slicing but you can use the pan you want.
- You can use any kind of mixed fury you like.I have taken a mixture of Maraschino Cherries,dried Kiwi,Pineapple,Papaya,Mango and Banana,Almonds,Cashews and homemade preserved Pineapple.
MAKING THE BUTTERMILK
You can use the buttermilk after extracting butter after churning cream or make it with yogurt.Add 1/2 cup water to 1/2 cup Yogurt for the perfect buttermilk for this cake!
Preparation Time : 1 hour (including baking time)
Makes : 1 standard Loaf Cake
1 1/2 cups plain flour (maida)
1 cup Buttermilk (see Notes above)
2 cups mixed fruit (see Notes above)
1 cup brown sugar/Muscovado Sugar/unrefined sugar/powdered jaggery
3/4 cup refined oil/melted butter
1 tsp Cinnamon Powder (Dalchini)
3/4 tsp Nutmeg Powder (Jaiphal)
1/4 tsp Clove Powder (Laung)
1/4 tsp Dry Ginger Powder (Sonth)
1 tsp Soda Bicarb
Preheat oven to 180°C.Prepare a loaf pan by spraying it with baking spray or brushing it with butter/oil and sprinkling some flour over it.Tilt the pan for the flour to coat the insides of the pan and tap the extra flour into the dry ingredients mixing bowl.
Take a large bowl and mix the flour,soda bicarb and the powdered spices – Cinnamon,Nutmeg,Clove and Dry Ginger Powders.Whisk well with a wire whisk.Add the mixed fruits and mix well with a spoon till the fruits are coated with the flour.This prevents the fruit from sinking while the cake is baking.Make a well or depression in the centre of the mixture and keep aside.
In another bowl mix the oil/butter and the sugar and whisk well.Add the buttermilk and whisk well till combined.Pour this mixture into the well you made in the flour mixture and whisk well.Pour immediately into the prepared loaf pan and tap on the kitchen countertop to even out the batter and remove any air bubbles.
Bake for 50 minutes till the cake comes off the edges of the pan and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.Cool the cake for 20 – 25 minutes in the pan and invert on a cooling rack.Cool completely to room temperature.
If serving immediately keep on a chopping board and cut into neat slices.Otherwise wrap in Brown/butter/parchment paper and place in a ziplock bag.Refrigerate.
Serve with Tea or Coffee.