A memorable Culinary Journey!

Victorian Christmas Cake

Victorian Christmas Cake

Merry Christmas Folks!

A couple of years ago I posted the recipe for Traditional Christmas Cake which was widely appreciated and many people tried the cake out with spectacular results – in fact some of them taking the extra step to buy Marzipan for covering the cake with.

Check the recipe here :

A great friend I met through Facebook asked me a the recipe for a Victorian Christmas Cake!My research took me to a very old cookbook I picked up in Canada which was actually thrown out as the owners apparently did not find any use for this!

This book had a special recipe for Victorian Christmas Cake which though almost the same as mine,had minor variations!These were :

  • The cake used 2 tbsp Orange Zest which was missing in mine – the Orange peel is grated over a simple grater avoiding the white pith which is bitter.We need 2 big Oranges for 2 tbsp Zest!
  • It uses more Almond Flour/Ground Almonds
  • No Ginger Powder is used (though I used it for the subtle warmth the cake would provide)
  • The cake used Brandy which was amazing in the baked cake!
  • The cake was supposed to be stored in a cool place in the baking tin itself. completely covered for a fortnight for the flavours to develop.The book instructed the cake to be baked in July itself and fed with Rum or Brandy for retaining moisture till Christmas!
  • Prunes (a kind of dried,preserved Plum) was extensively used as the main fruit in the cake.We however had a small pack of Prunes so I substituted the whole Prune quantity with soaked mixed and preserved fruits!

Some of my personal tips :

  1. I used a square cake pan as the shape enabled me to slice the cake very conveniently!You can use a pan of your choice or even a Bundt cake pan!
  2. I soaked the fruit for approximately 2 months in a mix of Rum and Brandy.You can use either one or do away with it completely!
  3. Bake it at the temperature mentioned.The fruit cakes,especially Alcohol based bake beautifully at a low temperature and at a higher baking time.
  4. I kept the cake refrigerated inside the baking pan,covered with 2 layers of Parchment paper.This step did not dry out the cake and allowed the flavours to develop and merge in the cake!
  5. Cut the cake with preferably a bread knife.These are long and serrated knives which guarantee clean cuts and does not tamper with the texture of the cake!
  6. I also used a new variety of dried fruits which included Kiwi,Papaya,Mango,Banana and Pineapple which were dehydrated which soaked up the Rum beautifully as I soaked them!

Pics of the fruits I used :

These are a variety of Mini Orange which have the pulp and pith removed and preserved in sugar syrup and then dried!They tasted awesome in the Cake!

A medley of dried fruits – Kiwi,Papaya,Pineapple,Mango,Banana and Cranberry!

Pics of the beautiful Cake….

This recipe was entered for the 124th FoodieMonday Bloghop which was Christmas!

Preparation Time : 20 Minutes

Baking Time : 1 hour

Makes : 1.5 kg cake

INGREDIENTS

The dry ingredients :

300 gms plain flour(maida)

200 gms Almond flour/ground Almonds

1 tsp Clove Powder

1 tsp Ginger Powder

1 tsp Cinnamon Powder

1 tsp Nutmeg Powder

2 tsp Baking Powder

The fruit and nuts :

700 gms total soaked fruit (see notes above)

1 cup chopped Prunes

75 gms Walnuts – chopped

50 gms sliced Almonds

50 gms sliced Hazelnuts and Pecans(optional)

Other ingredients :

300 gms butter(unsalted)

4 eggs(preferably large)

2 tbsp Molasses/jaggery syrup(optional)

2 tbsp Orange Zest

1 tsp Vanilla essence

100 ml Brandy

METHODΒ 

Preheat oven to 150Β°C and prepare the cake pan.Line the pan with 2 layers of Parchment paper.

Mix all the fruits and nuts in a bowl and keep aside 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top.

Sift all the dry ingredients except the Almond Flour in a large bowl.Add the Almond Flour and mix in the rest of the soaked fruit.Mix thoroughly.This ensures that the fruits do not sink at the bottom of the cake while baking.

Cream the butter and sugar and add the eggs beating well after each addition then beat in the Molasses,Orange Zest and the Vanilla essence.

Now fold in the prepared dry ingredients 2 tbsp at a time.Add 2 tbsp of the flour mix and fold well(in an up and down motion) and repeat till all the mix has been used up.Add the Brandy 2 tbsp at a time and mix well.

Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pan and thump the tin on the kitchen countertop to remove any air bubbles inside the cake.Bake for approximately 1 hour or till a skewer or toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool the cake in the pan itself till it comes to room temperature.

Cover the pan with 2 layers of Parchment paper and keep it in a low shelf of your refrigerator for 15 days to a month to preserve the flavours.

While serving take out the cake 4 – 5 hours before and let it come to room temperature.You can cover it with Marzipan and Royal Icing if you like for a completely traditional Victorian Christmas Cake!

The baked Cake….

Serve with Christmas Cheer!Season’s Greetings!

The cake sliced up

How one slice looks like

Lovely,moist and delicious Victorian Christmas Cake..



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