This post is about a cake that is Indian. Now I am Indian and we have a staggering variety of food but we don’t really makes cakes. I mean we have a ton of Indian sweets but no real cakes. So I was surprised when I heard about this cake. Now it is meant to be made around Christmas and therefore I’m guessing (because I tried to find where its origins may lie), its an import from Europe. This is a cake you need to prepare for, at least a month ahead. Why you ask? Because it has dry fruits and nuts in it that need soaking in rum a month in advance. Did your eyes light up like mine did when you read that?! Now I am not much of a drinker. In fact I can get drunk on a glass of wine.. oh yes I’m a cheap date! I eat really little too! hehe. So, I was saying, I’m not much of a drinker but when you talk about liquor in desserts you’ll have me running to get a bite. :)
I like how you have to prepare in advance for this cake. I love love love the whole preparation part of cooking or baking. This is a rich cake and I read some people start on it in November and then once the cake is made, make holes in it and every few days till Christmas arrives, soak it with the rum again! How wonderful is that? Now I haven’t done that with this cake because, ehm… I was likely to get drunk on a slice! But I did soak the fruit and nuts for a month. Gave it a shake every now and then and couldn’t wait to get the rum drunk fruit in the cake. :)
The name of the cake comes from the South Indian state of the same name. Kerala is supposed to be beautiful and its back waters are famous. It’s been a long time desire to go there one day and I hope it happens but for now I find satisfaction in making something from there.
I don’t fully agree obviously that this cake is only good at Christmas time. I think it made a perfect Valentine gift. It sure is advantageous to get some liquor in your honey’s tummy! ;)
1/4 cup pistachio
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup dried strawberries
1/2 cup mixed golden and black raisins + prunes
1 1/2 cups dark rum
Chop all fruit and nuts roughly and put in a jar. Pour the rum over the fruit. Make sure they are all drenched with the liquor. Cover jar and leave in a cool dark spot for a month.
for the caramel sauce
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup hot water
In a non stick deep pan, melt the sugar on medium fire. Do not be daunted by the task of making caramel, it really is very simple. You need to stir the sugar every now and then. It will first form clumps and then start to melt. At this point do not leave it for a second and stir continuously. Once there are no lumps, add the hot water. Be careful as the sugar will sputter because of how hot it is. The sugar may become lumpy but continue to stir, lower the heat to low and let it melt in the water. Once its a smooth mix, turn of the heat and set aside to cool.
for the cake
2 1/2 cups flour
240 grams soft butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp clove powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, separated
2 tsps vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water
Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
Sieve the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder and soda, spices and salt twice and set aside.
Beat the butter with the sugar till light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks only one by one. Add the vanilla extract and the cooled caramel sauce and mix till it is smooth creamy mixture.
Add the 1/4 cup hot water to the pan in which you made the caramel sauce. Let any left over caramel dissolve into the water and then pour this mixture into the butter-egg mixture. Mix again. Slowly add the dry ingredients and blend in.
Drain the rum soaked fruits and nuts. Don’t throw away the rum left over.
Fold in the fruits and nuts into the batter.
In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites till soft peaks form. Fold in the egg whites gently.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins or bundt form and bake in the oven for 50 – 55 minutes or till a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Let cool completely before pouring the leftover rum on the cake.