While browsing the net, I came across a recipe for Christmas cake, that made my mouth water. But the recipe was time consuming and required a lot of ingredients. So using the basic idea of the recipe, I simplified it considerably, and tried it out for a small cake. It turned out great, so I am sharing the simplified recipe here.
This recipe calls for some alcohol, but I suppose you can make it without the alcohol too. While alcohol does enhance the flavor, it would be pretty good without it too. This is a recipe for a rather small cake with only 4 large pieces, perfect for tea time in a nuclear family. So you may want to triple or quadruple the quantities of the ingredients to get a large cake.
Sorry, but I did not take pictures during the cooking process this time, and only at the end.
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/3 small orange (see picture)
1/4 small lemon
3 black dates
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp brandy (optional)
40 grams soft butter (I used Amul salted butter)
1/2 tsp baking powder
Roast the walnuts and almonds in the oven at 180 C for a few minutes and set them to cool.
Squeeze the juice out of the orange and the lemon in to a sauce pan. See ingredients to know what faction of orange and lemon to use.
Grate the skin of the orange and the lemon to obtain the zest. (Use method two shown here)
Add the zest, one tablespoon of brandy, the sugar, the butter and the chopped dates (see picture below) to the saucepan.
Heat the saucepan till the contents come to a boil and then simmer for about a half a minute stirring carefully.
Pour the contents of the saucepan in to a glass mixing bowl and allow them to cool.
Slice 5 almonds and chop 3 walnuts.
Preheat the oven at 150 C and grease a small aluminum patila 12 cm (4 inches) in diameter and 6 cm (2 inches) deep. Coat it with dry flour.
Grind the remaining almonds and walnuts to a coarse powder.
Once the mixture in the glass bowl has cooled, add the whole wheat flour, coarsely powdered roasted almonds and walnuts, baking powder, egg and vanilla.
Mix it all vigorously with a fork.
Pour the mixture in the aluminum patila and set it to bake at the center of the oven.
Check on it about 20 to 25 minutes by poking it with a knife. It is done, if the knife comes out clean. Otherwise, let it bake for another few minutes.
Once the cake is done, if you are using brandy, make a tiny hole in the middle and pour the remaining brandy in to it. Then take it out of the patila on to a plate and leave it covered with a larger patila for 15 minutes.
Your fluffy, moist, rich, delicious Christmas / Dry Fruit Cake is ready. We enjoyed it warm and fresh. It melts in your mouth and transports you to a realm of pure delight.