During last Christmas I had soaked lots of dry fruits in fresh home made grape juice as well as tea decoction. I had made a couple of fruit cakes too. I finished those soaked fruits some 2 months back when I made a last batch of fruit cake for my parents and sister. They all loved it. So when my sister was visiting me last week, I decided to bake a simple light coloured fruit cake . This time I have used buttermilk and used the chopped dry fruits directly without boiling or soaking it. And I must confess that it tasted really yum and had loads of crunchy nuts and dry fruits in every bite. I was a bit skeptical to keep it outside in this hot Chennai weather. So I stored it in an airtight container and after 2 days I kept it again in a slightly warm oven for few minutes and lo! the cake was once again fresh 🙂 So this cake lasted for good 5-6 days at room temperature. Use all ingredients at room temperature.
- All-purpose flour 200 gm
- Salt a pinch
- Brown sugar 125 gm
- Baking powder 3/4 tsp
- Baking soda 3/4 tsp
- Orange extract 1 tsp
- Orange zest 1 tsp
- Buttermilk 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp
- Butter 125 gm
- Spice powder 1 tsp
- Caramel syrup 1 tbsp
- Chopped cashew plus badam 1/4 cup
- Dry fruits 1 cup
- Chop the cashew and almonds or any other nuts finely and roast it lightly.
- Chop desired dry fruits into small bite size pieces. You can use cranberries, black currants, raisins, kismis, cherries, candied fruits, dates etc. I have used all these. The proportion of each doesn’t matter.
- Preheat the oven at 150-160 degree Celsius for atleast 10 minutes.
- Grease an eight inch round cake tin with butter or oil and dust it with flour. Tap out the excess flour. If desired, line the base of the tin with parchment paper.
- Cream the butter and sugar with an electric heater or hand whisk till it’s creamy.
- Add the caramel syrup and orange extract and mix well.
- Sieve the flour, salt, spice powder and rising agents for 2-3 times till everything is mixed well.
- Now slowly add the dry ingredients into the butter sugar mixture along with the buttermilk in 2-3 batches.
- Mix in gently with a spatula or whisk. Now add the chopped nuts and dry fruits and fold it gently. You may coat the dry fruits with a spoon of dry flour so that it won’t sink to the bottom of the cake tin.
- Now pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and tap it gently to remove air bubbles if any.
- Bake this in a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or till toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove the tin from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for around 8-10 minutes.
- Transfer the cake onto a wire rack and cool it fully.
- Slice when fully cooled ( the cooler the better) and enjoy 🙂