The holidays for every family, everywhere, all over the world are really less of a day and more a series of rituals of traditions. Those timeless, sometimes personal traditions we pass down in our families, towns, or faiths range everywhere from recipes to the movies we watch on TV surrounded by loved ones. For my family our season always starts with choral singing that we participate in, a tradition close to my heart of the Carol singing days of my school days back in India. It could simply be the spirit of the season, but there is something so magical about holiday choral singing events. It’s the one time of year when people from all different backgrounds and walks of life lend their own voice in unity to those of others as we celebrate love, life and family.
Unwrapping Our Holiday Traditions
For us, our celebrations shift from community to friends and family as out come the Ugly Sweaters and up go the holiday decorations as throw our annual party at the Perfect Locks showroom. It’s our time of year to kick back, dress up, mingle and show no small amount of appreciation for our staff, friends and community. Especially in America, with the pace of our work lives so rarely do we give ourselves license to unwind and let loose and really share love and receive love from all the people in our lives. The final burst of joy at the end of a roller coaster year of goals passed, challenges faced or life events before we end on a positive note at the birth of a new year.
A Christmas Mosaic of Family and Flavors
This Christmas is particularly special for us as my parents are visiting from India and bringing with them some time honored traditions of their own, including the much maligned and often laughed about fruit cake. Now before you roll your eyes, true fruit cake isn’t a dry brick…done well it is a deliciously moist, dense cake exploding with fruity flavor. It might surprise to know that fruit cakes or plum cakes have been popular in India for centuries. Ranging from “tutti fruitti” cake to Kerala plum cake, each region and even family have their own twist on this classic holiday desert cake. My mom has her own recipe, passed town, adjusted and changed over the years, always being perfected. Together we baked a bakery-full of them to gift to friends and family this year, and our time in the kitchen together, laughing and telling stories as we work the dough and add the soaked fruits is something I treasure. With her blessing, I wanted to share her recipe with you below!
Warm Wishes and Sparkling Lights
From our family to you and yours, we hope you have a peaceful and joyous Christmas and the Happiest of Holidays.
Indian Rum Cake Recipe:
For Soaking Fruits
- Total Fruits Used – 700 grams
- 200 grams dried Black grapes / Dark Raisins – seedless
- 300 Holiday fruit ( Pennant brand) or Tutti Frutti
- 100 grams Golden Raisins
- 100 grams Currants
- 1/2 Cup Dark Rum / brandy
Spice Mix One ( Dry roast and Grind to a fine powder)
- 6 Cloves
- 4 Cinnamon sticks (Cassia) (1 inch each)
- 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
- 6 Cardamom
- 1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
Spice Mix Two
- 1 teaspoon Instant Coffee Powder
- 1 teaspoon Dry Ginger powder
- Zest of one lime
- Zest of one orange
For the cake
- 200 grams brown sugar or demerara sugar
- 200 grams white regular granulated sugar
- 2 Cups (500 ml) Water
- 100 grams butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 420 grams All purpose flour ( Maida)
- 2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- Add the dark rum / brandy to the chopped fruits and leave it to rest in a draft free place in your kitchen. Rest it for a minimum of one day.
- Dry roast all the ingredients listed under Spice Mix One. Dry roast on low flame until the spices are fragrant. Remove from heat and let it cool. Grind the spices in a small mixie jar / spice grinder to a very fine powder.
- Take a pan and add in the soaked dry fruits, finely ground Spice Mix One, all of the ingredients listed under Spice Mix Two, water, butter , salt and both the sugars. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once its boiling, reduce the flame to low and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 325 F / 160 C.
- Whisk the eggs in a cup. Add it to the cooled fruit mixture. Mix well.
- Sift the dry ingredients together namely flour and baking soda. Add it to the cooled fruit mixture. Fold the flour with a wooden spatula and mix well to combine. Grease and flour “two 9 x 5 bread loaf pans” or “three 6 x 3 inch round cake pans”. Line the pan with parchment paper. Transfer the cake batter to the pan. Level the batter with the back of a spatula.
- Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan until room temperature. Gently invert the pan and remove the cake from the pan and store it in an air tight container.
The flavor of the cake improves the next day.