Traditional Christmas cake
A Christmas cake is a rich fruit cake covered with marzipan and icing, eaten at Christmas. Traditionally the English people used to fast a day before the Christmas evening. The very next day they used to prepare and plum porridge to line their stomachs after a day of fasting. The plum porridge cake is the traditional Christmas cake recipe.
Evolution of Christmas cake
Ever since the human race has existed, they have always experimented and furthered the available. So happened with the cake for Christmas. The addition of spices and dried fruits in the plum porridge converted the porridge into a pudding.
The original recipe was further modified with the removal of oatmeal and addition of wheat flour, butter, eggs etc. that resulted in a more firm Christmas cake recipe. The richer the family, the richer the ingredients became. Addition of almonds, sugar into the cake was more of a sign of richness.
Addition of alcohol in the Christmas cake
Further the introduction of alcohol happened with the cake. These cakes were made in advance, almost two months in advance. Brandy, Whisky, and Rum were poured in the cakes from time to time until Christmas. The process is called “feeding” the cake. This feeding process helps to mature the cake.
Indian Allahabadi Cake
In India, a Christmas cake is traditionally a fruit cake with many variants. The most popular variant is Allahabadi cake, which is a traditional Rum Christmas fruit cake. The cake gets its name from Allahabad, a city in Northern side of India.
This Christmas season, I thought to bake my own Christmas cake rather than buying it from the market. Since I was baking it for my family so I was looking for a Non-alcoholic Christmas Cake recipe without eggs that everyone in the family could enjoy.
How to make Christmas cake was a question pounding in my head. Reading recipe for cake became a part of my activity, for a few days, to understand more about the ingredients and process. After a lot of learning, I started thinking about experimenting. Instead of feeding the cake with alcohol for a period of time, I chopped nuts and berries and soaked them in honey and fresh orange juice for 2 months. The experiment succeeded and got a super soft and moist cake. Just like the Eggless chocolate muffins, Eggless chocolate cake, and the American walnut recipe, this recipe became a big hit within my family and friends and is going to excite your family too.
For folks, who would have missed soaking nuts for 2 months and want to make the cake instantly, they may boil the nuts in a mixture of honey and fresh orange juice till the juice reduces to half. Do not worry, the cake will still delight everyone.
|Fresh Orange Juice||2 cups|
|Nuts (Raisin, Glazed Cherries, Tutti Fruity, Almonds, Cashew nuts, Black Berries)||1 ½ cups|
To Caramel Sauce
|Fresh Cream||½ cup|
|Salted Butter||1 tbsp|
To Cake Batter
|All-Purpose Flour||1 cup|
|Ginger Powder||¼ tsp|
|Cinnamon Powder||¼ tsp|
|Nutmeg Powder||¼ tsp|
|Oil (Flavourless)||½ cup|
|Baking Powder||½ tsp|
|Baking Soda||½ tsp|
Finely chop all the nuts and berries. Mix with honey and fresh orange juice. Take a glass jar and put the mixture into it. Make sure that all the nuts and berries are soaked well in juice. Cover it with lid and keep it in the refrigerator if you want to soak for a longer time.
I soaked Nuts and berries for 2 months.
For Caramel sauce, Heat a non-stick pan. Add sugar to it and keep the pan on low to medium flame. Let the sugar dissolve. Once the sugar dissolves, switch off the flame and add fresh cream to it and stir well. Mix it properly. Now keep it again on medium flame and add butter to it and stir it for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it cool down.
In a large bowl, take caramel sauce. Add oil, soaked nuts and berries and mix. In a separate bowl, sift all the dry ingredients (Flour, Spices, Baking powder and Baking soda).
Mix all the dry ingredients with wet ingredients and make a smooth batter. Don’t over mix the batter.
Pour this batter into a greased baking tin and tap it once.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 180 degree. Now bake this batter at the same temperature for about 30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Once done, take the pan out of the oven and let it cool completely.