Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Baking I Cranberry and Chocolate Chip Christmas Cake. AKA The easiest Christmas Cake You'll Ever Make




It's not too late to make your own Christmas cake. Yes, you read that right. Because this cake requires no special ingredients  and no soaking. Yes it will take you about 20 minutes to put together, but it's only that much time and not a minute more to make this finger-licking delicious cake with just the right hint of spices. And... there's chocolate in it.

You know the best part about this cake is that you can put in just about anything that you have lying around. Don't have cranberries, omit them completely. Don't have almonds, put cashew instead. Don't want booze just up the coffee instead. And don't want chocolate, well, who doesn't want chocolate.

This recipe makes the most moist fruit cake ever. I would recommend that you put in three different kinds of dried fruits - I used prunes, raisins and cranberries in this - but black currants, figs, apricots, dried mangoes, dried strawberries, currants - just about anything will do. And if you don't have three kinds, just cut the recipe in half and feel free to use just one fruit and one nut.




What I love about this cake is its ability to retain moisture for a super long time. Because the fruits are cooked in a bit of coffee and rum (You can just omit the rum and up the coffee and add a bit of orange juice instead), they just breathe out the excesses very gently.  Plus with the addition of aromatics such as cinnamon, dried ginger, nutmeg and clove it just leaves you warm and fuzzy inside.

I suggest that you multi-task while you make the cake. In the sense, while the fruits are in the microwave with the liquids you toast your nuts. And while your cooling your fruits and nuts down, you measure out the spice mix and the dry ingredients.

Once the cake is baked, you just need to let it rest for an hour before it cools completely. And after that, just devour.




Cranberry and Chocolate Chip Christmas Cake
Makes 20 generous slices or two loaf  tins

Ingredients

To quick soak and cook
100 grams raisins
100 grams prunes
100 grams cranberries
1/4 cup coffee
1/4 cup rum / orange juice

To toast
50 grams almonds
50 grams walnuts

For the spice mix
1 tsp ground cinnamon powder
1 tsp ground ginger powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp clove powder

For the cake
100 grams butter
100 ml oil
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
100 grams dark chocolate chip
1/4 cup rum / orange juice / cointreau
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon corn flour

Method

1. First, in a large bowl measure out raisins and cranberries. Chop the prunes and throw them into the same bowl. Measure out the coffee and the rum/orange.
2. Put the bowl in the microwave and zap it for four to five minutes. Alternately you can put all this in a saucepan and let it cook for five minutes on the gas. Set aside and let it cool.
3. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts and almonds and set aside
4. Now, measure out the spice mix and keep aside.
5. In a large bowl beat the oil and butter together. Add the eggs to it and all the spice mix and vanilla extract as well as the additional rum /orange juice/ cointreau. Beat well.
6. Add all the dry ingredients - flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and corn flour - just mix until incorporated.
7. Add all the dried fruit mix, and the toasted nuts and the chocolate chips. Stir until incorporated.
8. Pour into parchment paper-lined tins,  bake at 180 degree centigrade for 55 to 65 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
9. Serve with additional ganache or a drizzle of icing sugar.



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