Christmas bells are ringing and the most wonderful time of the year has come. The spirit of Christmas has made me to try out new recipes in cakes. So,I started this month with the fruit soaking for Christmas fruit cakes. Traditional plum cake or Christmas fruit cake requires soaking of dried fruits and nuts for weeks or months in advance. If you like rich and moist fruit cake, then this recipe is for you.
This fruit mix is super easy to prepare. The only thing is you have to shop different kinds of dried fruits and nuts and then chop it into very fine pieces. Christmas cakes are very common across the globe but the timeline for fruit soaking are different in different places. Some may soak before one year, 3 months, 1 month, 2 weeks, and even 2 days in advance.
The most commonly used dried fruits are raisins, prunes, cranberries, dried cherries, candied oranges, candied ginger, dried pineapple, dried apricots, etc. You can choose them as per the market availability and your taste. Almonds, Walnuts, and cashew nuts can also be used along with these dried fruits.
Soaking can be done in rum, wine or juices. The commonly used juices for soaking are grape juice, orange juice and apple juice. But, I always do soaking in homemade wines. If you do not have wine at home, you can go for these bottle juices available in shops. The only thing to keep in mind is that you have to refrigerate the dry fruits if they are soaked in juice. If soaked in wine or rum, they can be stored outside in a cool place.
Even though it is a very simple and easy process, the whole process which starts from shopping of dry fruits to cutting them and finally soaking them takes me to a Christmas mood and it is simply amazing. Wishing you all a happy and blessed season !
- Black raisins – 250 g
- Golden raisins – 250 g
- Dates chopped – 300 g
- Tutti-frutti red,green and yellow- 250 g, each
- Chopped cashew nuts – 200 g
- Home made grape wine – 2 cups
Method of soaking :
- Clean dry fruits as required, remove the stems from raisins if there are any. Also, use seedless raisins. Deseed the dates and chop them into fine pieces
- Add all the chopped dry fruits and cashewnuts to a large glass jar or ceramic jar. Do not use any metal containers
- Pour the home made wine to the mixture and mix them properly using a spatula
- Cover with a lid
- Store in a cool dark place of your kitchen
- Stir the fruits daily so that they get evenly coated with wine
- Then, you can use it as per your cake recipe requirements.
- If you want a crunchy nut in cake, avoid soaking of nuts. You can add them directly during cake baking.
- Some recipe calls for the addition of spices powder (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg) also to this fruit jar. But I add this spice powder during baking, based on the recipe requirements.
- The quantity of alcohol or juice should be just enough to immerse the dry fruits.