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Easy to Make Christmas Cake and Pudding

Fruit cake enthusiasts can follow these easy recipes which do not call for much prior planning.

My classmate, Anita George nee Thomas shared with me her favorite Xmas cake recipe. She says, “I love this recipe since there is no previous soaking of dry fruits involved. Once everything is assembled, it is quite easy to bake.”

Quick Christmas Fruit Cake

Ingredients

  • 100 gm dates
  • ½ cup rum or orange juice
  • 100 gm ghee
  • 150 gm butter
  • 150 gm powdered sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 100 gm candied peel
  • 300 gm big raisins
  • 100 gm small raisins
  • 100 gm cashew nuts

Method

Chop dates into small pieces. Soak in rum or orange juice for half an hour. Cover and cook over low fire for 10 minutes. Leave aside to cool.

Sift together:

  • 250 gm flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Powder together:

  • 1” piece cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cardamom
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg powder

Caramelize:

  • ½ cup sugar and ¾ cup water on a low flame until it becomes a milky consistency and is a rich dark color.

Preheat the oven to 150°C.

  • Cream together the ghee, butter and powdered sugar. Add the egg yolks and vanilla essence.
  • Add all the dry fruits and nuts to this batter. Add the flour and caramel syrup alternately.
  • Whisk separately egg whites with 2 tsp of lime juice and 4 tsp powdered sugar. Fold this into the batter.
  • Pour this batter into a cake pan which is lined with buttered paper. The butter paper should be buttered on top.
  • Bake for 1½ hours.

Christmas Pudding

This yummy pudding is very easy to put together and you would require about three hours to prepare it. The beauty is while it is steaming on the hob for two and a half hours, one can go about other chores, only occasionally checking to see that the water level is fine.

Make this deliciously light Xmas pudding rich with dried fruit and flavored with brandy at least ten days in advance to give it time to mature.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 1 cup finely grated butter ( 115 gms)
  • 1 cup fresh brown breadcrumbs (from around 4 thick slices of bread)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, chopped plus extra to decorate
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • butter to grease the pan

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl mix the raisins, sultanas, flour, breadcrumbs, butter, brown sugar and chopped nuts with the spices.
  • Then stir in the milk and egg.
  • Once well combined, spoon the mixture into a buttered 1.5-liter pudding bowl.
  • Cover with a double layer of buttered foil
  • To allow the pudding to rise, make a pleat in the center of the foil cover.
  • Tie the foil securely with string.
  • Then place in a steamer or large pan containing enough gently simmering water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl.
  • Steam, covered with a lid, for 2 &1/2 hours.
  • Put some slices of lemon in the water to prevent the pan from turning black.
  • Check the water level during cooking, topping up when necessary.
  • If you are preparing this pudding ahead, remove the foil, let it cool slightly, then wrap in cling film and then fresh foil. Store in a dark place
  • If you are serving it immediately, unwrap and invert onto a deep plate.

Serve with brandy butter cream which is made by creaming 75 gms unsalted butter with 150 gms caster sugar. Add 3-4 tbsp of brandy to the mix. Cover and freeze if making it in advance.

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A tourism professional for 20 years, I was forced to take a sabbatical when my husband moved jobs. It turned out to be a blessing in some ways. I now exult in the luxury of time as my much-loved career had taken precedence over my family, home, health and friends. Slipping with ease into the role of domestic Goddess has not been easy. Mundane chores bore me to tears. Long distance parenting is what I enjoy the most- conversations with my 28-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter - lecturing them, cajoling them, scolding them and above all being a friend to them. My cat Kaddy and dog Zsa Zsa are my silent companions during the day, providing unconditional love in abundance. Pets are great stress busters provided you have systems in place for their care. Exercise is an integral part of my day, be it the gym or yoga. Bollywood dance classes are my passion. I have a confession to make - this Auntyji loves to dance :-)