What excites us about this festival are the delicious treats we get to feast upon. Topping the list of these delectable treats is undoubtedly – The Plum Cake. After all, what fun is Christmas without a Plum Cake?
The story of Plum Cakes can be traced back to the popular tradition in medieval 17th century England when people observed fasting in the weeks leading up to Christmas. The ceremony marked the arrival of the harvest season when lots of fruits and nuts were harvested and later used in the making of a Special Christmas Pudding. The stirring ceremony or what we know today as fruit mixing, is a part of an age-old Christmas tradition. On the eve of Christmas, this rich pudding prepared from oats, dried fruits, spices, and honey soaked in wine over a long period of time was cooked to relish before the feasting and drinking began. This Christmas pudding, that later came to be known as the Plum Cake, became a traditional dessert for Christmas.
One of the most important aspects of making a Christmas Plum Cake is Fruit Mixing. Get the fruit mixing right and you will have the most delicious Plum Cake to share with your family and friends. The most important ingredients required for fruit mixing are dried fruits along with plums as the primary ingredient. For fruit mixing you can use a combination of the following fruits:
• Golden Raisins
• Tutti Frutti
• Orange Peel
• Kironda Cherries
• Dried Kiwi (optional)
• Dried Pineapple (optional)
• Apricots (optional)
• Broken Cashews
Traditionally, wine, rum or brandy was used for soaking the fruits in. The addition of alcohol adds warmth to the cake during the winter season. It was also believed that fruits soaked in alcohol over long period can bring good luck. However, if you prefer an alcohol-free plum cake, you can use a soft drink like Coke or Thums Up. The soaking period can be done overnight to 6 months in advance.
Additionally, you can use Apricot, Orange or Mixed Fruit Jam with a combination of Cinnamon powder, ginger power, clove powder and nutmeg powder.
This mixture of ingredients is then baked in rich buttery batter and baked for 90 minutes. The plum cake can be further topped with more liquor as per your requirement.
The recipe for Plum Cake may differ from baker to baker and from household to household. However, the exercise of fruit mixing with your family and friends add the right touch of warmth, bonding, and merriment to the perfect Christmas you deserve. So go ahead and organize a fruit-mixing event with your family and let the Christmas celebrations begin!
For the Classic Plum Cake Recipe, click here.
For the Eggless Plum Cake Recipe, click here.