Kerala Plum Cake and Chocolate Christmas Cake

christmasHello, a very warm welcome and merry Christmas to you all. christmas
After a whirlwind month full of renovation and other related activities things have started looking wonderfully calm and peaceful here. It feels good to come back to our somewhat arranged house and to baking. Work in the house has been stopped for a few months to give us a little breather from all the dust, unpleasant noises and work. School holidays have been started; christmas tree decorated late. It’s been fifth year in a row that we all are celebrating Christmas.. by decorating a tree and baking a cake. I am happy that we are setting in a new tradition in our home. christmas cakechristmasIMG_9665
Last week for his school Christmas party he has been asked to bring a 3 kg cake but due to some miscalculations on my part it turned out just 1 kg and 750 gm. I immediately fixed the things up by baking another chocolate wreath cake for him (unfortunately, no photos were taken as it was made and packed in a hurry).kerala plum cake
I bake this Christmas cake yesterday and it is my best plum cake so far. kerala plum cake

In case you are interested, I got full marks and a big thums up from Virat and his school mates for the cake.

Recipe adapted from Flavzcorner
Ingredients
For sponge
• Whole wheat flour – 4 ½ cup
• unsweetened cocoa powder – ¾ cup
• baking soda – 3 tsp
• Sugar – 3 cups
• Oil – 1/3 cup + ½ (1/3 cup)
• Cold brewed coffee – 3 cups
• White vinegar – 3 tbsp
• Vanilla essence – 1 tbsp
For white chocolate ganache
• White chocolate, chopped – 1 cup
• Amul cream – 200 ml
For Chocolate sauce (recipe adapted from NIgella Lawson)
• sugar – 100ml
• cocoa powder – 100ml
• Water – 100ml
Sugar syrup
• Boiled water – 1 cup
• Sugar – 1 tbsp
Dessicated coconut – 1 cup (optional to
Method
For sponge
Preheat the oven at 180 degree C. Grease and line two 9” cake tins. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda in a big bowl. In another bowl beat together sugar, oil, cold coffee, white vinegar and vanilla essence till everything is mixed well. Now add the dry ingredients and mix till the dry ingredients are well incorporated into the wet ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20 – 30 minutes or till a tooth pick comes out clean when tested in the center of the cake. Let the cake cool.
For ganache
Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. When the cream has come to a boil, add the chopped chocolate and cover it with a lid and let it sit for a few minutes. After a few minutes whisk the mixture well. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before applying over a cake.
For sauce
In a pan whisk together all the ingredients and let simmer for a few minutes on the stove (or reduce for a bit longer if you want a thicker sauce. (note: This sauce stays runny when cooled. It thickens if you keep it in the fridge, but if you stir it it’ll go runny again)
For sugar syrup
Add sugar to the boiled water. Let it cool.

Assembling the cake
Place the first cake on the cake board, drizzle 3 to 4 tbsp hot chocolate sauce over the cake. Now place the second layer of cake, drizzle some sugar syrup over the second layer. Crumb coat the layered cake with ganache. Apply dessicated coconut all over the cake.
Recipe adapted from Erivumpuliyumm
Ingredients
• Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
• sugar – ¾ cup powdered
• baking powder – ¾ tsp
• baking soda – 1/8 tsp
• cinnamon – 1/4tsp
• cloves powdered- 1/4tsp
• nutmeg – 1/4 tsp
• salted Butter – 90 gm
• eggs – 2
• vanilla essence – 2 tsp, milk  – 2tbsp-4tbsp
To soak fruits
• mixed dry fruits – 1 cup (raisins,dates,apricot,,dried cranberries,dried cherries,dried ginger)
• chopped almond, cashew nuts – 1/3 cup
• orange juice -1 cup
To caramelize
• sugar – 4tbsp
• water – ¼ cup
Method
To Soak fruits
Cut all the dry fruits into small pieces and then soak it in a clean dry jar with fresh orange juice for at least 1 weak.
To Caramelize Sugar
Heat sugar in a pan on medium heat without adding any water or liquid. When the sugar starts to dissolve start stirring. Keep stirring till the syrup becomes thick and golden brown in color. At this point add water and keep stirring till the sugar is dissolved. Put off the flame and cool it down completely before adding to the cake batter.
Assembling
Prepare a 6” cake tin lined with baking paper and butter the sides of the pan. Pre heat oven to 340 degrees F /170 degrees C. -Sift the flour, soda, baking powder, and spices. In another bowl beat butter and sugar till it becomes pale yellow in color. Add egg one by one whisking after each addition. Fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Now toss the soaked fruit in 2 tbsp of flour in another bowl, mix well (helps prevent fruits settling at the bottom of cake).Add the fruits and nuts to the batter, mix well with a spatula to combine. Pour it in to the prepared cake tray and place in oven, bake for 1 hour.
Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes and then run a knife through the sides,invert on a wire rack.Leave to cool completely before serving.

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