Monday, July 21, 2014

Srilankan Style Christmas Rich Cake

This post is by Mrs.Shyamala Sivaraman

Today, I would like to share one of my heirloom recipes as I call it which was passed down to me by my mother (this has been a treasured recipe for decades now). She was an expert at baking the Traditional Christmas Rich Cake. (Srilankan Style). This is truly a recipe to be treasured and I owe to my Amma today, without whom I wouldn’t be who I am.

I also thank KP Balakumar of Home Bakers Guild, An online forum exclusively for Home Bakers, for having given me an opportunity to get nostalgic and pen down my background with a recipe. To view, please click the link the below.
Ingredients for soaked fruits:

400 gm green raisins, 300 gm black raisins, 300 gm sultanas, 300 gm black currants, 300 gm dates, 400 gm pumpkin preserve, 200 gm glazed cherries, 100 gm ginger preserve, 100 gm candied peel, 200 gm cashew nuts, 1 cup mixed fruit jam, 2 cups caramelized sugar syrup, ½ cup bees honey, 2 tbsp rose water, 1 cup rum, 1 tbsp rose essence, 1 tbsp almond essence, 1 tbsp vanilla essence, 3 tbsp cake spice powder.

Method to soak the fruits:
Pick & clean all the variety of raisins etc. Wash & dry under fan. Stone the dates. Wash & dry under the fan. Chop all the fruits & mix with the rest of the ingredients except cashew nuts. Soak for 2- 3 months. The taste, colour & texture improve with the number of days the fruits are soaked. Mix the chopped nuts before adding to the cake mixture.

Ingredients for the cake spice powder:
¼ cup cardamoms, 1/8 cup cloves, ¼ cup cinnamon pieces, ½ a nutmeg, 1 tbsp mace.

Method for the cake spice powder:
Dry roast all the spices separately except the nutmeg. Grate the nutmeg & grind all together to a smooth powder. Sieve & store in bottle. Use as required.

To prepare the trays:
Line 13”/9” or 12”/8” trays with 4 layers of paper & with 1 layer of buttered butter paper.

Ingredients for the cake:
225 gm butter, ½ tsp salt, 350 gm powdered sugar, 225 gm semolina, 12 yolks of eggs, 6 whites of eggs stiffly beaten, 2¼ kg soaked fruits, essences & cake spice powder as per requirement, 2 tbsp cocoa powder.

Method to prepare the cake:
Roast the semolina lightly. Cool & mix with butter & keep aside. Separate the whites of eggs & beat all the whites with salt until very stiff. Beat the yolks & the powdered sugar together to a thick paste. Mix in the semolina & butter mixture & beat well. Add the fruits & add more essences & spice powder as required. Add the beaten egg whites & mix gently with hands. Pour into prepared trays. Bake the cake at 175°c temperature for 45 minutes. Reduce temperature to 160°c & bake for 10 more minutes until the cake is firm.

Ingredients to drench the cake:
1 cup sugar syrup, ½ cup rum

Method to wrap & store the cake:
Bake the cake & cool. Make syrup & cool. Add rum to the cooled syrup. Mix well & drench the cake all over. Cut into pieces, drench syrup on all sides & wrap in butter paper. This can be stored for more than 6 months. In cool climates can be stored for a year. Usually when we make wedding cake with this recipe the couple, store the cake for their 1st anniversary.

Fruits soaked.

Soaked fruits after 3 months

Cakes filled into trays

Cakes baked & ready to be drenched in syrup

Cakes sliced & wrapped

Cakes wrapped as Bon-Bons

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