Monday, February 18, 2013

Spicy Christmas Cake (Sri Lankan Sugee Fruit cake)Vake - Recipe from Charmaine Solomon

I made this about 3 months ago while baking my diwali cookies & cakes.I made a different fruit cake two years ago with too much alcohol in it. It tasted good in the beginning but as it matured it tasted more of alcohol then the actual fruit cake itself. I still have a little more of the cake which I think I may throw it off.

I allowed this cake to mature for only 3 months before tasting it.I did minimal brushing of alcohol on the cake to avoid overpowering the cake with alcohol. I was a little pessimistic initially because I left the cake unattended without brushing any alcohol like the recipe suggested me to do. Brushing alcohol occasionally over the cake is called the feeding process to allow the cake mature and keep longer. 

Baked on 9/11/12
This recipe is slightly different compared to the usual fruit cakes as this uses semolina flour instead of regular all purpose flour. My maternal grandmother used to make semolina version of fruit cake as well but no alcohol was used in making the fruit cake. She used orange juice instead and allowed the fruits to soak overnight. Very different but delicious. However, my grandmother's semolina fruit cake is a family secret, unfortunately.

Here's the recipe for the Sri Lankan Semolina Christmas Cake:

250g raisins
375g sultanas
250g mixed glace fruits
250g preserved ginger
500g chow chow preserves, you can substitute this with candied chinese melon sticks
125g mixed peel
250g glace cherries
250g raw cashew nuts
100g silved almonds slices
100g macadamia nuts
1/2 cup brandy

Chop all the fruits and nuts. In a large bowl, place all ingredients and pour the brandy in. Mix properly, cover with clingwrap and leave it to soak for 24 hours or up to 48 hours in a cool dark place.

Rind of 2 oranges
Rind of 2 lemons
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves/ all-spice
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 tablespoon rose essence
1 tablespoon honey

Mix all spices until well combined.

375g unsalted butter
250g dark muscovado sugar
250g caster sugar
12 egg yolks

250g fine semolina 
6 egg whites

To prepare baking tin:
Line a 10 inch square cake tin with 3 thickness each of newspaper and brown paper then two layers of greaseproof paper. Liberally brush melted butter on greaseproof paper.

Preheat oven at 130 C.Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 
spices (C) into mixture and beat well. Add semolina and mix well. Fold in fruits and nuts (A). Use a big bowl and mix with both hands instead of a spoon or ladle as it is easier. Whip egg whites until stiff peaks and fold into cake batter and turn into prepared tin
Bake for 2 1/4 - 2 1/2 hours for a very rich and moist cake
Bake for 4 1/2 - 5 hours for a dark but slightly dry cake

Cover cake with greaseproof paper after first hour to prevent over browning on top.

I baked mine for 3 1/2 hours.

Cool completely in tin, preferably overnight then remove papers. Brush cake with alcohol just before wrapping. Then wrap with clingwrap, foil and clingwrap. Store in an airtight container for at least 2 months before cutting the cake.


padmino said...

the sri lankan fruit cake is an absolutely brilliant gift to the world. i have been making them for years, and this is the first time i am coming across the famous charmaine solomon's is very similar to what i was given by my family elders, give and take a little variations.....i should think it would be superb as well..i must say that i enjoy the alcohol flavor, and i like it even older, the cake...i like the way the cake looks after a year....lovely contribution, thank you.


My old friend and work colleague Dr Chula Seneviratne gave me this recipe about 15years ago. I have cooking it every christmas since. My children look forward to this cake every year. Thank you Charmaine.

24MINUTECOOK-wednesdayschild said...

I love making this cake! when you work with the ingredients...and as you make it then you realize why it's called 'LoveCake' have love it! And it will turn out right for you!

24MINUTECOOK-wednesdayschild said...

I love making this cake! When you work with such great ingredients then its what makes it a great Love Cake!

24MINUTECOOK-wednesdayschild said...

I am making it again this year... Absolutely scrumptious!