Fruity Christmas Cake on the Night before Christmas!
(Keywords: cook my food, a person who cooks, tasty food, cooking new food, food facts, recipes from)
One of the most resplendent Christmas Traditions in Ireland is to bake a delicious fruit cake. The Irish nation is quite addicted to this centuries’ old tradition, which has been practiced since years by the good old Irish wives! Having brought up in Ireland till I reached my twenties, I simply adored the way they would make the loveliest Christmas cake in the month of October, allowing your cake to have ample stretch of time till its taste would age and mature finely, like old wine! The older, the better!
This scrumptious Christmas cake is quite fluffy, being very rich, moist, and very charming to eat. I found this delightful recipe from my mother’s old cookbook of the tastiest food, as she was one of those people who would cook and bake in the daintiest manner ever witnesses by me in my entire lifetime. She learnt the art of cooking Irish foods from our countryside neighbor in County Kilkenny, who was a fantastic baker and a great person, too! With her love and warmth, we still cherish knowing her as one of the best people we have ever met. She loved cooking new food and sharing it with her close friends and family and indeed, she and mom were almost as good as any pair of soul sisters could be!
She taught us about most of the Irish cultural traditions, by making Christmas Cakes, and the best thing about learning to make this awesome cake was to make a wish upon the stars whilst we stored the ingredients together. Reminiscing down the memory lane, I have the most heartfelt memories, as we learnt how to speak and act like a local while we would stand dressed up, wearing red checkered aprons and mixing the ingredients in the mason bowl in the kitchen with my siblings. After baking, we would let the cakes stand, and then finally store the precious fruit cakes in cute cake barrels, in airtight containers for almost six months! I always cook my food remembering the long-gone days of my youth, as I really love toying with the DIY foodie ideas!
List of the Ingredients
- Zest of orange,
- Zest of lemon,
- 3 cups of sultanas,
- 3 cups of raisins,
- 1 ½ cups of glace cherries,
- ½ cup of chopped almonds,
- ⅓ Cup of sugarcoated peel,
- 1 cup of whiskey,
- 1 ⅔ cups of dark brown sugar,
- 1 ¼ cup melted Kisan butter oil, softened at room temperature
- 5 eggs, kept at room temperature,
- 2 cups of multipurpose flour,
- 1 teaspoon of mixed spices,
- 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground nutmeg.
One night before making the fruity Christmas cake, we would steep the fruit, sugared peel, orange zest and lemon zest in a glass of whiskey. The entire mixture would be allowed to sit covered throughout the night at regular room temperature. This allows the pieces of fruit to plump up and all the flavors infuse into each other quite well.
The following morning would be spent by pre-heating the oven to 280 Fahrenheit, then greasing and lining a cake tin of 11 inches wide and 3.5 inches, and setting it aside.
Wash the cherries and then pat them with a disposable towel to absorb any extra amount of liquid. Now, divide the quarter of the cherries and then mildly toss it into the flour, as it would prevent the cherries from sinking into the depth of the cake during the baking phase. Set it aside for some time.
Take a large baking bowl, combine the flour and the exotic spices and set it aside for some time.
Cream the butter till it is soft and frothy.
Add in the eggs one by one time and then add in the dry ingredients.
Lastly, fold in the boozy fruit mix, chopped almonds, glazed peel and a bowlful of cherries. Traditionally you make a wish while you stir, asking God to fulfil your innermost wishes! Our parents always allowed us to help them in the kitchen.
The cake is baked in a preheated oven at 280oF for an hour then at 240 Fahrenheit for almost three hours. Transfer to a wire rack to cool a little before removing the cake from the cake tin. Once baked, let it cool and empty its contents into an elegant cake dish. These fruity cakes are served on Christmas and owing to its sprightly taste, almost everyone loves to gorge on it!
Recipe two: IRISH COFFEE CAKE
This coffee cake recipe makes the most delicious moist cake cooked in a Bundt tin and undeniably, this is one of the finest cake recipes that were taught by our local neighbors in the idyllic countryside of Kinsale. A person who cooks food must try this recipe once in their lifetime. This recipe is a treat for all the coffee aficionados and the best part is, it is quite simple to make in barely any time, taking almost two hours! It is easily made in a spring form tin, which is smeared with the Kisan butter oil, whilst the base is lined with baking parchment. Sometimes, some people add a creamy liqueur owing to their taste preferences but it is quite optional! However, it really adds a sublime vintage touch to both the cake and its frosting.
List of Ingredients:
To make the coffee cake:
- 255g softened Kisan butter/oil, kept at regular room temperature
- 340g of caster sugar
- 6 big-sized eggs
- 242ml of milk
- 120ml of sour Irish cream
- 370g plain flour, and a little more sprinkling
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. coffee extract,
- 1 tbsp. Irish Creamy Liqueur
For the decoration:
- 150g of frosting sugar,
- 1–2 tbsp. of water,
- 2 tbsp. of a coffee extract,
- 1 tbsp. of Irish liqueur,
A Bundt cake tin is needed! Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350C to save some time.
Grease a 22cm diameter of two liters Bundt tin and powder it gently with a sprinkle of flour.
Now, whisk together the butter and sugar in a large bowl, beating it vigorously, until the mixture is light, fluffy and pale.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until they are all combined well.
Mix through the milk and sour cream, then sift in the flour and baking powder and fold through until you have a smooth textured cake batter.
Pour two-thirds of the mixture into the pre-arranged tin.
Mix the coffee essence and Irish cream into the residual batter (that is left behind)
Drop dollops of the mixture into the batter in the tin and use a knife to marble the mixtures together.
Place in the oven to bake for almost an hour until a skewer inserted into the cake to see if it comes out clean!
Transfer to a wire rack to cool a tad bit before removing the cake from the tin finally.
Allow it to cool fully.
For the frosting or the decoration, I always whisk together the ingredients in a bowl until it is smooth and then trickle it slowly over the cooled cake. Serve it generously, offering handsome portions!
Offer the coffee cake in an elegantly designed cake dish and cut it with a sharp palette knife and serve it warm, with a frothy mug of coffee! Merry Christmas! Hope you would try the recipes and astonish your family with the incredible dessert flavors of Ireland!