Food Stylist and Photographer, SHILPA RAZNIEWSKA shares her festive memories and a delicious Spiced Rum Christmas Cake recipe that you will continue to make year after year. RECIPE & IMAGES Shilpa Razniewska
Growing up in India as a Hindu we did not celebrate Christmas at home, but I studied at a Catholic school, so we celebrated Christmas every year at school. We had carol singing, a Christmas tree and a huge crib placed every year depicting the night that Jesus was born. In India no matter what your religion is, we still celebrate all festivals and Christmas is a huge celebration.
A famous cake that you can buy in your local bakery for every Christmas is what we call ‘Plum Cake’ or ‘Fruit Cake’ and I remember waiting for this particular cake each Christmas, my Mum made sure she bought it for us every year. After I met my husband who is Polish, and we moved to Ireland, we started our own little family and we celebrate a mix of Polish and Irish Christmas here in Dublin. We have our own traditions and cakes. Last year we spent our Christmas in Goa, India and we enjoyed this beautiful cake. Last year I decided to bake my own version of Plum Cake and it was delicious.
This beautiful aromatic cake is loaded with mixed dry fruits soaked in spiced rum (which makes any Christmas special!). It is flavoured with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice and a perfect combination of nuts, dried fruits and spices. This is my take on the famous Plum cake. The dried fruits are soaked in brandy or rum weeks or sometimes months prior to baking.
See more of Shilpa’s delicious creations @soulful_and_healthy.
Ingredients (makes 10 slices)
Shilpa’s Spiced Rum Christmas Cake
250g mixed dried fruits like raisins, mixed peel, currants.
200ml good quality spiced rum or brandy
350g or 2 cups plain flour or all-purpose flour
100g dark brown sugar
100g golden caster sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp baking soda
50 grams icing sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powde-
200g unsalted butter softened
2 egg yolk
4 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp orange marmalade
100g crushed cashews
Extra icing sugar for dusting the cake
Custard to serve (optional)
- Soak the mixed dried fruits in rum or brandy and set aside for one or two days or if possible, for a couple of weeks.
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a 9 inch springform cake pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter.
- In a large bowl sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and the spices and set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, now add the dark and golden sugar and beat until nice and creamy for about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg yolks one by one and beat until smooth for about 1 to two mins. Add the dried fruits soaked mixture and orange marmalade and chopped cashew nuts, mix well, do not over beat.
- Add the flour mixture and gently mix using a wooden spoon or a spatula, the mixture at this stage will look dry and crumby, do not worry, we will add the egg whites in a while.
- In another large bowl beat the egg w another large bowl beat the egg whites until foamy this will take about 3 to 4 mins on high speed, add the icing sugar little by little in parts and continue beating until you have very soft peaks and can being to see the trails of the blender, stop at this stage, do not over beat otherwise it will turn into stiff peaks.
- Very gently fold in the egg white mixture in three parts, do not mix too hard otherwise you will lose the air in the egg whites, very gently fold it into the batter. Lastly add the milk and stir into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake in a preheated oven for about50 to 60 mins, depending on your oven, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Serve with a generous dusting of icing sugar or with custard. Enjoy!