Saturday, 23 February 2008

Rich Fruit Cake

When I posted about this Fruit Cake as part of my Christmas Traditions, little did I know that the post would generate so much interest! There have been many requests for the recipe and I must admit that the reason I didn't post the recipe originally was because
a) The Recipe is kind off long and somewhat unclear
b) My mother actually made the cake while The Lovely Wife and I only assisted
c) It was busy around Christmas time and I was just plain lazy to dig out the recipe...
So anyway, for all of you that requested for the recipe, for all those that didn't request for the recipe but who may be interested, for all those that really don't care one way or another... Here is the recipe for the famous Navaratnam Rich Fruit Cake!

As I mentioned in the story of this cake the measurements are not exact as they use 'archaic' measurements like 1 wine glass, 1/2 bottle etc. To aid you, the bottle for the essence are the small 2-3 inch high bottles - much like a miniature liquor bottle. Also the wine glasses are the kind my Grandmother had which are actually Sherry glasses. This would convert to about 2 -3 Tbsps. As for the spices, these are dependant on your taste and as such, no measurements are specified. I have left the original recipe intact.

1 lb sugar
1 lb butter
1 lb sujee (semolina)
24 eggs - separated
3/4 bottle Vanilla Essence
1/2 bottle Rose Essence
Almond Essence (optional)
1 wine glass Honey
1 wine glass Brandy
Ground Cinnamon
Ground nutmeg
1-2 tbsps cornflour

1 lb golden raisins
1 lb sultanas
1 lb cashew nuts
1 lb cherries
1 lb pumpkin preserve
1 lb ginger preserve
1/2 lb candied peel
200g slivered almonds
1 bottle plum jam or mixed fruit jam
4 tbsps Brandy

1. Cut up all fruits and nuts and mix together with 1 teas vanilla essence, 1 teas rose essence, 1 tsp each of Cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice + 4 tbsps brandy. Cover tightly and let marinate overnight or for a few days until ready for step 2.

2. Cream butter and sugar. Add in the egg yolks one at a time. Continue to beat.
3. Warm the sujee in the oven or in a large pan or wok. Add the warmed sujee to the cream mixture. Mix well
4. Add the fruits a little at a time and mix well. Add in cornflour
5. Add essence (dependant on your taste), spices, honey and brandy
6. Finally whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Add in about half the egg white - till you get the right consistency. This is when a spoonful of the mixture lifted up drops slowly.
7. Pour into a lined rectangular cake tin and bake in a preheated 180C oven for 40 mins. Then reduce temperature to 150C and bake for another 40 minutes till cake is done. If top of cake browns to fast, cover the top with a cardboard.

Note: Line tins with 3-4 layers of newspaper before lining with greaseproof paper.

So there you have it!

Good luck to everyone that tries to make this recipe. It is Definitely a lot of hard work but the resultant cake is really quite spectacular, and as its name suggests, it really is a Rich Fruit Cake!


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Fruitcake is always so tender it cuts like butter. Thanks for sharing your mother's recipe Dharm. Now your children will have the recipe to pass down to their children as well:D

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if self-raising flour is to be added to this recipe, if yes how much or is this is a flourless cake?

Dharm said...

No need to add any flour... The sujee (semolina) acts as the flour here.

Anonymous said...

Hi, is there anything i can substitute the brandy and wine with since I can't take any alchohol beverage?

Dharm said...

Just leave the alchohol out then... or substitute with some grape juice or other fruit juice. it may affect the texture a bit though

Anonymous said...

Hi, can i substitute the sugar with brown sugar. and how long can i keep the cake.

Anonymous said...

Hi there

Can I use the wine glass measurement as 3 tbls like for the brand and the honey?


Anonymous said...

Hi can I don't put the jam? The tablespoon measurement can it be equal to the glass measurement that u gave? And is the cake moist?

Dharm said...

You can add or take out whatever you want or change whatever you want. I have given the recipe as I do it, it is up to you to follow it or not. I have already mentioned that the 'wine glass' equates to about 3 tbsp. I am also happy to assist those that leave their details or who contact me via email rather than leaving anonymous comments and expecting a reply.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dharm I have done the's very nice and tasty...thanks for the recipe but it's abit dry and tips to make it moist.

Thanks sandra

Dharm said...

Hi Sandra,
This recipe is a bit difficult because there are so variables. Your cake could be dry due to a) baking too long; b) not enough egg whites; c) oven temp too high.
Its a difficult balance coz too much egg white and it becomes soggy, too little and it can become dry. Same for the baking time... Hope that kind of helps.....

Anonymous said...

Hi Dharm thanks for all the tips..every year I try to make a fruitcake and nothing actually turn out well...but with ur recipe it's really a fantastic fruit cake I ever made. I tink I know what was the problem..insufficient of the egg white...even though the procedure was difficult but it's worth the outcome.thanks to u and ur mom...Merry Chritmas And Happy New Year to u and ur family.
Thanks once again.


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