I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.
Now what's with that name? Did she mean Betty Crocker? Is that what you guys were thinking? Well, on my dad's side, all the grandmothers are fondly called as ' Mamma'. So I had many 'Mamma's and Betty Mamma is one among them. But that was not her real name!You know how kids can grow up calling people with different names because they couldn't spell the real name? But this was not the case with this name. This so called 'Betty' Mamma has 4 daughters. One of her daughter's name was Betty. So, that's how that Mamma, whose original name was Molly, became 'Betty Mamma'. Now, did I confuse you? :-)
Remember I had soaked my fruits way back in August? I made use of them a few days ago but I was not happy with the result. It tasted great, but that cake lacked the colour and a bit of texture. So the OCD -ic person that I am 'panicked'! I usually don't panick or get tensed that easily. But when I say I 'panicked' I was in a bad state...maybe because it was related to baking, I don't know. I couldn't sleep that night and I am not kidding. Seeing me, Jobin lost his sleep, too! He woke up in the middle of the night and said, 'Let's go eat that cake and see what's wrong!'. I agreed. The minute he ate a piece he said,' There's nothing wrong with it'. Then I HAD to explain all those things that 'panicked' me. I told him,'See, there is no colour or texture for the cake, it looks raw, but it's cooked. It tastes great, but then, how can I serve it like this?'. I think he thought I was mad! To be honest, the cake had some colour, but it was just not enough for me!
I cursed all the time difference between India & US that night because I wanted to call home, panic Amma and get her to do something for me, even if it's over the phone!! So I waited, like the cheetah waiting for it's prey. I counted almost every second. Time just wouldn't fly then...
Finally I got her over the phone and in one breath I told her everything and I asked her to ask Betty Aunty (Betty Mamma's daughter Betty) for her cake's recipe. Betty aunty agreed to e-mail me the recipe, which she promptly did (at about 11.00pm , poor thing!). I wasn't out of my panicky state until I baked the cake yesterday!
This recipe might look lengthy because I wrote it that way so that you guys won't go wrong at any stage! :-) So here I am,presenting to you, the most most sought after recipe on my blog during this season!
Recipe source: Originally from Betty Mamma which was passed onto me by her daughter Betty Aunty for which I'll be ever grateful!
All decorations are made with homemade marzipan.I made it using my own proportions.
To soak the fruits:
650g dry fruits (I used raisins, tart cherries,prunes,mixed fruit peel & tutti-frutti)
2 tbsp jam (I used my Homemade Cherry -Pluot jam)
1/2 c orange juice
6tbsp granulated /powdered sugar
1tbsp lime/lemon juice
1tbsp vanilla extract
Mix everything together to soak and leave aside,covered atleast for a day/overnight. If you are soaking it for more than 3 days, leave it covered in the fridge.
For the cake:
250g unsalted butter
5 eggs, separated
6 tbsp granulated sugar
200g all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
100 g cashewnuts
3/4 c milk ( I used 2%)
1 1/2 c granulated sugar to caramelise.
3/4 c hot water
To caramelise sugar: Take a heavy bottomed sauce pan & add the sugar.Keep it over medium to high heat and let it caramelise to almost black in colour.As soon as it reaches that colour, switch off the stove ,step back and pour the hot water little by little stirring all the way. This is caramel syrup and this is what that decides the colour of the cake.
Preparing the cake tin: Line the bottom and sides of 2 8" round cake tins with parchment/butter paper.Please don't skip this step or else the sides of the cake will turn hard after the long baking time.
For the cake batter:
Beat together the egg whites & 6 tbsp granulated sugar till glossy and stiff.
Cream butter and sugar together till pale and fluffy. Add in the egg yolks one at a time and beat well after each addition.Add in the soaked dry fruits and beat it just to mix it well. Add in the flour, baking powder and rava/semolina. Beat well to mix everything together. Add milk and caramel syrup.Beat it just so that everything is mixed in well. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
Pour the cake batter into prepared tins.
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F for 10 mins and position the rack in the centre of the oven.
Bake the cake for 1 hour 45 minutes. If you see that the top is browning faster, place a loose sheet of aluminium foil over the cake tins.
Make sure you start checking the doneness after 1 hour, because each oven is different.
What to do once the cake is baked:
As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, pour 3 capfuls of whisky/rum over the cake. It will be absorbed immediately by the cake . This will make the cake moist.
Once the cake is completely cooled, wrap it in aluminum foil and use as desired.
This cake will last long, if you refrigerate it. If possible, brush the cake with 2 tbsp of rum once or twice a week.
Verdict: I must have told you last year that my 'Ultra moist fruit cake' was the best. Now this one is even better! How is that! Seriously,this is moist,perfectly coloured with a perfect balance of fruits and liquor and it seems to have that 'gimme some more' effect on you! :-) We had a blizzard in Minneapolis this weekend but a bite of this cake every once in a while keeps me and Jobin happy!
So go on, soak your fruits and bake this cake for Christmas! And if you do, don't forget to tell me how you liked it!
I am sending this cake to 'It's time to Jingle' event hosted by Priyanka.