Packed with fruit and a hint of spice, fruit cakes are one of the most comforting varieties of dessert. While they usually only make an appearance in households over Easter and Christmas, the fruit cake should be considered to be a perennial treat – they are, after all, made up of cupboard staples and are therefore perfect to put together in an emergency.
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 cup sour cream
• 1 cup chopped dates
• 2 cups raisins
• ½ cup chopped glazed cherries
• 1 cup chopped walnuts
• 2 cups all-purpose flour (divided into ¼ cup and 1 ¾ cups)
• A stick butter
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 egg, room temperature
• Grated rind of one orange
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 to 2 oz. brandy (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 325F/160C.
2. Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with greased parchment paper, cut to fit the pan. Leave some hanging over the sides, so it’s easy to remove the cake after cooking.
3. Mix together the sour cream and baking soda in a small bowl. Then set aside.
4. Mix the dates, raisins, cherries, and nuts with ¼ cup of flour. Set aside.
5. In a bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in the egg, then the orange rind, then the sour cream and baking soda mix.
6. Add the flour and the salt and mix together.
7. Add the fruit/nut mixture and mix well to ensure that the fruits and nuts are evenly distributed.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 1 to 2 hours, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If you’re using brandy, sprinkle a few drops on the cake.
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