Apple Baklava

View my step by step video – coming soon

This post is sponsored by the Ontario Apple Growers – the opinions and recipe idea is entirely my own.

Do you know where your apples come from? Contrary to popular belief, they don’t magically appear on grocery shelves.

This year I was invited to tour with the Ontario Apple Growers. We headed to Wilmot Fams to the Apple Orchards and onward Algoma Orchards to a packing plant. Last year we visited another farm in the west end. Although it was an amazing trip, we didn’t get to see any of the apples on the trees as it was November and picking was done for the season. You can watch that video here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8J1BnQXSSI&t=239s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ontario Apple farms are located in three different zones and they are all close to the lake regions – Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.

 

This trip was made mid October and although Apple picking is finished for the most part, the trees are still laden with Ambrosia that is picked in the mid to late fall.

We started off at Wilmot Farms in Bowmanville. This farm is owned by the Stevens Family Charles and Judi and their daughter Courtney. Courtney is the seventh generation farmer in the Stevens family!

Ian Parker, Orchard Manager is very knowledgeable and it blew my mind to learn how much strategy and science in involved in keeping the apples safe. Everything is calculated, the height that the tree is allowed to grow to, and the distance between each tree and the rows. The trees are also thinned so they produce the right amount of apples. If it tree is over producing there are many methods to trim back the apples to maintain quality; including thinning, pruning and applying certain products. Machines such as frost fans are used to suck in the cold air and push it upward, pushing the warm air back onto the orchard. The difference even if it’s a few degrees can save the crop. They also protect the crop from hail using a hail cannon.

Apple Fact: There are 15 different main varieties of apples are grown on nearly 16,000 acres in Ontario

This farm grows about 10 varieties of apples at this time of year the Ambrosia is ripe for the picking. The Ambrosia is a fairly new apple discovered in British Columbia in the early 1990’s. This was found growing in the orchard among another apple variety. This fruit is typically picked late fall.

 

Many of the trees in the Orchard that are done for the season have a lot of fruit on the ground. In commercial growing, if the apples touch the ground, they cannot be sold under Food Safety protocols. I asked the farmer why the fruit couldn’t be saved by installing a net and the answer he gave me made perfect sense  – when the apple falls, even if it is caught in a net, when it collides with another apple it will bruise, which makes it unsellable. Also the cost of picking the apple on the ground for organic waste or cattle feed is labour-intensive & too expensive, so the best is to leave it on the ground to fertilize the soil for next year’s crop.

Our group of eager bloggers had plenty of photo ops to get up and personal with these beautiful fruit. Here you see my friend Puneeta from Maple and Marigold look for the perfect shot!

Other bloggers on this trip were The Kitchen Fairy, Eclectic Soapbox, Nutrition Artist, Little Sweet Baker, The Viet Vegan, The Messy Baker, The Cookie Writer, Imagelicious, Carmy – Run Eat Travel, The Unlikely Baker, How To Eat, Nomadic Nutritionist, Weekend at the cottage & Baking for Friends – check out their recipes too!

As I was busy admiring the flawless fruit that Eve lured Adam with, I spy a group of pickers! These pickers typically are seasonal agricultural workers that come from Mexico and Barbados to work in the orchard and pick fruit every year. They live on the farm for between 4-8 months and then either transfer to another farm, or go back home till the next season.

The farmers that run this farm are filled with passion and love for the apples. This farm also grows blueberries and you can pick your own in season.

After a busy morning trudging through the apple orchards, we were served a delicious apple themed lunch and these gorgeous apple centrepieces made by the owner Judi Stevens caught my eye.

After lunch we made our way to Algoma Orchards to meet Kirk Kemp a partner with Mike Gibson. In addition to running apple farms they run a top notch apple packing & storage facility and juice processing plant.

Apples arrive by the bins and start to move in massive streams of water to wash the apples and removed any stems and leaves. It is also a gentle way to move the apples through the grading process. This minimizes bruising and damage to the fruit.

Anything that hasn’t come off will be manually picked off.

The apples are then photographed 50 times and monitored by a machine. The fruit that are less than perfect are separated from the perfect fruit.

These move on belts like a highway of apples where they are cleaned. This plants can process 9000 cases of apples per day.

Kirk Kemp, guides us through the plant and we hang on every word.

The apples are kept in temp controlled storage rooms  till they are ready to be packed.

Once the apples are ready to be sold to the grocery store, they move through the plant on the belts and are sorted and boxed by staff.

Apple Fact: The top five varieties in Ontario (based on acreage planted) are McIntosh, Gala, Empire, Red Delicious, and Northern Spy.

Many of the popular store brands you see are packed right here. Boxes of apples are rushed out of here onto trucks to make it into stores for you!

And what does one do when one has way too many apples? Make apple juice and cider of course. Algoma Orchards invested in a state of the art facility to make apple juice that supplies many big brands. Their tanks are insulated which gives them much longer shelf life.

There is a lab on site that monitors the quality of the apple juice.

Apple Fact: It takes four apples to make a glass of pure apple juice.

This chamber controls all (I can’t remember what the specific task of this chamber is) the tanks and everything is temp controlled and computerized.

To keep the facility germ free, the ground is filled with soap suds.

And on our way out we were were sent home with a nice big bag of apples! Yummmm

Just in time for the Holidays, this Apple Baklava is a wonderful recipe to serve at a lunch or dinner party. Baklava is an old traditional favourite from Greece and the Middle East. Layers of phyllo pastry are brushed in butter and sandwiched between layers of sugar and nuts. Once baked, the dough is moistened with a delicate sugar syrup. The result is a delicious crispy and sticky sweet treat. In this recipe I used Cortland, they are perfect for baking and don’t discolor quickly. It’s also a soft apple which makes it great in a filling.

These little bundles are made in muffin tins and have a layer of delicious Apple right in the center. They bake up crispy with walnut and pistachio layers and the baked treat is drizzled in a sugar syrup enhanced with orange blossom.

This very decadent dessert can be served at your Holiday table with a dollop of ice cream. My only regret is that I didn’t make more as they were devoured quick!

Here is the super simple recipe!

Recipe:

1 cup Walnuts and Pistachios, crushed
2 tbsps Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon powder
225 gms Phyllo pastry dough

1 cup melted butter 1 cup Apple cut in small dice

Using 5 sheets of pastry, brush butter in between and stack them

Make an indentation with a cookie cutter and cut around with a scissors

With the rest of the pastry, stack 2 -3 sheets by brushing butter in between and cut in squares or rectangles

Add the rectangles to a buttered muffin pan Mix together the Apple, Cinnamon and sugar and spoon into the center, cover with a disc, add more filling and add another disc Bake for 10 – 15 in a 350 degrees oven

Apple Facts courtesy of http://onapples.com/apple-facts

Check out my other Apple recipes:

Candy Apples: https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/candy-apples/

Cheddar crust Apple Pie: https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/candy-apples/

Curried Chicken Salad – https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/curried-chicken-salad/

Crab Xec Xec – Goan Crab Curry

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This beloved Goan to the core recipe has a strange name but BIG on flavor. Crab Xec Xec or Shek Shek as it’s called is made by roasting Spices, Coconut, Onions, Ginger & Garlic together and simmering crab in it. The contrast between the roasted masala or spice blend with the sweetness of the Crab is heavenly.

Of course in coastal Goa, seafood is fresh right out of the Indian Ocean. Here in Canada, I make do with frozen Ceylon Blue swimming crabs – they are still from the Ocean though. I find the use of these pre cleaned & pre cut Crab really convenient, but you can use whatever type of Crab you like.

There are many types of Crab curries served in Goa but with it’s unmistakable roasted flavour, the Xec Xec is unique.

Check out my playlist here for other Goan recipes

Crab Xec Xec – Goan Crab Curry

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of Crab
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • Spice blend
  • 12 Kashmiri Chillies
  • 2 tsps Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsps black Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 cup fresh grated Coconut
  • 1 cup diced Onion
  • 1 inch piece Ginger
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 inch ball Tamarind in ½ cup hot Water
  • 1 cups Water(approx.)
  • 2 tbsps of coconut oil
  • 1 cup of sliced
  • 2 tbsps sliced green Chillies
  • ½ a tsp of Turmeric
  • ½ cup Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander to garnish

Instructions

  1. If using frozen crab, make sure it’s defrosted and rinse well before adding salt and turmeric and leave aside
  2. Soak the tamarind in hot water, once soaked remove any seeds
  3. In a tava or pan, roast the whole spices, followed by the coconut till brown and then add the onion, ginger & garlic
  4. Make a powder spice blend by adding the Kashmiri chillies after they’ve been de stemmed and de seesed together with all the other whole spices
  5. Add the coconut, onion, ginger and garlic, soaked tamarind and the water as needed to blend to a smooth paste
  6. Heat up a saute pan and add the coconut oil, and saute the sliced onion and green chilli slices
  7. Once the onion is golden brown, add the masala or spice blend together with the turmeric and allow to heat up
  8. Add the crab and salt to taste
  9. Add water to the processor and add this in as well
  10. Cook the crab for about 7 mins on each side
  11. Serve with rice and a simple salad

https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/crab-xec-xec-goan-crab-curry/

Kung Pao Chicken Meatballs

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This delicious Kung Pao or Gong Bao is it’s called was a popular post on my channel when I prepared this a few months ago. This comes from the Sichuan region of China uses it’s famous Sichuan Peppercorns. The peppercorns have a unique scent, personally I feel like they smell like a hint of Eucalyptus and they almost give the tongue a numbing effect. Be sure to crush them well as they can give a very gritty texture otherwise.

In this special version of Kung Pao that I created for New Year’s Eve or any celebration, Chicken is ground with other aromatics, made into meatballs and then immersed in a beautiful blend of garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppers, soya, black vinegar & Shaoxing wine giving it it’s classic umami taste.

I love recipes that have ingredients that I’ve never used before. In this case the Chinmiang vinegar or black vinegar comes from the Chinmiang region and had a very deep umami flavor. It’s made with fermented red rice which gives it it’s deep color. If you are not able to find this you can use a combination of Balsamic vinegar with a splash of Worcheshie sauce. I’m also using Shaoxing wine. This cooking wine is used in many recipes. Although it’s light in color, it smells exactly like Sherry and you can use Sherry as a substitute.

Kung Pao Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Chicken diced into cubes
  • 1/2 cup Spring Onions
  • 1/4 cup Shallots
  • 1 tbsp minced Ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Light Soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tsps corn starch
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Sauce
  • 1 tbsps of dark soya
  • 3 tbsps of light soya
  • 2 tsps of this delicious Chingkiang vinegar also known as black vinegar.
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp of Shaoxing wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 1-2 tsps Cornstarch slurry
  • 2 tbsps each minced ginger and garlic
  • 5 red dried Chinese chillies sliced
  • 1 tsp roasted and ground Schezwan peppers
  • 1 tbsp Peanuts roasted & crushed
  • Coriander for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a food processor add the Spring Onion, Shallots, Ginger and Garlic and process
  2. Add the Chicken cubes, Soya sauce, Shaoxing wine, corn starch, salt and pepper and process
  3. Add add the sauce ingredients to a bowl
  4. Prepare the meatballs - watch video for technique
  5. In a saute pan heat some oil and saute the remaining minced Ginger & Garlic togeher with the dried chillies
  6. Add the sauce
  7. Toast 1 tsp of Sichaun peppers and grind to a powder and add to the sauce
  8. Add a tsp or so of the slurry to thicken the sauce
  9. Add the Chicken meatballs, toss in the sauce
  10. Garnish with roasted and crushed Peanuts and Coriander

https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/kung-pao-chicken-meatballs/

Check out my other NYE recipes
Shrimp Nachos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhMwo5Zt-FA
Cheese Cigars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvgMFjwv1f4

Cheese Cigars

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When planning any party, I like to make sure I have at least 3 easy options so I can enjoy my guests.  Also click here for my Shrimp Nachos and Kung Pao Meatballs(coming soon). Happy New Year or happy whatever you’re celebrating!

I’ve made Cheese Spring rolls before but this was inspired by my recent trip to Audra’s cooking school. She used Paneer in her filling and I thought that would be a perfect medium to achieve that log like shape that a cigar is known for. If you want to try a meat version, my Moroccan Cigars will hit the spot!

Cheese Cigars

Ingredients

  • 26 - 28 Spring Roll wrappers (8.5 inches per side for longer Cigars)
  • 400 gms grated Paneer
  • 200 gms grated Cheddar
  • 1 tsp sliced green Chillies
  • 1/2 cup sliced Spring Onions
  • 1 cup chopped Coriander or Cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 Eggs

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and divide into logs
  2. Place on the Spring Roll wrapper and roll, turn in the two sides and keep rolling
  3. Brush with some egg wash to seal
  4. Freeze in a single layer or deep fry in hot oil

https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/cheese-cigars/

 

Rosemary & Cayenne Walnuts

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Gifts from the heart are the most appreciated during the holiday season. Spiced nuts are so easy to make. Here is a recipe for Rosemary & Cayenne Walnuts and click here for my Spiced Bollywood Cashews.

Rosemary & Cayenne Walnuts

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw Walnuts
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tbsp of brown Sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh or frozen Rosemary
  • 2 tbsps Walnut Oil

Instructions

  1. Heat the Walnuts for 5 mins
  2. Mix all the other ingredients together
  3. Mix the Walnuts with the marinade and return to the hot oven for 10 mins
  4. Cool and store in an airtight container

https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/rosemary-cayenne-walnuts/

Elfviled Workshop Eggs – Holiday Deviled Eggs

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The holidays are the best time of the year. I love the food, music, Santa and those cute little elves. This year I decided to throw a theme Christmas party and asked all of my dear friends to come dresses as Elves. Dress up is always fun, but the combination of red, green and stripes made for a colorful theme. I wanted to make an appetizer to enhance the theme and decided to make Elfviled Workshop Eggs. These devilled eggs are topped with a little pretty present.

 

If you’ve checked out my blog before or are a personal friend, you will know that I’m always trying to reinvent the Deviled egg. I think it’s a great appetizer to serve, it’s easy to switch up the flavors and can be pretty filling. My only regret was that I didn’t make more of them as the little Elves came back for more!

 

When I had the idea to top the egg with a package, making this out of cheese seemed to be the most logical choice. I chose to paint the present with a beet puree, but it also works well with food coloring. Of course you could also try a carrot, fried potato or any cold cut you can dice into cubes like Salami or ham. You could also try corned beef.

 

Enjoy this recipe and do watch the video to see footage from the party!

Elfviled Workshop Eggs – Holiday Deviled Eggs

Ingredients

  • 14 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 tbsp each chopped Chives & Thyme
  • Chives, Thyme & Rosemary leaves for decoration
  • 1 tbsp pureed Beets or food coloring
  • ½ cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Splash of hot sauce
  • ¼ cup of turkey of Chicken bacon
  • ¼ cup of minced Olives
  • 200 old Cheddar cut in cubes
  • Edible glitter(optional)

Instructions

  1. Paint the cheese cube with the beet puree or food coloring and allow to cool
  2. Half the eggs and place all the yolks in a bowl
  3. Add the chives and thyme and use a muddler of the back of a spoon to remove all the lumps
  4. Add the Mayo & Mustard and the splash of hot sauce
  5. Add the diced turkey bacon and the olives and mix well
  6. Fill an icing bag with a large tip with the yolk filling and pipe into the egg cases
  7. Use a wet finger to smooth any peaks
  8. Wrap a chive around the cube and trim and nestle in the egg yolk mixture
  9. Dot the top with a little bit of the filling and add a few thyme leaves
  10. Add some rosemary leaves as a garnish
  11. Sprinkle with edible glitter

https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/elfviled-workshop-eggs-holiday-deviled-eggs/

Pistachio & Blackcurrant Thumbprint Cookies

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Part of Kin Community’s Cookie Collaboration, my Pistachio & Blackcurrant Thumbprint cookies are just perfect for the holidays. The Pistachio is the perfect marriage with the rich jammy Blackcurrant center. This cookie is great year round, but the vibrant colors lend beautifully to the holidays.

I’m not even sure how I got started making this recipe, I just know that I’ve always loved jammy thumbprint cookies and instead of paying a dollar each time at the local bakery near my work, I decided to make them myself. When I competed on Come Dine With Me Canada in 2011, I made these cookies as little parting gifts for my friends, if you watch that episode, I refer to it as my ‘favorite cookie’ and years later it still is. It wasn’t after my stint on CDWMC, that I realized I had a blackcurrant bush in my backyard. I’d had it for two years and just referred to the fruit as inedible berries. When Graham, a contestant on the show gave us some of his homemade jam, I had to try the same with my berries.

In the summer of 2011, I tried making jam for the first time with my mother and I’ve been doing this ever since. I think any fruity jam will work well in this recipe, but I have a soft corner for Blackcurrant.

Pistachio & Blackcurrant Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 cups sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup of jam
  • 1 cup chopped pistachios

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and the sugar together and add the yolks one at a time
  2. Add the vanilla and the flour and baking soda
  3. Using an ice cream scoop, drop the balls of dough on a glass plate and refrigerate for 30 mins
  4. Flatten each one by hand and roll the outside in the chopped nuts
  5. Lay them back on the cookie sheet and use your thumb to make an imprint in the center of each one
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 5 - 7 mins
  7. Remove and cool on a cooling rack
  8. Heat the jam and using a very small spoon, add a dollop in each cookie depression
  9. They are good to serve as is, but if you leave them out for 24 hours, the jam dries up a bit, making it easy to pack and store

https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/pistachio-blackcurrant-thumbprint-cookies/

Turkey with all the trimmings Sausage Rolls

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Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I always want to make sure I’m stocked up with holiday favorites. Sausage rolls are wonderful year round, but seem to make it up front and center over the holidays.

This year I decided to ditch the traditional beef filling and go with Turkey and all the trimmings – Rosemary, Cranberries, Cheese and Pinenuts. I also enhanced a buttery pastry with Rosemary for that traditional touch. The results are delicious. These are perfect to freeze ahead and can go straight from freezer to oven for no fuss entertaining.

 

 

 

Turkey with all the trimmings Sausage Rolls

Ingredients

  • Dough
  • 2 sticks - 8 oz approx. 226 gms cold Butter
  • 8 oz, 226 gms approx. all purpose
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp chopped Rosemary
  • 120 ml ice cold
  • Filling
  • 3 rashers Turkey bacon cooked and finely diced(1/4) cup
  • ¼ cup crushed Pine nuts
  • ¼ onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lb of ground lean Turkey
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ cup shredded Cheese,
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh black Pepper
  • 2 tbsps of chopped dried Cranberries
  • 2 tbsps of finely chopped Rosemary

Instructions

  1. Grate cold butter and after you grate it keep it in the fridge till you need it
  2. Sift the flour and add the cold butter to this
  3. Add 1 tsp each of salt & baking powder
  4. Work the butter in till it resembles a very crumbly dough - to get a flaky crust, it’s important to reduce the gluten and coating the flour with the gluten will ensure that there is no excess gluten formed when you add the water.
  5. Add 1 tsp of chopped rosemary to the dough followed by 120 ml of ice cold water and knead to form a dough
  6. Cover and store in the fridge for 30 mins.
  7. Saute 3 rashers of bacon, cool and chop this into smaller pieces
  8. Crush or finely chop the pine nuts
  9. In the food processor, process the onion and garlic
  10. Add the ground lean Turkey
  11. Add the egg, cheese, Worcestire sauce, smoked Paprika and salt
  12. Close the lid of your food processor and process the filling
  13. Scrape everything off the blades and transfer to a bowl.
  14. Add some fresh black pepper, chopped dried cranberries, finely chopped rosemary and the chopped turkey bacon
  15. Mix well. Add the crushed pine nuts and mix again
  16. Chill the filling
  17. Remove your dough and divide in half
  18. Give the cold dough a quick knead and then flour your surface and roll out the dough
  19. Roll till it’s a few mm thick and use a ruler to cut the dough into a rectangle
  20. Use a disposable icing bag and fit it with a large icing tip about 1 cm in diameter
  21. Fill the bag with the mixture and just pipe out the filling in a straight line
  22. Roll the over over and use water or egg wash to seal
  23. Cut the sausage rolls into 1 inch pieces or smaller discs if preferred
  24. Using a damp cloth, clean the knife in between
  25. Transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for later
  26. Or brush with egg wash and bake for 15 – 20 mins and a bit longer if they’re frozen till they are nice and golden brown.

https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/turkey-trimmings-sausage-rolls/

Black Forest Trifle

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This trifle is inspired by the ever popular Black Forest Cake. Layers of dark chocolate cake are studded with cherries & soaked in cherry syrup, layered with cherry jello and smothered in a rich cream and marscapone mixture. These layers are repeated twice are finished with swirls of cream, fresh cherries and chocolate curls.

The inspiration came from my love of the Black Forest Cake. Growing up in Abu Dhabi, my Dad often brought home a delicious Black Forest Cake from a popular bakery. It was rich and delicious.

When we immigrated here, The Black Forest Cake was available in every grocery store, sadly none of them held a candle to my memory.  I love trifle, it’s easy to make and serves a large crowd and this trifle inspired by my Black Forest memory, is simply delicious.

Black Forest Trifle

Ingredients

  • 2 X 3 oz, 85 gms Cherry Jello
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1/4 cup sliced pitted fresh Cherries
  • 15 oz, 232 gm pkg Chocolate cake mix
  • 2 x 398 ml can of canned cherries
  • Splash of Kirschk of Cherry Brandy
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 - 6 tbsps Sugar
  • 1 cup Marscapone cheese
  • Whole cherries for decorations
  • Chocolate curls or grated Chocolate

Instructions

  1. Prepare the jello by dissolving the jello in 2 cups of water
  2. Allow it to cool, throw in the cherry halves and chill and allow it to set and cut in cubes
  3. Bake the cake according to the package instructions, slice in 2 layers and cut each layers in cubes
  4. Whip the cream and sugar and leave aside
  5. Beat the Marscapone cheese, and fold into the cream
  6. Drain the canned cherries and save the cherry syrup
  7. Heat the syrup and add some Kirsch and allow to cool
  8. Layer 1/2 the cake cubes, the syrup, canned cherries, jello and top with half the cream
  9. Repeat this process
  10. Decorate with cream swirls and chocolate curls

https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/black-forest-trifle/

How to Soak Fruit for Christmas Cake

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A slice of Rum or Brandy infused fruitcake heralds the warmth of Christmas. If a bite of boozy doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzies, I don’t know what will! All over the world fuit cakes of different sizes and colours make their way over to the holiday table with great fanfare. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation and are guarded with pride.

 

In India, this cake is also served at weddings, perhaps because it’s very popular to marry in the Holiday season. This cake is slathered with royal icing and is decorated to perfection. The hard royal exterior icing, protects the juiciness of the cake within and makes a perfect slice.

 

Although my Mom was an amazing cook, she wasn’t too fond of baking and never made this cake, at least not to my knowledge. My grandmother and aunts did make a cake, but I never did ask for the recipe.

 

When I first immigrated to Canada and we bought our first house after Adam was born, I had this strong urge to learn how to make traditional Christmas sweets. My good friend Marianne came over an helped me make them. This was in 1998. Since then I have made so many sweets and some of them are online like my Kul Kuls, Rose Cookies & Marzipan. What I’ve never made till this year was a fruitcake and there’s always a first time.

 

I poured over many recipes on the internet, even though I never made it before, I’ve tasted plenty a fruitcake and I had a very clear vision of how this should turn out. I was lucky that my friend and co admin on the facebook group Traditional Goan Foodies, shared her Mom, Annie Mascarenhas’s recipe with me. I tweaked this ever so slightly to suit my taste and this cake exceeded my expectations – thank you aunty.

 

This post will include the process to soak the fruits and on Dec 15, I will update this with the process to make the cake. Some people soak their fruits for months upto a year. To each his own, INMHO, 20 – 30 days is plentiful to soak your fruit. I like to taste the rum in the fruit and maintain the texture as well. I’ve used a combination of black raisins, cranberries, mixed citrus peel and prunes but you can use any dry ruit of your choice. Instead of just using Rum, I’ve used a combination of Rum and Brandy.

Click here for the cake recipe!

How to Soak Fruit for Christmas Cake

Ingredients

  • Soaked Fruit
  • 50 gms black Raisins
  • 50 gms Cranberries
  • 50 gms mixed Citrus Peel
  • 50 gms Prunes
  • 1 tbsp Orange Peel
  • 50 ml Rum
  • 25 ml Brandy

Instructions

  1. Layer the fruit starting with the ones that would need the most soaking - raisins, cranberries, mixed peel and prunes
  2. Add the rum and brandy
  3. Top with the orange peel
  4. Store in a cool dark place
  5. Do not shake for 2 days to allow the bottom fruit to soak
  6. After 2 days shake periodically
  7. Soak for 20 - 30 days

https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/boozyfruitcake/