Christmas Cake/ Plum Cake/ Nuts & Fruits Cake

Christmas Cake/ Plum Cake/ Nuts & Fruits Cake
Christmas Cake/ Plum Cake/ Nuts & Fruits Cake
Christmas Fruit Cake, a very rich, moist cake loaded with tons of flavors from the fruits, nuts and spices.
Preparation Time: 3-4 hours (for soaking the dried fruits)
Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes 
Yields: One cake of 8”X 4” size + 4 cupcakes OR Two cakes of 6” diameter.

All purpose Flour(Maida)- 2 cups
Baking Powder- 2 teaspoon
Baking Soda- 1 teaspoon
Salt- A pinch
Condensed Milk- 1 can (approximately 400 ml)
Sugar/ Brown Sugar- 1/4th cup
Oil- 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence- 1teaspoon
Caramel syrup- 2 tablespoon 
Green Cardamom- 6-7
Star anise- 2
Cloves- 5-6
Cinnamon stick- 3-4”
Nutmeg powder- 1/4th teaspoon 
Almonds- 1/2 cup, chopped 
Walnuts- 1/2 cup, chopped 
Cashews- 1/2 cup, chopped 
Tutti-frutti - 1/4th cup
Dried Apricots - 1/4th cup, chopped 
Dates - 1/4th cup, chopped 
Dried Cranberries - 1/4th cup, chopped 
Dried Cherries - 1/4th cup, chopped 
Grape juice OR Apple juice- 1 cup, 250 milliliter 
Lemon zest- 1 tablespoon (Rind of 1 lemon)
Maraschino Cherries- 7-8
We will start making this cake by soaking all the dried fruits in the juice.
For that, put juice along with all the dried and chopped fruits- apricots, dates, cranberries, cherries and tutti-frutti in a bowl.
Mix them well. Cover and keep aside the bowl for minimum 3-4 hours or overnight.
Now we will start with the preparations to make the cake. 
For that, Prepare the cake pan by greasing it well with oil or butter and dusting it with flour, or generously spray non-stick spray. Alternatively you can use parchment paper.
Squeeze the soaked dried fruits to remove the juice, keep them aside.
Start preheating the Oven at 180*C.
Meanwhile mix and sift twice the dry ingredients- All purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 
Dry mix is ready.
Take all the ingredients mentioned under spices- cardamom, star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick.
Blend them all to a fine powder with the help of a blender.
Mix nutmeg powder in it.
Your spice mix is ready.
Next, Mix well Condensed milk, sugar, Oil and Vanilla essence.
Add in Caramel syrup too.
Now start adding the wet mix to the sifted dry mix.
Mix well by using a hand blender or Stand Mixer's Whip attachment.
Do not over-beat.
Add in the lemon zest and spice mix.
Add in all the soaked and squeezed dried fruits and nuts (Reserve some chopped nuts for the topping).
Gently mix everything well.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
The pan should be 1/2 to 2/3 full.
Do not overfill it.
Tap the pan 2-3 times for the batter to settle down evenly and to remove any air bubbles.
Top it up with reserved chopped nuts and maraschino Cherries.
Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 40- 45 minutes at 180*C.
After that check by doing Skewer test. Insert a skewer  in the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is done, if you see some batter is still sticking to the skewer place it again in the oven.
Once baked, take it out and allow it to cool down completely.
The top might look like it’s overdone but don’t worry, the dark color is due to all the spices and juices released by fruits.
Enjoy the delicious flavorful cake!!