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It’s the Season For Some Plum Cake (My Version Of The Kerala Style Christmas Fruit Cake), And A Giveaway!
For the Caramel Sauce :
For the Cake Batter :
For the Glaze Icing :
  1. Prepare the soaked fruit first. Chop the dates and candied fruits and cashewnuts (roughly to the size of the raisins), put them in a saucepan in a saucepan and add the apple or orange juice to this. Cook the fruit, over low heat, until the liquid starts steaming. Stir frequently and let the fruit and nuts cook until all the orange juice has almost been absorbed completely. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool down.
  2. Next, make the caramel sauce. Place the granulated sugar in a pan. Add 3 tbsps water and the tsp of lemon juice. Mix lightly with a spoon. Place the saucepan on high heat and allow the sugar and water to start boiling/ bubbling. Do not stir but you may tilt the pan a bit a couple of times to let the melted sugar spread out. Let the sugar melt and caramelize to a golden brown (do not burn it). Take it off the heat and it will start darkening. Carefully pour the 1/4 cup boiling water (it will spit and splutter) into the caramel and stir with a spoon. Place the caramel sauce back on the stove and just bring it to a boil. Then take it off the heat and keep aside.
  3. Now prepare the cake batter. Put the soft butter in a big bowl and beat, with an electric beater, till fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat, on slow speed, till combined. Keep aside about 1/3 cup of the flour aside and sieve together the remaining flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add this to the bowl along with all the powdered spices. Mix well (do not beat too much), using the beater on slow speed, until combined.
  4. Sprinkle the 1/3 cup reserved flour on the cooled fruit and nuts and mix with a spoon so the fruit is well coated with the flour. Add this, the vanilla extract and the warm caramel sauce to the batter and mix with a wooden spoon till combined.
  5. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, in another clean bowl, and gently fold this into the batter till well incorporated. Pour the batter into two medium greased and lined/ floured loaf or cake tins (I used a 7” round tin and a medium loaf tin. Bake the cakes at 170C (325F) for about 1 to 1 1/4 hours or till a skewer comes out clean, when it is inserted into the centre. Ensure the cake is well baked.
  6. Let the cakes cool in the tins for about 15 minutes, then gently unmould and cool on a rack. After the cake has cooled completely pour the sugar glaze icing over it if using. To make the icing, put the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk in a bowl. Mix till smooth. Pour of ver the cake and let it dry. Cover the cake loosely with foil before storing.