Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rich Fruit Cake


In my childhood days, during Christmas there would be a cake exhibition with some cool, fancy cake exhibits, we never missed going to. We’d buy the "oh-so-yumm" Christmas fruit cake and return home all happy!  Fruit cakes are a favorite with my family.

One of my favorite thing to do is bake. LIVE LOVE BAKE, right? :) 

However, it was my first time baking a fruit cake. Last year, 4 days before Christmas a friend of mine called and said, she’s hosting a pot-luck party for Christmas. This gave me an occasion to bake,  I was so excited! 

I pestered my sister, who is a Pro-baker, a sweet heart, a tough cookie, a hotel –management graduate, a rising sales professional and my honey bunch sugar plum to give me the best recipe.
I made the cake and oh’ my, that truly was one of my best cakes! This 1967 recipe, she shared was the best. She found it on Pinterest.  
With its two key ingredients, rum and butter--it ought to be a hit!
This morning I saw “100 days to Christmas” in more than a couple of places and I thought I must share this christmaseyy recipe on my blog!
Rich fruit cake (serves 12)
100 grams of fruit and peel mix (I used the Old English fruit and peel mix)
1 cup chopped raisins
1 cup Sultanas
1/3 cup chopped red glace’ Cherries
2/3 cup of blanched almonds, chopped
½ cup Brandy or Sherry
2 cups of plain flour
4 teaspoon of baking powder
½ teaspoon of ground cloves
½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1 cups of butter softened
1 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon lemon essence or finely grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 large eggs at room temperature
Place currants, sultanas, raisins and mixed peel, glace cherries and almonds in a large bowl and mix well. Sprinkle with Sherry or brandy.
I used Brandy – Thanks to my friend Rashmi who gave me top shelf stuff!
Cover and set aside for 1 hour or overnight to macerate – I let it soak for 2 days.
Preheat oven to 320 Fahrenheit (160 Celsius)
Grease a deep cake/loaf pan and line base and side with two layers if brown paper and a payer of parchment/baking paper. Sift flour and spices.
Beat the butter, sugar and essences in a large bowl until pale and creamy. Add the egg one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately fold in fruit and flour mixtures until well combined. – the mixture should be stiff enough to support wooden spoon. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 31/2 to 4 hours or until skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside in the pan to cool completely.
I received some flattering, rave reviews for my cake, the party was great and it was a Merry Christmas for us all!


Undoubtedly, I am making it this year too, Happy Baking to you all!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Back to work!

One of my posts BreakFREEeee was me frustrated and putting into words those feelings, I missed my work life.
All of us need to vent and that one of my venting posts.

Now, I look back and that part of my life taught me a few things.
  • I learnt to be selfless, a better human being
  • To be patient
  • Learn how I was irreplaceable
  • Learnt to develop a new expertise, a new skill. Dancing or Baking!
  • Believe in Magic
  • Peace - Not be torn between home and work

I must say, I enjoyed and  cherished moments of being a full time mommy.

Now, our son Aarav grown up to be a fine 4 year old. I and my husband wonder, how is it possible that out of all the little boys in the whole world.. My husband and I got the best one?!
He never stops to amaze us! It is an absolute joy being his mother.

After a 4 year break, I did rejoin the corporate world.
The journey began March,2015 we filed for my H1 (work permit Visa for those on H4s).
I was picked through a lottery system , that was the first ray of hope!

My next step was face interviews, I started my study to groom myself for interviews, this time not as the interviewer but as the interviewee.
I say this because, 5 years ago, I free-lanced for a company and one weekend, I and a colleague of mine interviewed about 100+ candidates during a job fair. It was a long day!

May, June, July & Aug of 2014 were all about studying, Q&A, taking tests and may be a movie or two! October, I had my work permit, Hurray!
End of the year,  holiday mood was - "ON" and so there wasn’t much activity.

October 2014, I free-lanced as a Business Analyst for a Company, first paycheck was happiness!
I was thrilled to get a full time job in the start of 2015, for today it has been over 7 months and I feel like they went by so fast!
I enjoy my role at my company and love what I do!
Life is uncertain, it's full of surprises, priorities change and pursuing our dreams may not be possible.
I learnt to put them on hold, enjoyed what life had to give me.

Never forget to dream on and pursue them when there is a possibility!
I have been blessed with family who support me in my ventures and I am forever thankful!

                                                                                                                                                                     Signing off
                                                                                                                                                                           ~Happy me

Picture courtesy: Google :)