A must have fruit cake for those who love the chai flavour! Its subtle taste will win over many hearts!
- 275 gm 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour/maida
- 75 gm 1/2 cup packed brown sugar *see notes
- 75 gm 1/3 cup granulated sugar or 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 150 gm 2/3 cup+1 tbsp unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp dried orange peel powder optional
- 1/2 tsp mixed spiced powder or cinnamon powder optional
- 300 gm dry fruits I used 100gm each of raisins, black currants and dried cranberries *see notes
- 200 ml strong masala tea *see notes
- 100 ml fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- grated zest of an orange
- grated zest of a large lime/lemon
Clean the dry fruits, pick stems if any and roughly chop and place in a bowl. Measure the orange juice and add enough masala tea to bring the level up to 300ml. Pour this liquid over the dry fruits, add the zests of the orange and lime and give it a good stir. Cover and keep overnight.
Grease and line a 26x13cm (10x5 inch) loaf pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven at 160 C for 15mins. Sift the flour, baking powder, pinch of salt and dried orange peel powder and cinnamon powder (if using) twice and keep aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar well and add one egg at a time, beat well. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Sift the flour in parts and fold well to incorporate. Add the soaked fruits with the liquid and fold again. The batter should be of dropping consistency so if you feel it is a bit too thick and dry add a tablespoon of milk at a time and fold.
Pour batter into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour or until the skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack/stand. Invert onto the rack after 15-20mins and allow to cool completely.
Serve with whipped cream, ice cream or just plain with a nice hot cup of tea or coffee.
You may use 150gm brown sugar instead of splitting between two types of sugar. Add an additional 2 tbsp to increase the sweetness - however, if you are using very sweet raisins or dates instead of cranberries then taste the batter before adding more sugar. I used dark muscovado sugar that gave a mocha colour to the cake. You may use regular white sugar for a pale coloured cake. 2. To make the masala tea boil 300ml of water and add 2tbsp tea powder and 1 tsp chai masala powder (I used Everest chai masala), let it brew for half a minute, allow to sit for a couple of minutes and then strain. If you have readily available chai tea bags you may use those as well - use as per desired strength of the tea. 3. Adjust the sweetness of your cake by using dry fruits that are less sweet - prunes, dried apricots and dried cranberries are a lot less sweeter than dates and raisins. 4. You can make your own dried orange peel powder by drying orange peels in the sun for 2-3 days. Powder in a dry grinding jar and store in an airtight container.