1.5tablespoonlimeor lemon juice or vinegar (apple cider or regular vinegar)
soaking dry fruits
Take all the dry fruits and nuts in a bowl. I just rinse them once or twice and then drain them very well. If you want you can rinse them.
Now finely chop all of them and collect in a mixing bowl.
Add the apple juice and mix very well.
Allow the fruits to soak in the apple juice for a day. Keep covered in the fridge.
Bring the dry fruits + apple juice mixture to room temperature before you proceed with the recipe.
In a sauce pan, take 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams) and 2 tbsp water.
Mix and stir very well. Keep this pan on the stove top on a low flame. I used organic unrefined cane sugar.
Bring this sugar solution to a boil on a low flame. You will see the mixture bubbling initially.
Continue to cook and do keep on stirring often.
At one point it might look that the sugar is getting crystallized.
Continue to cook and stir frequently till you see the color changing to a dark brown. Switch off at this point.
Remove the pan from the stove top and place it down. Immediately add 1 cup water to the caramel. Be careful while doing so, as the mixture splutters.
The caramel will harden as soon as you pour the water. Keep the saucepan back on the stove top on a low flame. Stir often and bring to a gentle simmer till all the hardened caramel is dissolved. Do stir often so as to aid in dissolving the caramel.
Let this caramel solution cool completely.
Once the caramel has cooled down, add 1/3 cup oil. I used olive oil. You can also use sunflower oil or melted butter. If using melted butter than add it when the caramel solution turns warm.
Mix the oil with the caramel solution very well.
Next add 1.5 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. I used lemon juice. You can also use regular white vinegar. Mix again very well.
preparing cake batter
Grease a 8 inch round pan very well with oil or butter. Also preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius before 15 mins you bake.
In a seive, take 2 cups whole wheat flour/atta (240 grams), 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder, 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder, ⅛ tsp clove powder and 1/2 tsp cardamom powder (optional).
Sift all the dry ingredients.
Next add the soaked dry fruits + apple juice mixture to the sifted dry ingredients.
With a spatula just mix lightly.
Add the caramel solution.
Now fold the flour ingredients with the caramel solution to a smooth batter.
baking kerala style plum cake
Pour the batter in a prepared pan.
Gently shake and tap the pan so as to even out the batter.
Place the pan in a preheated oven and bake the cake at 180 degrees celsius for 1 hour or 1 hour:15 minutes. The tooth pick should come out clean and dry when inserted in the cake. This cake has to be baked very well. If the top gets browned too much, then cover with an aluminium foil and bake. Baking time varies with various brands and models of oven.
You can sift some powdered sugar on top of the cake to hide the cracks on the top. Slice and serve the cake. The cake can also be refrigerated. It keeps good for 10 to 12 days in the fridge. Sliced the cake in slices and stored the slices in an airtight box.