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An excellent version of the traditional
Christmas cake of Sri Lanka. To gild the lily, so to speak, you
can ice this rich, moist cake with a mixture of almond paste
and fondant icing.
Cake of Sri Lanka
- 8 ounces seedless dark raisins
- 12 ounces seedless golden raisins
- 8 ounces mixed glace fruit
- 8 ounces preserved ginger, drained
- 1 (16-ounce) jar chow chow preserves or
melon and ginger jam, drained*
- 4 ounces mixed citrus peel (no pith)
- 8 ounces glace cherries
- 8 ounces raw cashews or blanched almonds
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 12 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- 2 teaspoons rose essence
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cups semolina flour
- 6 egg whites
- Generously grease a 10-inch Bundt cake
pan and set aside.
- Chop raisins, mixed glace fruit, preserved
ginger, chow chow preserves and citrus peel into small pieces.
- Cut glace cherries in halves.
- Chop nuts very finely, if possible use
a nut mill or food processor.
- Combine fruits and nuts in a large bowl,
sprinkle with brandy, cover and set aside. (This can be done
the day before to allow fruit to absorb more of the brandy.)
- Cream the butter and sugar until light
and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after
each addition. Add grated lemon rind, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves,
vanilla extract, vanilla extract, rose essence and honey and
mix well. Add the semolina and beat until well combined.
- Place cake batter in a very large mixing
bowl and add the brandied chopped fruit and nuts, stirring until
fruit and nuts are dispersed evenly throughout the batter (very
clean hands do the job even better than a sturdy wooden spoon).
- In another mixing bowl, beat egg whites
- Gently fold the beaten egg whites throughout
the cake batter.
- Turn into prepared cake pan.
- Bake in a 275°F (135°C) oven for
2 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, covering cake pan with foil after 30 minutes
to prevent over-browning.
- Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 to 20
minutes, then remove cake from pan. Allow cake to cool completely,
- Wrap cooled cake tightly in foil. If desired,
drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons brand over cake before wrapping.
- This cake will keep for a year or longer
in an airtight tin.
Serves 24 or more.
*Chow chow preserves or melon and ginger
preserves can be found at an Asian grocery or specialty food
An adapted version of a recipe by Charmaine
Solomon from her Complete Asian Cookbook.