Monday, 5 December 2011

Ragi/Finger millet fruit Cake

                               A few weeks back, I was in a government emporium, to take some pictures. I was told to get the permission from the lady in charge, who in turn asked me if I was from the press(news media), when I explained to her that I am a stay at home mother and my purpose of taking pictures, she shot me back with an outrageous question that, "Why should a house wife be interested in such things"? It was disappointing to hear that from an employed woman. Was it her eight hour job that gave her the courage to speak so or it’s just her attitude, whatever, that was the first time I came across such a situation, since I took up my camera over my shoulder and unfortunately the harm was done by a woman. Sadly education does nothing to certain women. Brushing that aside, I am looking forward to the celebrations yet to come in the following days and a fresh new year.

    December the month of celebration and jubilation has finally come to enchant us with the chiming sound of bells, the rhythmic carol songs, the shining stars, the grand feast, not only to celebrate christmas, but also to welcome a new year. Christmas is not complete without a cake, especially a fruit cake. Ragi/ Finger millet cake was not made with any intention of making a healthy cake, as I always say, as long it contains butter and sugar, no food is healthy. This is a rich ragi(Kezhvaragu) fruit cake, a recipe that I came across in an old book, and saved for many years. I have made some changes to the original recipe and it is eggless, gluten free and most of all, it is absolutely delicious with full of flavour.

Ragi flour                                200 g
Soft light brown sugar          100 g + 1 tbsp
Coconut milk                          100 ml
Orange juice                           100 ml
Unsalted butter                      100 g
Baking powder                       1 tsp
Baking soda                            1/2 tsp
Cloves                                      4 (powdered)
Orange zest                             1 tsp
Vanilla essence                       1/4  tsp
Candied cherries                    10 - 15
Dates                                        2 large pieces
Prunes                                      2 large pieces (dried)
Almonds                                  1/4 cup

Whisk ragi flour, baking powder, baking soda and the clove powder in a bowl.
Add in the chopped dry fruits,  and mix well.
Add in the butter, mix well using hand until it resembles bread crumbs and the flour has a wet texture.
Add in the soft brown sugar and mix well.
Pour in the orange juice and the coconut milk, stir, add in the orange zest and vanilla, mix well.
Transfer the batter onto a greased baking pan and bake at 180*c for about 35 minutes or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Adding prunes is optional, can use more dates instead.
Can add chopped nuts in the batter.
If desired, can drizzle the cake with orange juice syrup ( orange juice mixed with sugar and boiled) before serving.
Since ragi flour has no gluten, the cake will tend to be crumbly, so chill for some time if you want to cut out perfectly shaped pieces, or bake as small cup cakes for about 20 minutes.
If white sugar is used, powder it before use.

  Cup cake with melted chocolate. Cupcakes were made with tangerine juice, for the above cake I used (kinnow) orange juice and I would suggest using orange juice.

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Hiya all,
Finally on this day of october the 1st, 2012, I have decided to include the comment form, after a long gap of two years. But, I am going to be a bit selfish here and keep all those nice and lovely things that is said for me and only me to cherish and will be sharing any queries that requires clarifications and your experience about the food if you have tried my recipes. So, drop in a word if you have anything to say and thanks a lot for stopping by.
"Have a nice day"

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