In a mixing bowl, add all the chopped dry fruits and nuts – walnuts, almonds, cashews, orange peel, raisins, cranberries, cherries and dates.
Add 1/2 cup of hot boiling water.
Next add 1/2 cup of fresh orange juice. Mix the fruits well and keep it closed for 10-15 mins until the caramel and cake mixture are ready.
Making Caramel –
In a sauce pan, add 3/4 cup sugar and set it on low flame.
In a few minutes, the sugar begins to melt at the edges turning a light golden color.
Don’t mix the sugar at all but give it a quick shake couple of times and in next few minutes, entire mixture turns golden brown. In just few seconds, the mixture turns glossy and deep golden brown.
Remove from heat and quickly add water. Be cautious and careful as the caramel would be quite hot and it might splutter while adding water. Stand away from it. Mix it to ensure there are no hard caramel bits. Let this cool down completely.
Making Christmas Fruit Cake –
Preheat the oven at 180°C for 10 mins. In a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients – all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, clove powder and cardamom powder.
Mix it well. I used my Kitchen-aid stand mixture and ran it on the lowest speed.
Next add oil to the dry mixture.
Add the soaked dry fruits and nuts mixture. Whisk at the lowest speed for a minute. Add vanilla essence.
Next add the caramel water and whisk for a couple of minutes. The mixture should look smooth and lump-free.
Pour the cake batter into a greased and lined baking dish. I used 8” round cake pan but a 9” or 10” pan works too.
Bake for 40-45 mins until the tester comes out cleans. Let the cake cool down completely before cutting it. Dust icing sugar on top.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or for 3-4 days in the fridge.