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The traditional Caribbean Christmas cake, aka euphoria! This heavy-duty rum fruit cake takes some time to make: with the minimum soaking time the recipe extends over two days, but I always take a month! However, it's of course not active working time ;-) and the cake is not difficult to make at all, so don't let the length of the instructions scare you! The most tedious part is chopping the fruit - try to resist to urge to use a food processor, as chopping by hand will give you the best results. Have a glass of wine, listen to your favourite music and make a night of it! If, however, you do give in to temptation, be very careful not to process the fruit into a sticky mass: you want finely chopped, not jam! Serve this wonderful cake in thin slivers with a dollop of whipped cream.
- 1⁄2 lb currants
- 1⁄2 lb raisins
- 1⁄2 lb prune
- 1⁄2 lb dried fig
- 1 (8 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
- 1⁄4 lb mixed peel
- 2 ounces almonds, finely chopped
- 1 1⁄4 cups dark rum
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 6 ounces brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup boiling water
Making the cake
- 1 teaspoon lime peel, grated
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄2 lb butter
- 1 1⁄8 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- To prepare the fruit mix: Finely chop currants, raisins, prunes, figs and cherries.
- Combine in a large bowl with mixed peel and almonds.
- Mix vanilla and ground cloves with rum, and pour the rum mixture over the fruit mix.
- Stir to combine.
- Cover the bowl tightly, and let soak for a minimum of 24 hours and up to one month.
- Prepare the caramelised sugar on the day you intend to bake the cake.
- Put brown sugar in a heavy pot.
- Carefully cook over low heat stirring constantly, until sugar liquefies and begins to turn darker.
- Do not burn!
- When sugar has turned dark, remove pot from heat and gradually stir in hot water.
- Mix well.
- Let the mixture cool.
- Final cooking: Preheat oven to 120 C (250 F).
- Line a round cake tin with buttered parchment paper.
- Stir lime peel and caramelised sugar into the fruit mixture.
- Set aside.
- Sift together flour and baking powder.
- Set aside.
- Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until blended.
- Add the flour mixture, stir to combine.
- Add the fruit mixture, stir to combine.
- Pour batter into the prepared tin and place the pan in a larger shallow pan filled with hot water.
- Cook in the preheated oven for 2 1/2- 3 hours or until cake tests done.
- Cake should shrink from the sides of the pan.
- Cool cake in the tin for 24 hours before removing.
- Let the cake ripen for some time before serving.
- Fruit cake keeps very well, but if you want to store it for a longer time, moisten it with additional rum from time to time.