Creole christmas cake

Yield: 1 Cake

Measure Ingredient
3 tablespoons Rum
3 tablespoons Brandy
3 tablespoons Cherry brandy
3 tablespoons Cointreau
3 tablespoons Water
1½ teaspoon Angostura bitters
½ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon Ground cloves
½ teaspoon Salt
1½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Molasses sugar
225 grams Sultanas
225 grams Raisins
225 grams Currants
100 grams Stoned no-soak prunes; chopped
50 grams Glace cherries; chopped
100 grams Mixed candied peel
50 grams Almonds; chopped
50 grams Pecans; chopped
250 grams Self-raising flour
250 grams Demerara sugar
250 grams Butter; room temperature
5 eaches Eggs (size 1)

This very rich cake from the West Indies is ideal for those who prefer not to ice their Christmas cakes. Indeed, icing is not recommended. Just tie a brightly coloured ribbon round it and you have a real feast of cake. The fruit and nuts are soaked for a week before baking.

Directions: Six to eight days before you intend to bake the cake, measure out the rum, brandy, cherry brandy, cointreau, water and bitters into a large saucepan. Then add the spices, sugar, fruit and nuts. Stir the ingredients together and heat them over a very low heat until the liquid is just moving - DO NOT LET IT BOIL. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Tip the mixture into a mixing bowl or other glass or china container and allow it to cool completely. Cover the bowl with a double layer of clingfilm and place in the refrigerator or a very cool place. Stir the mixture from time to time during the next few days.

Six to eight days later, preheat the oven to Gas 1, 275 F., 140 C.

Cream the butter and sugar together and fold in the flour and beaten eggs. Add the fruit mixture a little at a time until it is evenly blended. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin, level the top and bake in the preheated oven for about 3½ to 4 hours. If you think the cake is becoming too brown, place a double thickness of greaseproof paper over the top of it as protection. When the cake is quite cold, wrap it in greaseproof paper first then either place it well in a plastic cake box or wrap it in silver foil.

This cake will keep for a few weeks. Taken from Christmas baking magazine.

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