I have been wanting to bake this Christmas cake since forever - but, somehow was always scared to cook with rum and was really not sure if I had the patience in me to wait for the cooking time of almost 4 to 5 hours.
This year - I got over all those fears and decided to bake a Christmas Fruit cake - also called the 'boozy' cake. even before I could look at recipes, we got the darkest rum available in the wine shop and then got some raisins, sultana, dried cherries, tutti fruti and dried cranberries. Mixed them all with the rum and saved it in an airtight container and let it stay there for over 3 months.Then started looking for recipes. There are a lot of them over there and google threw a wonderful array of amazing recipes for me to look at. I read and read and read and got confused every-time Finally i stumbled upon the recipe at deliaonline - how to bake a Christmas cake - one of the oldest and the most sought after recipes. So, decided to go ahead and make this one. It was a tad bit tough as the recipe has measurements in grams and ounces - I personally find it easier if the measurements are in cups and spoons - so, started to fist get the conversion of the measurements - then made a few changes, as the fruits were already soaking and were not as mentioned in the recipe - moreover, used rum instead of brandy - used allspice powder instead of the traditional nutmeg and cinnamon powders - did not used blanched almonds, but used slivered almonds inside the cake batter itself. But, overall, we were very very happy with the outcome. It did not feel that 'boozy' - because we baked this cake 2 days before Christmas and it was fed rum for just two days - he he he.
I hope to make this cake for next Christmas atleast a month in advance and feed it with rum for about 15 days atleast.
1 cup raisins
1 cup sultanas
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup tutti fruti (fruit peels)
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dark rum
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon allspice powder
1 cup unsalted butter
1¼ cups packed brown sugar
4 large eggs, beaten to mix
1 tbsp honey
juice of half lemon
additional rum for 'feeding'
Take the raisins, sultanas, dried cherries, dried cranberries, tutti fruit in a large bowl and mix it with rum. Cover and allow to soak overnight at room temperature - Or as we did, keep it in an airtight container and let it soak for over 3 months.
Line an 9 inch spring-form pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 275°F (140°C). Sift the flour, salt and spice together in a large bowl. Cream the butter and sugar together until blended well and the mixture looks light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs and mix well till its a nice and fluffy mixture.
Stir in the dry ingredients (flour, spice and salt) and mix well till everything is blended together - take care not to over mix or over beat the mixture. Mix in the rum soaked fruits, slivered almonds, honey and the lemon juice and fold everything together.
Spoon the cake mixture into the spring-foam pan and level the surface. Cover the top of the cake with a double square of parchment paper with a 50 cents-size hole in the center (this gives extra protection during the long slow cooking). Place the spring-foam on a cookie sheet and bake the cake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 4½-5 hours. Delia says that sometimes it can take up to ½-¾ hour longer than this, but in any case don't look till at least 4 hours have passed.
Cool the cake in the tin, then remove it to a wire rack to finish cooling. Make small holes in the top and base of the cake with a cocktail stick or small skewer, then spoon over a few teaspoons of rum and cover it fully and let it rest.You can now feed it a few teaspoons of rum everyday until you need to ice it or eat it.