50 years ago I received a baking oven as a wedding gift. From then on Ive been making a rich and large fruit cake for every Christmas, while of course complaining about the labour :) Rum was available freely in liquor stores and I always used rum in my cakes. I had to stop making this fruit cake once the government ordered privately run liquor stores to shut. Now that the government is running sophisticated liquor stores in the fanciest of shopping malls, I was finally able to procure rum again and revive this family Christmas tradition :)
It is such a great delight to pour rum over the chopped fruits, even if the entire house smells a bit dubious :D
The Christmas fruit cake, even without any icing/frosting, is a Calorie Colossus. The energy comes from the flour, butter, sugar, nuts, and the dried fruits. The protein content is moderate as only 3 eggs are used. Diabetics should avoid this cake, whether it is iced or not, due to its high carbohydrate content.
- 2 C Maida (Refined Wheat Flour)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- tsp Cinnamon Powder
- tsp Clove Powder
- C Unsalted Butter plus 1 tsp for greasing
- C Brown Sugar
- 2 T Treacle
- 3 Eggs, beaten
- tsp Salt
- C Rum
- C fresh Orange Juice, strained
- 2 C Mixed Dry Fruits (Raisins, Sultanas, Currents, etc.)
- C chopped Glazed Cherries
- C chopped Cashew Nuts
- C chopped Candied Peel
- 2 T ground Cashew Nuts
- Wash the dry fruits; dry on a towel. Remove seeds and stalks. Chop them coarsely.
- Place the dry fruits, cherries, candied peel and chopped cashew nuts in a bowl. Pour rum and orange juice over the fruits, and stir. Cover with cling film, and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
- Grease a 7-to-8 inch cake tin. Line it with double layer of greaseproof paper to stand 5 centimetres above the rim. Grease the paper also with butter.
- Sift the flour with baking powder and spice powders.
- Preheat the oven to 150 C/300
- Cream the butter in a large bowl until fluffy.
- Add the brown sugar, treacle, ground cashew nuts and salt, and stir.
- Stir in the eggs little by little till the mixture is uniformly blended.
- Add the flour little by little to the mixture, and stir till all the flour is used up.
- Add the fruit mixture and blend. The batter will be as thick as a push batter.
- Spoon the mixture into the cake tin, and smoothen the top.
- Bake for one and a half to two hours. A cake tester inserted should come out clean when the cake is done.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Store in an airtight container with the greaseproof paper intact.
- The greased paper must stand 5 centimetres or so above the tin (see photo below) to prevent burning of the fruits on the surface.
- Storing the cake in the paper keeps the cake moist. In this way the cake will remain fresh for at least 2 weeks, typically till New Year. Do not refrigerate the cake.
- Treacle is available online. If you do not wish to use treacle, increase the brown sugar to 1 cup.
- Always keep a second baking pan ready as the mixture may need two pans.