Today's blog post comes courtesy of the lovely and talented Heather Morrison of Toronto Uncovered, who shares a secret family recipe - uncovered!
Christmas is a time for many things: friends, family, parties, gifts, wine, food and of course fruitcake.
My aunt’s Black Rum Fruitcake has been a holiday staple at every Morrison Christmas for as long as I can remember. The Black Rum Cake is popular in the islands and Caribbean, especially Jamaica, Bahamas and Bermuda – where they really know and appreciate their dark rums. My aunt learned to make it years ago from close family friends and invited me into her kitchen this year to learn her secrets.
The first secret is the fruit. The whole flavour and essence of this cake comes down to the fruit preparation. The earlier the fruit is run through the food processor and left to soak up all the flavours of sweet wine and rum the better. My aunt actually starts this process as early as January or February. To properly prep, she gathers all of the fruit listed in the recipe below and blends them in a processor before adding it into a big jar, along with the sweet wine, rum, brandy, sherry and whatever other sweet, sugary alcohol she has in her cabinet. And then she waits… and waits.. and waits..
Once December hits, the baking begins. The recipe is fairly simple to follow, and calls for mixing the different ingredients together in a large processor to further eliminate any large chunks of fruit. The difficult part is preparing the baking tins so that the cake doesn’t burn in the oven. This is where secret number two comes in. My aunt lines the bottom and sides of the baking tins with greased/buttered packing paper. This prevents any burning or sticking.
After baking for about 2 hours (or a successful clean fork test) let the cakes cool and employ the third (and in my humble opinion, most important) secret: make incisions in the top of the cake and pour on the booze. It’s important to let the cakes soak up sweet rum or liquor right away to preserve the moistness in the cake. Feel free to add more liquor every couple of days until you are ready to eat it. This will keep the cake moist and delicious and keep you feeling warm and fuzzy!
As it is now January, no better time than to start on your fruit prep!
1 lb Raisins
1 lb Prunes
1 lb Cherries
1 lb Mixed Peel
1 lb Currants
1 lb Brown Sugar
1 lb Butter
1 lb Flour
1 doz Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla Essence
2 tbsp Browning
Cream the butter and sugar until you get a good consistency, then add the eggs to this mixture gradually. When the eggs are well mixed, add the fruit mixture and essence. When all of the above ingredients are well mixed add in the flour and browning until desirable colour is reached.
Pour completed mixture into a greased and floured pan (papered). Bake at 350 degrees for about 2 hours. Cake will keep indefinitely in the fridge, wrapped in foil.