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Jamaican Christmas cake recipe

Traditionally the fruit in this cake is steeped in port and rum for at least 24 hours, a week or even longer if you can. You can imagine how rich, delicious and moist this is - it needs no icing or decoration, just enjoy it’s glorious flavour!

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  • Makes 1, 9in cake

  • Prep time 40 mins

  • Cooking time 2 hrs

  • Total time 2 hrs 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 250g (9oz) dried ready to eat prunes
  • 200g (7oz) dried ready to eat dates
  • 450g (1lb) raisins
  • 250g (9oz) sultanas
  • 200ml (7floz) port
  • 6 tbsp rum or brandy
  • 100g (4oz) unrefined cherries
For the cake mixture:
  • 250g (9oz) butter
  • 250g (9oz) dark muscovado sugar
  • 5 size 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g (9oz) self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g (4oz) glace cherries to decorate if liked
You will need:
  • 9in 23cm round , deep cake tin, greased and lined with baking parchment

Preparation

  1. Chop the prunes and dates with scissors and place in a mixing bowl with the raisins and sultanas. Pour over the port and rum or brandy and cover with cling film. Leave for 1 day or up to a week to soak, stirring occasionally. Do not soak the cherries.

  2. Set the oven to 160c, 140c, fan, gas 3. Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and creamy, then gradually beat in the eggs until smooth, adding a little flour if the mixture curdles. Stir the flour, spices and 100g glace cherries into the creamed mixture with the soaked fruit. Mix well, then spoon into the cake tin and level the top

  3. Bake for 30 mins, then reduce the oven temperature to 150c,130c fan, gas 2 for a further 1 1/2 –1 3/4 hours until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 1 hour then turn out and cool on a wire rack. Decorate with extra cherries if liked. This cake will keep for 2 weeks in a cake tin, but as it is very moist should not be kept for any longer. If liked, slice and freeze.

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