I recently unearthed a dog eared notebook from behind the bench in my kitchen. It was fuzzy with dust and every single page had been written on. I’m a compulsive note-maker so it isn’t unusual for filled and forgotten notebooks to turn up in the house, the car, old handbags… I flicked through this notebook and came across a whole chunk of pages scrawled with ideas and sketches, preparing for a very special day. It also contained this recipe; a rich, rum soaked celebration cake with a tropical twist.
I started writing this recipe almost two years ago, in honour of two people who are very dear to me. It just so happened that one of my oldest friends was getting married to one of my best friends and I knew that a run-of-the-mill fruitcake just wouldn’t cut the mustard on this occasion.
This cake is rich, fruity, spicy and rummy. It makes a wonderful cake for weddings and other celebrations as it’s traditional enough to not freak out old aunty Ethel but different enough to be memorable.
I make this about a week to ten days before I cover it in marzipan and decorate it and after that it will stay fresh almost indefinitely. It needs feeding with rum everyday until you ice it, so after a week it will be pretty well preserved in all of that Alcohol!
Buy the best rum that you can afford. A good, dark rum will have notes of molasses, vanilla and spices which will add a depth of flavour to your cake. Cheap rum will just taste like alcohol. Also you will enjoy the leftovers much more if you buy a nice rum!
- 250g dried mixed fruit
- 100g dried pineapple
- 50g dried coconut flakes
- 150g pecans
- 1 orange
- 120g butter
- 250g self raising flour
- 200g soft brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp each of ground allspice, ginger and nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 bottle of spiced rum
- Place the dried fruit in a large bowl with the juice and zest of the orange and 200g of rum. Mix well and leave to soak for at least 24 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 140°c and grease and line a deep, 8″ cake tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar, mix in the eggs followed by the flour and ground spices.
- Next fold through the nuts and soaked fruit.
- Place the batter in the cake tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 3-4 hours. The cake is ready when a skewer comes out clean.
- As soon as the cake is out of the oven, fed it with 4 tablespoons of rum. Leave to cool in the tin.
- When the cake is fully cooled, place it in an airtight container. Feed the cake with few tablespoons of rum every day for at least one week.