Serve a homemade variation of a traditional Christmas fruit cake by using a Jamaican Christmas cake recipe. A Jamaican Christmas cake is flavored by wine or Brandy soaked fruit and is spiced and baked. The major difference between traditional fruit cake and Jamaican Christmas cake is the lack of aging. However, the fruit is soaked in red wine or Brandy for three weeks before baking.
To make Jamaican Christmas Cake, you will need:
- ½ pound butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons caramelized sugar
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- Zest of 1 Lemon
- 4 eggs
- 1 ¼ cups red wine or brandy
- 16 ounces raisins
- 1/2 cherries, pitted and chopped
- 1 cup prunes, chopped
- ¼ cup Rum
- Prepare fruit ingredients. Grate the peel of a lemon to create zest. Pitt and coarsely chop the cherries and prunes. Place the zest, cherries, raisins, and prunes in a container with a tight lid, cover with wine or brandy and soak for 21 days in the refrigerator to obtain the best flavor.
- Prepare dry ingredients. Shift or mix together in a large bowl the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
- Prepare wet ingredients. Cream butter, sugar, and caramelized sugar in a bowl.Mix until smooth. Beat the eggs well in a separate bowl and add the wine or brandy until completely blended. Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Strain the wine or brandy soaked fruit and add the fruit to the mixture.
- Make the Jamaican Christmas cake batter. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients to the egg, fruit, butter mixture and blend completely.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Apply a thin coat of vegetable oil or shortening a round 9 inch cake pan. Pour the Jamaican Christmas cake batter into the cake pan and bake for 1 ½ hours. Remove the Jamaican Christmas cake from the oven and pour ¼ cup of Rum over the top of the hot cake. Cool and serve or freeze for a later date.
- To make caramelized sugar place ¼ cup granulated sugar in the bottom of a small saucepan on medium heat. Spread the sugar over the bottom of the sauce pan. Stir in a teaspoon of water and bring the sugar to a boil and cook until golden brown. Stir constantly during cooking with a wooden spoon.
- Boiling sugar can cause serious burns. Use caution when handling hot sugar.
Enid Donaldson, The Real Taste of Jamaica. Warwick Publishing 2000