Crazy Jamaica Zooming in on Jamaica

    Try Tasty JAMAICAN FRUIT CAKES AND RUM CAKES (from Island Breeze Ltd)


    Jamaican fruit cake recipeAdapted from the Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook

    Time: 4 hours, plus 2 days’ marinading
    1 pound prunes
    1 pound dark raisins
    1/2 pound golden raisins
    1 pound currants
    1 1/2 pounds dried cherries, or 1 pound dried cherries plus 1/2 pound glacé cherries
    1/4 pound mixed candied citrus peel
    2 cups dark rum; more for brushing cake
    1 1/2 cups cherry brandy or Manischewitz Concord grape wine; more for grinding fruit
    1/4 pound blanched almonds
    1 cup white or light brown sugar for burning, or 1/4 cup dark molasses or cane syrup; more molasses for coloring batter
    4 sticks (1 pound) butter; more for buttering pans
    1 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) light or dark brown sugar
    10 eggs
    Zest of 2 limes
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters
    4 cups (1 pound) all-purpose flour
    4 teaspoons baking powder
    2 teaspoons cinnamon.

    1. At least 2 days before baking, combine prunes, raisins, currants, cherries, candied peel, rum and brandy in a glass jar or sturdy plastic container. Cover tightly; shake or stir occasionally.
    2. When ready to bake, put soaked fruit and almonds in a blender or food processor; work in batches that the machine can handle. Grind to a rough paste, leaving some chunks of fruit intact. Add a little brandy or wine if needed to loosen mixture in the machine.
    3. If burning sugar, place a deep, heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Add 1 cup white or light brown sugar, and melt, stirring with a wooden spoon. Stir, letting sugar darken. (It will smoke.) When sugar is almost black, stir in 1/4 cup boiling water. (It will splatter.) Turn off heat.
    4. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Butter three 9-inch or four 8-inch cake pans; line bottoms with a double layer of parchment or wax paper.
    5. In a mixer, cream butter and 1 pound light or dark brown sugar until smooth and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, then lime zest, vanilla and bitters. Transfer mixture to a very large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Fold dry ingredients into butter mixture. Stir in fruit paste and 1/4 cup burnt sugar or molasses. Batter should be a medium-dark brown; if too light, add a tablespoon or two of burnt sugar or molasses.
    6. Divide among prepared pans; cakes will not rise much, so fill pans almost to top. Bake 1 hour, and reduce heat to 225 degrees; bake 2 to 3 hours longer, until a tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove to a rack.
    7. While cakes are hot, brush tops with rum and let soak in. Repeat while cakes cool; they will absorb about 4 tablespoons total. When cakes are completely cool, they can be turned out and served. To keep longer, wrap cakes tightly in wax or parchment paper, then in foil. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 1 month.
    Yield: 3 or 4 cakes, about 4 dozen servings.


    Try Tasty JAMAICAN FRUIT CAKES AND RUM CAKES (from Island Breeze Ltd)



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