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Christmas in Jamaica is an extraordinary holiday season. It is filled with non-stop celebrations, special treats, entertainment, parties, festivals, church worship, and happy gatherings of friends and family.
Moreover, people go all out to make food served during this time an extra special occasion.
Part of this experience is the baking and serving of a specially made Christmas cake.
Here is how this special Christmas delight is prepared:
2 lbs. raisins
1/2 lb. currants
1 lb. prunes
1/2 lb. cherries
1/4 lb. dates
1/4 lb. mixed peel
Grated rind of 1 green lime
Burnt sugar for coloring
2 tsp. vanilla
1 pt. rum
1 pt. port wine
1 lb. butter
3/4 lb. dark sugar
1/2 lb. flour
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of cloves
1 pt. sherry
Chop the prunes and dates with scissors and place in a mixing bowl with the raisins and sultanas. Place all fruit in a large jar, omitting nuts. Pour liquor on fruit and steep for at least a week. Do not soak the cherries.
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.
Pour batter into a well-greased and heavily lined baking tin or cake basin. Cover tightly and steam for at least 4 hours. The cake may also be best, covered, in a 250 degree oven and baked for at least 4 hours.
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.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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