Rich Rum Fruit Cake

Packed with fruit and rich with rum and sherry, Rich Rum Fruit Cake more than justifies the time and expense involved in its preparation. Marinate the fruit for

3 days before making the cake for a really extra-rich flavour.

8-

8 oz. raisins

8 oz. cups currants

8 oz. dates, stoned and chopped

3 oz. glace cherries

1 ½ oz. dark rum

5 fl. oz. dry sherry

8 oz. plus

1 tablespoon butter

12 oz. flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoon mixed spice or ground allspice

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

8 oz. sugar

4 eggs

Place the raisins, currants, dates and cherries in a large mixing bowl and pour over the rum and sherry. Cover the bowl and set aside for at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

Preheat the oven to cool 300°F (Gas Mark 2, 150CC).

Using the tablespoon of butter, grease an 8-inch cake tin. Set aside.

Sift the flour, soda, baking powder, mixed spice or allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter with a wooden spoon until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat it into the butter until the mix-ture is creamy and smooth.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure each one is absorbed before adding the next. With a large metal spoon, fold in half the flour mixture. Stir in the fruit mixture. Fold in the remaining flour mix-ture until all the ingredients are thorough-ly combined.

Ideally, Rich Rum Fruit Cake should be kept for j weeks before eating.

Spoon the mixture into the cake tin. Place the tin in the oven and bake the cake for 2 to 2 hours or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Remove the tin from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wrap the cake in aluminium foil and store it for 3 weeks before serving.

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