Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year!

Hello all, so sorry I haven't been blogging for a while. I totally forgot that Christmas was around the corner, and in a weak moment, I said 'yes' to making Caribbean fruit cake for hubster. Please note that Caribbean fruit cake or black cake is not like English fruit cake, nor German stollen. It's a bit more complicated than that, and also, we don't have hard fruits on top of the cake, or coloured bits and lumps in the cake. Most people tend to puree the fruits and alcohol before adding it to the mixture. It's tastier that way, and you don't have to spent time picking lumps of fruit from one's slices.

First, you have to get dried fruit (currants, raisins, orange peel, etc), and put in a jar, fill to the brim with a mixture of sherry, port, and some 'coloured rum', like Morgan's from Barbados or Appleton from Jamaica and soak this mixture for a year. This prolonged soaking softens the fruit, and plumps them up with flavour. It also gives the fruit cake its distinct moist texture.

Then, on the day of baking, you have to make your own wax paper to line the cake tins by getting brown paper (the kind used to wrap packages), and spread butter or margarine on said brown paper until it gets soft and translucent with the butter grease. Then mix basic ingredients for pound cake, and blend fruit mixture till chunky and add to the batter. Add browning (which is just carmelised sugar burnt on the stove), bake for an hour, cool, and put in a cool (not cold!) place at least for five days before eating. You add a mixture (like a capful) of one part rum to two parts wine once a month if you wish to keep some beyond the Christmas.


It's a lot of work to get Caribbean fruit cake done, and I don't really eat it to boot. But my Mum makes good fruit cake, and I mugged her recipe. The New York Times has a great article on Caribbean fruit cake, and a cool slide show to boot.

Hope your Christmas was lovely and bright. I myself didn't have much in terms of gifts, but a lot of gifts tend to be ill thought out and seems destined for landfill anyway, so the hubby and I decided to have a hiatus for the Yule.

So, what are your new year's resolutions? I'm following Penelope Trunk's advice and am just making one. According to the studies she quotes, if you just focus on one, you tend to make little adjustments to your life that benefits it as a whole.

So mine is :I'm going to stop biting my nails.

It means that I have to knit more. Yayyyy.

I'm almost finished with the leafy Phildar jumper. But that is for another post. I have to backstitch the neckline in place, only to find that I hate backstitch.

More anon.

1 comment:

JayJay said...

Wow, thanks for posting about Caribbean fruit cake! My hubby really loves it as well (he is from Trinidad) and I want to make it for him for his birthday in February. The fruit won't soak for a year, but a month or so will have to do this time. I have a recipe for the Trini version and it has more rum and brandy instead of port and sherry. As long as it's booze, I don't think it matters much though. ;)