There is no denying Christmas is on it’s way and for us bakey types so comes one of the busiest times of the year.
But if there is one thing that I must do is bake a Christmas cake, not only for customers but I am now the nominated person with the responsibility of baking the Christmas cake for the Donald Family.
You see I grew up with a mother that cooked and baked up a storm,she likes to try most styles of cooking and even now when she spots a recipe she likes she has ago, never follows the recipe but likes to adapt it.
Mum also put her hand to alot of Jamaican bakes such as Toto, Bula cake, Caribbean bun, sweet potato pone, the list goes on, (now you can see where I picked it up the cook/bake habit)
But if there is one thing I wanted to attempt to bake it was the Caribbean rum cake.
Every Year a week or so before Christmas Day my mum would get her bake on, she would pull out the big jar filled to the brim with dark fruit swimming in a potent mix of Wray and Nephew White Rum and red QC wine waiting to be blitzed and turned into something amazing, and the smell when you took the lid off well it could knock you out, and even today the smell transports me right back.
So once I had really got into the baking I decided it was my turn.
So with my mums recipe and the big jar I decided it was time for me to try my hand at this special cake.
A brief history about this rum cake is that for any Jamaican family wedding, christening, birthday and Christmas someone somewhere will either make or bring a rum cake.
I have had some delicious ones and some not so, so I was determined mine would be everything I want in a rum cake, spicey, with just enough rum with a nice cake crumb and not a pudding texture.
My first few attempts were not quite right following mums recipe I decided she must have magic fingers as it just wasn’t the same, so I got to researching and playing and baked several different batches with the family and notably my mum as tester.
Finally I got it, a combination of my mums recipe and some tweaks from me worked a treat, the cake turned out with a nice flavour and a good crumb, and colour I’d cracked it, pleased as punch.
So If your wondering what makes it different from a more traditional style cake, well
Traditional fruit cake- usually very rich in fruit, with the fruit left whole and steeped overnight in brandy.
This style cake can be left for up-to three
Months while you feed it with brandy
Rum cake- a semi fruit cake that is sometimes called Black cake, the fruit is steeped for a minimum of 3 months but upto a year and then the fruit is puréed before adding to the cake batter giving a darker colour cake. Can be baked about 2 weeks before needed but personally I think it only needs a couple days to develope it’s flavour
This year I’ve also made some of the traditional style Christmas cake but substituted brandy for whiskey and added fresh orange juice and grated orange rind, the smell while baking was sublime.
So this year the big jar will be getting empty by the day, but not to worry a second jar is already being prepped for 2014.
I will be launching this years Xmas collection of cakes and cupcakes on 1st December on my facebook page so if you fancy trying some rum cake just get in touch, and remember don’t eat and drive.