Rum cake - not just for Christmas
Hands up if you grew up going to dried fruit cake weddings?
As a kid, I used to get so annoyed about the cake.
You’ve been staring at the thing for so long before anyone lets you near it.
You’ve cheered for the happy couple cutting it and taking the first slices. Is it your turn now?
It disappears but returns at some point in the night as trays full of cake wedges in napkins, that thick white fondant icing and marzipan sticking to paper as you try to peel it off to reveal….dried fruit. What?! With varying thicknesses of cake holding it together. Why?! And massive bits of glacé cherry. GAAAAAAAAAH!
Don’t get me wrong - I have had some truly amazing Jamaican rum fruit cakes in my time. But I have never really enjoyed whole raisins in cake. Neither fondant nor marzipan do it for me. And don’t even get me started on glacé cherries.
Where I do keep things classic is on the soaking of the raisins. Every child of Caribbean heritage will have a childhood memory of items, often food, kept in reused containers - be it biscuit tins, Jacob's Crackers tubs or soft serve ice cream containers. In our ice cream tubs, it was always raisins floating in prodigious quantities of Wray and Nephew. I use Kingston 62 rum from the Appleton Estate, but now I have my own recycled containers of dried raisins stewing. I blitz them in my food processor into a beautifully rummy paste, so there's not a whole raisin in sight.
Jamaican Rum is now on the menu full time - we don't just eat it at Christmas, and you should get the chance to have it all year round, too.