|Could be days - months, even!!
450g. / 1
lb. / 2 cups currants
450g. / 1 lb. / 2 cups raisins
225g. / 8 oz. / 1 cup prunes, stoned
115g. / 4 oz. / 2/3 cup mixed peel
400g. / 14 oz. / 2-1/4 cups dark soft brown sugar
5 ml. / 1
90 ml. / 6 teaspoons rum, plus more if needed
300 ml. / 1/2 pint / 1-1/4 cups sherry, plus more if needed
450 g. / 1 lb. / 2 cups softened butter
10 eggs, beaten
450 g. / 1 lb. / 4 cups self-raising flour
5 ml. / 1teaspoon vanilla essence
1 Wash the currants,
raisins, prunes and mixed peel, then pat dry. Place in a food processor and process until
finely chopped. Transfer to a large clean jar or bowl, add 115g / 4 oz. of the sugar, the
mixed spice, rum and sherry. Mix very well and then cover with a lid and set aside for
anything from 2 weeks to 3 months - the longer it is left, the better the flavor will
|2 Stir the fruit mixture
occasionally and keep covered, adding more alcohol, if you like.
|3 Preheat the oven to 140
degrees C / 325 degrees F / Gas Mark 3. Grease and line a round cake tin with a double
layer of greaseproof paper.
|4 Sift the flour and set
aside. Cream together the butter and remaining sugar, and beat in the eggs until the
mixture is smooth and creamy.
|5 Add the fruit mixture,
then gradually stir in the flour and vanilla essence. Mix well, adding 15-30 ml. / 1-2
tbsp. sherry if the mixture is too stiff; it should just fall off the back of tghe spoon,
but should not be too runny.
|6 Spoon the mixture into
the prepared tin, cover loosely with foil and bake for about 2-1/2 hours until the cake is
firm and springy. Leave to cool in the tin overnight, then sprinkle with more rum if the
cake is not to be used immediately. Wrap the cake in foil to keep it moist.
the dried fruits are chopped in a food processor, they can be marinated whole, if
preferred. If you don't have enough time to marinate the fruit, simmer the fruit in the
alcohol mixture for about 30 minutes and leave overnight.
very rich cake is eaten at Christmas, weddings and other special occasions. It is known as
Black Cake because, traditionally, the recipe usually uses burnt sugar.