Caramel colouring Edit
The day before cake is to be made, mince currants, raisins, pitted prunes, add finely cut mixed peel and the chopped maraschino cherries.
Pour the rum over this mixture, then soak the mixture for at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Caramel colouring Edit
Put brown sugar in a heavy bottomed pan over heat and, while stirring, let the sugar liquefy.
Cook until syrup is dark golden brown, do not let the syrup burn.
Take pan off the heat and add ¼ cup boiling water, stirring briskly.
Return to heat until sugar and water blends easily.
Take off and cool.
Bottle and store until ready for use.
On the day Edit
On the day the cake is to be made, grease and line buttered baking tins with buttered greaseproof paper or butter pudding moulds.
Sift dry ingredients together four times, break eggs and put into earthenware mixing bowl. Nb: accurate measurements are essential.
Gradually cream the butter, and sugar and continue creaming until sugar grains are dissolved and mixture is light and fluffy.
Stir in soaked fruit, the finely chopped nuts, the caramel colouring, and blend evenly.
Add a small amount at a time to the creamed butter and sugar and repeat, beating well after each addition, until all has been used up.
Whip eggs until thick, and fold into fruit mixture.
Add sifted dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, repeat until all has been used up and stir only until well blended.
Do not over- mix.
Pile lightly into prepared tins and bake in a very slow oven, 200°F.
For 1 hour, reduce to 175°F.
And continue baking until cake shrinks from sides of pan.
To test, insert a skewer in centre of cake.
Leave in tins to cool, for 24 hours.
Cakes may be wrapped in rum soaked cloth and stored to ripen.
Put sugar and water which has been stirred together to cook, stirring only until sugar grains are dissolved.
Add cream of tartar, cook until syrup spins a thread; when syrup shows signs of getting heavy, start beating egg whites which must be beaten until stiff and can stand in peaks, pour hot syrup in a continuous stream over beaten egg whites and beat until thick mixture loses its sheen.
Ice the cake if desired, and decorate to suit occasion.
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