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Black Fruit Cake

1 1/2 lb superfine sugar
1 1/2 lb butter
24 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Jamaican rum
1 1/2 lbs sifted flour
2 lbs raisins
2 lbs Zante currants, washed and dried
1 lb preserved citron, slice thin
1/4 oz ground cloves
1 1/2 lb preserved orange and lemon peel
3 whole nutmegs, grated
1/2 oz (1 Tbsp) ground mace
1/2 oz powdered cinnamon

Cream together powdered sugar and butter. Stir eggs, rum and flour
into the above. Stir and beat this mixture well and then add the
remaining ingredients. Mix all ingredients together very well and
bake in a well-buttered mold or pan for 5 1/2 hours at a slow heat.

To quote the words of the century old recipe: "This cake is vastly
improved by age -- those intended for Christmas festivities should
be made about the first of October; then put cake in a round tin
box half and inch larger in diameter than the cake; then pour over
it a bottle of the best Brandy, mixed with half a pint of pure
lemon, raspberry, strawberry or simple syrup and one or more bottles
of Champagne. Now put on lid and have it carefully soldered on, so
as to be perfectly air tight. Put it away in your storeroom and
let it stand until Christmas, only reversing the box occasionally
in order that the liquors may permeate the cake thoroughly. This
heroic treatment causes the ingredients to amalgamate and the
flavors to harmonize and blend more freely; and when on Christmas
Day you bring out this hermit, after doing a 3 months' penance in
a dark cell, it will come out rich, succulent and unctuous; you
will not only have a luxury 'fit to set' before a king or before
the Emperor of India, but fit to crown a feast of the very Gods
themselves on High Olympus' top" To bring this ancient recipe up
to date, you can use the electric mixer and bake in several pans
instead of one large one. Also candied pineapple can be used. THIS


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