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    Island fruit & rum cake

    by Lara Luck 

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes + soaking and cooling
    • Cooking time: 45 minutes to 55 minutes
    • Total time: 60-70 minutes + soaking and cooling

    Serves: 16


    350g vine fruit mix
    200ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum
    200ml Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum
    200ml Cockburn’s Fine Ruby Port
    2 tsp ground cinnamon
    2 tsp ground nutmeg
    250g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
    100g caster sugar
    100g dark muscovado sugar
    3 Longstock Gold Free Range Eggs
    275g self-raising flour
    1 tbsp ground almonds
    225g jar Opies Cocktail Cherries, plus the syrup
    1½ tsp molasses
    1 tsp almond extract
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tsp baking powder
     Pinch sea salt flakes


    1. Put the dried fruit in a medium airtight container with the dark and white rum, port, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp nutmeg. Cover and soak for a minimum of 72 hours.

    2. Preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas mark 5. Grease and line a round, deep, 18cm tin. Cream the butter and both sugars together. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix in well between each addition. Add the flour, ground almonds and the remaining cinnamon and nutmeg and mix again.

    3. Drain 300g of the soaked fruit (reserve the remaining fruit and soaking liquid) and put in a blender with the cherries and their syrup. Add the molasses and 2 tbsp of the soaking liquid, then the almond and vanilla extracts. Blend to make a coarse paste.

    4. Add the fruit paste to the cake mixture and combine until incorporated. Add the baking powder and salt, then mix again. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

    5. Leave to cool, then turn out of the tin and place the cake upside down on a wire rack.Remove the greaseproof paper and gently pierce the cake several times with a fork. Drizzle over 2-3 tbsp of the rum soaking liquid and allow this to soak in completely. Turn the cake the right way up and cut into slices, to serve with the remaining soaked rum fruits and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if you like.  

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