About this recipe:With its two key ingredients - rum and butter - this Christmas cake recipe ought to be a hit. This is less dense and more cake-like than many Christmas cake recipes. It has become a favourite of my friends and family at Christmas, and is delicious by itself, or covered with a layer of marzipan and icing.
2 tablespoons chopped dried cherries
2 tablespoons chopped dried mango
4 tablespoons dried cranberries
4 tablespoons dried currants
2 tablespoons chopped candied citron
4 tablespoons dark rum
4 tablespoons dark brown soft sugar
8 tablespoons plain flour
1/8 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons treacle
2 tablespoons milk
4 tablespoons chopped pecans
4 tablespoons dark rum, divided
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Soak cherries, mango, cranberries, currants and citron in 4 tablespoons rum for at least 24 hours. Cover tightly, and store at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas mark 3. Butter a 15cm (6 in) round tin, and line with baking parchment.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Whisk together flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon; mix into butter and sugar in three batches, alternating with treacle and milk. Stir in soaked fruit and chopped nuts. Scrape batter into prepared tin.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons rum.
Cut out one piece of parchment and one piece muslin or cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten muslin with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange muslin on top of parchment, and turn cake out onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the muslin closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin, and age for 7 to 10 weeks. If storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage.