Jamaican Fruit Cake & Traditional Drink at Christmas
What I love most, apart from being with the family at Christmas is the Jamaican fruit cake. The delicious traditional drink made from sorrel adds the finishing touch.
Christmas in Jamaica is exciting, bursting with colours, music and dancing. My gran made the best Christmas cake. I can still smell and taste the rum soaked fruits, covered in rich, dark sponge.
I’m not a baker, but my sister has kept up the Christmas tradition here in the UK. She’s perfected the art of baking the most delicious Christmas fruit cake. No one else in the family can match her sorrel punch, the perfect Christmas drink to compliment the dark moist fruit cake.
Savour the seasonal taste of Jamaica and try your hands at the recipes below. I’m sure you’ll have fun with the preparation. And enjoy eating the delicious fruit cake and drinking the exotic sorrel punch, laced with red label wine and white rum. The Sorrel is hand-picked from trees during November and December.
But, if you live outside of Jamaica, sorrel is available dried in packets. You can buy it from most West Indian food shops. Or shops that stock Caribbean foods and online.
- 1 pound sorrel sepal or 2 cups dried sorrel
- 8 cups of water
- 2 – 3 cups of sugar (sweeten to taste)
- 1 ½ ounces of ginger – cleaned and crushed
- 8 – 12 pimento grains
- 2 teaspoon allspice
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ white rum (optional)
- 1 cup red label wine
- Wash sorrel thoroughly. Use your fingers to lift it from the water.
- Drain and place in a deep stainless steel container.
- Add ginger, pimento grains, allspice and cinnamon to the sorrel.
- Boil the water and pour over the sorrel.
- Cover mixture and leave for 24 hours
- Strain then add sugar to sweeten.
- Add rum and wine (optional).
- Keep in refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.
- Serve with ice.
Mouth-watering Christmas fruit cake Ingredients
- 6 ounces plain flour
- 8 ounces butter
- 8 ounces white sugar
- 2 tablespoons browning
- 4 eggs
- 2 pounds chopped dried mixed fruits
- 4 ounces glaze cherries
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup red label wine (optional)
- ¼ cup white rum (optional)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Grated zest of 1 lime
To get the best results soak mixed fruits in red label wine for at least 3 weeks, or boil fruits in the wine.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degree F (175 degrees C).
- Grease and flour 2 x 9 inch round cake pans.
- Cream the butter, sugar and browning until soft, light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, add wine, rum, vanilla and lime zest.
- Add egg mixture to creamed butter, sugar and browning.
- Stir in mixed fruits.
- Sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Fold ingredients into the batter mixture. Don’t over-beat when mixing.
- Pour into a 9 inch round cake tin.
- Add flour and fold in. Do no over-beat when mixing.
- Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F for 1 ½ hours.
- Insert a knife into the middle of the cake, if it comes out clean the cake is ready to be removed from the oven.
- Leave to cool for 10 minutes before transferring the cake to a wire rack.
What’s your favourite Christmas meal and drink?
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