Macerated Fruit mixture (quantity for 2 cakes)
450g prunes, pitted
225g red glace cherries
115g mixed peel
750ml bottle port wine
750ml bottle Dark Rum
Keep one extra bottle rum on hand
4 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp port wine
Alcohol mixture to pour on top
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup cherry brandy
500g unsalted butter, softened
450g sugar, demerara brown or white (2 cups)
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp mixed essence
3 cups macerated fruit mixture, heaped
3 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground clove
¼ cup caramel cooking sauce
Wash and dry all fruits. Mix together in a large bowl. Place fruits a little at a time in a food processor. Add enough wine to grind fruits to a paste. Repeat process until fruits have been macerated. Fruit mixture should not be too liquidy.
Add 3 cups dark rum. Stir and let mixture soak at minimum one week or even one year+. Adding more wine periodically.
Make browning. If using store-bought burnt sugar, skip this step. Place sugar in a small saucepan. On low heat turn sugar with a spoon until it begins to caramelize. Once dark brown, add wine and remove from heat. Let cool completely.
Preheat oven to 150C. Line two 8in baking pans with parchment paper. Trim paper and set aside.
Bring eggs and butter to room temperature. Crack all eggs into a bowl, set aside In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients, set aside.
In deep mixing bowl or stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale. Add eggs one at a time. Blend well. Transfer into a large mixing bowl. Add allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. Next add orange and lemon zest.
Next, add caramel cooking sauce, vanilla extract and macerated fruit mixture (3 heaping cups) a little at a time, continue blending.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl combine flour and baking powder.
Add flour mixture a little at a time. Add 1 tbsp burnt sugar at a time until desired color is achieved. If using store bought burnt sugar, 4 tbsp should suffice for a very dark cake. Mix well.
Pour batter into lined cake pans. Bake for 2-2.5 hours. When cake comes out of oven, pour alcohol mixture on top. When cool, cover cake with plastic wrap.
After removing cake from oven, it may seem it is undercooked. Do not be alarmed as this is how it is supposed to be. After 2-3 days the texture will change.