½ pound currants, minced
½ pound raisins
½ pound sultanas, minced
½ pound seeded prunes
½ pound cherries cut into small pieces
¼ pound mixed peel, chopped fine
1 bottle (25 ounces) grape juice
2 ounces almonds, finely chopped
¼ pound brown sugar
¼ cup hot water
½ pound flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
½ pound fresh butter
½ pound fine brown sugar or granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- The day before making the cake, mince together currants, raisins, sultanas, seeded prunes, cherries and mixed peel; pour grape juice over all. Blend. Cover the bowl and let stand. (The fruit can be soaked weeks in advance, but more grape juice will be required.) Blend fruits thoroughly with almonds.
- Butter and prepare for steaming large cake pans or large pudding molds; if cake is to be baked, line the pan or mold with 3 layers of greased paper.
- Put ¼ pound brown sugar into strong-bottomed aluminum or iron pot; heat, stirring briskly until it liquefies and becomes dark golden in color.
- Remove from heat and add hot water, stirring briskly.
- Return to heat. Blend until there is as even consistency. Remove from heat and cool.
- The caramel coloring should be thick, but it must be able to pour. A little more hot water may be added, if necessary. Set aside.
- Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon together four times.
- Cream butter and beat in sugar gradually. Continue until sugar grains are dissolved and mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla and blend well.
- Stir dry mixture into butter mixture.
- Add caramel coloring to fruit and fold fruit into butter mixture.
- Whip eggs until light and thick enough to form a ribbon when beater is withdrawn. Cut and fold in mixture. Add a little flour if mixture shows signs of curdling.
- If cake is to be baked: Turn mixture into prepared pans or molds and bake in slow oven 300° to 325° F for about 2 hours.
- If cake is to be steamed: Fill molds 2/3 full. Put on covers; place molds on trivets or stands in pot containing boiling water that comes halfway up around the molds. Keep water at boiling point; add boiling water as needed. Remove from steamer and set in cold for a few seconds before turning out of mold. Set in oven a few minutes and dry a little.