A Vegetarian Christmas


Vegetarian Jamaican Black Fruitcake

1 cup all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinammon

1 teaspoon mixed spice or pumpkin spice

1/3 cup olive oil (vegetable oil or softened shortening)

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 cups to 2 cups of fruit mixture

1 tablespoon vanilla

2 tablespoons unsulphered molasses (or Jamaican browning colouring)

2 tablespoons rum (substitute brandy or dark fruit juice)

1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice

Fruit mixture

1/3 cup raisins

1/3 cup currants

1/4 cup prunes (pitted)

1 1/2 cups Red Label Wine (port, fruit wine or prune wine)

Prepare fruits

1. Usually cooks soak fruits a year in advance. This makes the fruits mellow and results in a different flavour to the cakes. If you have presoaked fruits, then simply use in recipe as required.

2. If fruits are not prepared, steam fruits in a large saucepan for 40 minutes with the wine. This allows the fruits to soften and absorb the flavours of the wine. Stir occasionally to prevent the fruits burning. Cool mixture.

3. Purée the fruit mixture using the purée feature of your blender or place in a food processor. Reserve some of the fruits whole as per your preference.

Assembling cake

1. Preheat oven to 325°F/160°C.

2. Sift the first six ingredients into a bowl while in another large bowl, using a hand mixer, mix the oil for 30 seconds and then mix in the sugar until well combined.

3. Combine the fruit mixture with the rum, vanilla and molasses. Using a wooden spoon, incorporate the fruit mixture and the flour alternately with the oil mixture until batter is smooth.

4. Stir in the vinegar and immediately pour into a prepared 6-inch or 7-inch greased and lined baking pan.

5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.