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Today is Sunday, February 06, 2011, the late Bob Marley’s birthday, (the air waves are playing nothing but his music, fabulous), and I have just finished cooking Sunday dinner including a Jamaican fruit cake. I know it’s not Christmas but with the discovery of ‘Annilu’ this Christmas, baking Jamaican Fruit cakes has become a ‘breeze’.
I’m the first to tell you that baking is an art form, you either have it or you don’t. Unfortunately I don’t. So no need to tell you how stressed out I am every Christmas when it’s expected that you bake Christmas cake or pudding. Over the years luckily for me I have two great, gifted girl friends that bale me out each year by ensuing that I get Christmas cake for my house.
Well this year, I went to the supermarket one day and they were promoting a Jamaican Fruit cake mix, Annilu. My first thought was, ‘that can’t taste good’. Fruit cake and cake mix don’t go together. I was encouraged to sample and I must say I was impressed. I bought a box determined to prove that surely they must have added more for the sample that they made me test. Well, after baking that first box, I haven’t looked back. It really tastes like fruit cake. My husband could not believe that it came from a box.
Now, I’m a pro, It takes me ten (10) minutes to put it all together, the dry and wet mix, 3 eggs and 1/4lb of butter. I add a bit more fruits as I like to bite into them and the mix blends them out completely. I sometimes add chopped nuts for variation and if I don’t expect children I spice it up by adding more white rum. Another trick my friend shared was to add strawberry jam, which also spruces up the flavor. Then in the oven for 1 hour and you’re done.
So now I bake fruit cakes whenever I like. No more major production. Mark you, there is nothing like a start from scratch Jamaican fruit cake from someone who has the gift and can really bake, but for others like me, Annilu is a god sent.