This is a lovely spice cake for the holidays. Unlike some fruit cakes, this one does not have the candied fruits that many people find objectionable. It contains currants, raisins, and abundant spices. This is not a cake that will sit around long.
I make these every year for All Saints Day and often mail them to friends and relatives. In order to help preserve them for shipping, I will put rum in a small spray bottle and coat the surface lightly with rum before boxing them up.
Since today is the feast day of St. Raphael the Archangel, I am baking the cake in a fish mold. In the book of Tobias in the Old Testament, St. Raphael the angel instructs Tobias how to catch a fish and use parts of it to cure various ailments (Tobias Chapter 6).
1 cup currants
1 cup raisins (you can also substitute dried cranberries)
2 cups water plus one cup cold water
½ cup butter
1 2/3 cup organic sugar
1/3 cup organic molasses
spices – 1 teaspoon each of allspice, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom (I use whole spices and grind them fresh in order to get the best flavor)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups AP or low gluten pastry flour blended with 2 teaspoons baking soda
Preheat oven to 350.
Place currants and raisins in a small pot. Cover with two cups hot water and cook about ten minutes. Toward the end of ten minutes, add the butter, sugar, molasses and salt.
Pour contents of pot into stainless or enamel bowl. Add 1 cup cold water to cool. Add spices and stir in one egg. When everything is well blended, gradually stir in the flour/baking soda mix.
Pour batter into generously greased baking form. Bake for approximately one hour or until cake springs back when pressed.
Hint: You may add nuts such as walnuts or pecans. To make the fish scales in the photo, I coated the fish lightly with honey so that the scales would stick.
This cake freezes well.