[Balboa, Cuidad de Panamá, Rep. of Panamá; 08º 56'N/079º 33 W

Robin and Michele of the Aussie boat Warrior weren't actually in Balboa for Christmas (they had escaped to Islas Las Perlas) but they saved a good chunk of this traditional cake for us so we could share in their holiday cheer!


8 oz butter

8 oz brown sugar

5 eggs

4 level teaspoons mixed spice

1 level teaspoon grated nutmeg

1 level teaspoon cinnamon

1 level teaspoon baking powder

8 oz seeded raisins

12 oz sultanas

4 oz currents

12 oz plain flour

2 oz mixed peel

2 oz cherries glace

2 oz almonds

1/4 cup rum

Juice and rind of one orange

1 level teaspoon coffee powder

1 tablespoon caramel

Prepare fruit. Cut raisins and cherries in halves.

Blanch almonds and cut into fine strips.

Mix all fruits together.

Sift flour, baking powder and spices.

Beat butter and sugar to a cream.

Beat all the eggs in a separate bowl and add to mixture gradually.

Add caramel, coffee and grated orange rind.

Gradually add dry ingredients.

Add fruit, juice and rum and mix well.

Spoon into a paper lined tin, hollow out center a wee bit.

Smooth top over with back of a wet spoon or palm of hand.

Place in moderate oven 375°.

After 30 minutes lower temperature to 300°.

After another hour drop temperature to 250°

Continue baking until cake is cooked. (Skewer comes out clean).

Allow to cool in tin.