This is my mother's Christmas Rum Cake recipe. Her family was from County Cork and County Limerick. (Its origins may be English or French but either way, it is delicious.) Charms are baked into cake which are similar to fortunes. Each charm signifies something different. If you receive a charm in your piece of cake, that charm will predict your fortune for the coming year such as good luck, betrothal etc. In Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry, Darcy and Father Etienne share this Christmas cake and exchange each other's charms, charms which for them are prophetic. This cake is also included in the Christmas Eve dinner at the plantation outside of New Orleans in The Grand Masquerade.
Christmas Rum Cake 1 cup of walnuts chopped fine 1-181/2 oz. yellow cake mix, leave in powder form 4 eggs 1/2 cup of water 1/2 cup of cooking oil 1/2 cup of rum 3 oz. pkg. of vanilla pudding instant, leave in powder form
Preheat over to 350. Grease and flour a bundt pan or 4 small bundt pans. Mix everything else. Add charms wrapped in paper throughout cake. Bake 4o to 50 min. for small cakes, 1 hour for large bundt cake. Watch carefully. Insert a toothpick into center of cake to check if it as still runny on the inside, if so return to oven. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Prick top and sides of cake(s) with fork and drizzle hot glaze over cake(s) until it is gone. Glaze 1/4 lb. of butter 1/4 cup of water 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup of rum Melt butter in medium size saucepan. Add everything else. Boil 5 min. stirring constantly. Remove from heat. do not cool. Pour hot glaze over cake(s) pricked with holes. Place a snip of artificial holly on the top of the cake when it is cooled. Wrap tightly. Warn guests to beware of the charms and don't break a tooth!
This is a traditional bread served in Ireland on All Hallows Eve and is a bread for traveling. I have seen many recipes where it is fried, like potato pancakes as well. Darcy gives boxty to Adrianna when she leaves Fort Lawrence to return to Ireland.
MADDIE'S IRISH BOXTY BREAD--MADELINE'S CAKES AND DESSERTS from The Minnesota Irish Fair
4 cups of all-purpose flour 4 T. white sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 T. baking powder 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1/2 cup butter softened 1 cup buttermilk or regular or skim milk 1 egg 1 small potato-baked with shell removed and mashed 1/4 cup butter melted for brushing 1/4 cup milk for brushing Preheat oven to 375 degrees(190 C.). Lightly grease a large baking sheet. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, soda, baking powder, salt and butter. Stir in 1 cup of milk and egg and potato. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and 1/4 cup milk and brush loaf before baking. Cut an X into the top of the loaf. Bake 40- 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes clean.