We all know that the typical Aussie Christmas is a far-cry from the snow-capped version of the festive season we see in the movies and hear about in Christmas carols.
Down Under we're much more likely to fire up the BBQ than roast chestnuts over an open fire, and when it's 30+ degrees outside, it's safe to say Jack Frost is the last thing nipping at our nose.
But despite the differences, Australians have done a bang-up job of creating our own festive traditions, particularly when it comes to food.
We've made Christmas our own with the epic seafood platter, deliciously fresh salads and yummy pavlova. But now it's time to have some fun and spice up some traditional favourites, drawing on the inspiration from a fellow tropical island nation, Jamaica.
Sometimes traditions need a brandy-infused, island-style makeover. Cue the Dark Jamaican Christmas Cake, a festive treat with a history as rich and flavoursome as its rum.
Packed full of yummy fruit and zingy, flavoursome spices, you'll love Jamaica Blue's take on the humble dessert.
Recipes courtesy of the Jamaica Blue Christmas menu.
150ml - Brandy
½ tsp - Cinnamon – ground
½ tsp - Nutmeg – ground
½ tsp - Cloves – ground
½ tsp - Salt
1 ½ tsp - Vanilla essence
1 tbsp. - Brown sugar
400g - Fruit mincemeat (good quality one from the supermarket)
110g - Prunes - pitted & roughly chopped
50g - Glace cherries – roughly chopped
175g - Dried mixed fruit
50g - Almonds - slivered
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one orange
For the Cake:
250g - Self raising flour
2 tsp - Baking powder
250g - Brown sugar
250g - Butter
3 - Eggs
36 - Glace cherries
¼ cup Dried cranberries
2 - Egg whites
420g - Icing sugar
20mls - Hot water
Pre – soak fruit and spices overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours.
Heat oven to 170C.
Grease well 9-holes of a 12 cup loose base round dessert pan – cup 7.5cm x 5cm – pan 39cm x 28cm) Or alternatively Texan muffin pans can be used.
Sift the flour & baking powder into a large bowl.
Then add the butter, sugar and eggs. Beat with an electric beater until everything is smooth and fluffy.
Now gradually fold in the pre-soaked fruit mixture.
Spoon into prepared holes.
Bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 40 minutes.
Place the egg whites in a bowl.
Use a whisk to lightly beat the egg whites until foamy.
Sift icing sugar over the egg whites and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add hot
water for correct consistency.
Place four glace cherries onto the cake tops. Then sprinkle each with the dried cranberries.
Drizzle icing over all the little cakes allowing it to run slightly. Allow to set for 10 minutes.
Store cake in an airtight container in the fridge.