"If you think you don't like fruit cake give this one a try. It does not need to be aged (but you can if you want). It is a rich, spicy cake filled with delectable dried fruits like figs, dates and multicolored raisins..... almonds or pecans finish off the group. This is a rich dark fruit cake with characterisitic moist slightly sticky texture. You will not be dissapointed! Will win over any fruitcake doubters and be loved by fruitcake fans!"
Chop figs and dates roughly. Mix with raisins and pour 1/4 cup boiling water over top of them. Let stand and soak (covered) for a little while (or while you prepare cake).
Next preheat oven to 350. Prepare 2 loaf pans (or panettone molds or prepared - label removed - coffee cans) by greasing lightly with butter and wrapping with sides and bottom with aluminum foil (see why later).
Put a tea kettle of water on (a fair amount) and bring to a boil.
Set your 3/4 cup of hot water from this aside to cool slightly. Leave rest of water on low.
Next cream butter (soft somewhat) and sugar. Next add eggs and molasses. Mix untill thoroughly incorporated.
Next sift dry ingredients together in separate bowl / cup etc.
Next mix dry mixture and hot water (1/2 to 3/4 cup) enough to make a somewhat thin but not watery batter.... alternately with butter/egg/sugar/molasses mix.
While mixing these two together at some point put in at the rum, rum extracts and vanilla.
Mix all of these ingredients untill thoroughly combined.
Next dust the fruits with a LIGHT dusting of flour. Dust the almonds with a light dusting of flour as well. Fold these into cake mixture making sure fruits aren't stuck together as you toss in. Pour this mixture equally into loaf pans. Set aside.
Prepare bain marie by getting large baking pan (enough to hold some water and the two loaf pans) and filling it with some of the rest of the boiling water untill the water is about 1 - 2 inches or enough to just cover bottom of loaf pans (you don't want water up to high it will splash in loaf) pans are covered in aluminum foil in case there is the tiniest hole to prevent water from seeping in.
Now place loaf pans (with a little space in between) in bain marie. Bake 45 minutes to an hour or a little more or untill knife comes out clean. If after 45 loaf is sticky (inside) but is browning too much around edges lower heat for last few minutes of cooking to 325.
Next remove loaf pans when cooked and sprinkle tops (while hot) with a little rum. When loaf are thoroughly cooled poke holes in top with toothpick and pour more rum on top (leave top uncovered). Cake can be eaten immediately or preferably left to sit overnight or a few hours wirh rum soaking in. If top dries just pour on a little more rum. Occasionally flip cake over and let sit bottom side up to evenly distribute rum (or bottom may get sticky/wet).
Or you can do as the traditional way and let fruit cake age. By starting it around halloween or thanksgiving. In this case prepare fruitcake as you would and traditionally sprinkle rum on it every few days.
Regardless, slice and enjoy! Excellent with christmas tea or coffee and though great alone great with cream cheese or a spread of butter! Enjoy! :)