So, I have a friend who is originally from Grenada. She has mentioned 'black cakes' before, which apparently are very traditional in the caribbean, but not so common in the states. So, I was thinking about trying to make one for her birthday. Here is a recipe that I found online...
Here are my questions:
1) I'm sure with the nuts and fruit, it's not going to be good to carve, but will it be good for stacking?
2) would butter cream work on this, or should I try a different icing?
3) does anyone know how they are traditionally decorated?
If anyone has made one before, I would love to hear any advice or experiences you may have had with them! Thanks!
Yes buttercream worked with it and u can stack it,too. Its just like working with any other cake. Be sure to put lots of wine. Or soak the fruits a months in advance in wine or rum. We love a great black cake, the wine makes it that way or rum. By the way Im from the Island, too
Thanks for the reply! Unfortunately, I only have a week and a half, so I won't be able to soak them for very long. Does the recipe I posted sound right, or do you have a more authentic or better one?
Most dark fruit cakes are usually abit moist and are traditionally covered with almond paste first to seal it. Then you can cover with fondant or royal icing and decorate as you wish. As Lecie said, it's best to soak the fruit (not the nuts) ahead of time or you can steap them on low heat until simmering (stir often as it will burn if left for too long) cool and use.
Fruit cakes taste better the long they sit
Do you soak them at room temperature, or in the fridge? In a sealed container, I assume?
Fruit cakes taste better the long they sit
do you mean the longer they sit after baking?
I have an old cookbook of Mimi Sheraton's called Visions of Sugarplums. Recipes from all countries that celebrate Christmas. I've made the Jamaica Black fruit cake from the book for gifts at Xmas quite a few times. Its always well received.
My recipe is a bit different that the recipe you found so though you might like to check this one out too. I lucked out and found the recipe online on a Jamaican website so didn't have to type it all out. I checked the online recipe against my book and every ingredient is the same. A few unimportant words have been omitted but nothing to do with the recipe itself.
Jamaica Black Fruitcake
Makes two 9-inch loaf cakes or two 8 inch square cakes
The real secret of this cake lies in the soaking of the fruit in the rum- a process that should never take less than four weeks and is even better if it takes four months. In Jamaica, it is quite common for the mixture to be prepared in August. This recipe is adapted from a rare and wonderful old Jamaican book, Cookie's Cookery Book.
2cups dark raisins
2cups golden raisins
1cup dried figs chopped
3/4cup pitted chopped dates
3/4cup cooked, pitted, drained and
2/3cup sliced brandied cherries
1/4cup chopped candied orange peel
1/2cup chopped, toasted blanched almonds
2cups dark rum, preferably Jamaican
1/4cup orange juice
1/4cup brandy from cherries
1cup (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
2cups firmly packed brown sugar
2teaspoons baking powder
1/2teaspoon each powdered cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice
Pinch of salt
Additional rum for sprinkling
Combine all fruits and nuts. Cover with a mixture of rum, orange juice and cherry brandy, adding a little more of each, if necessary, to cover fruit completely. Cover loosely and set in a cool place to mellow as long as you like, at least a week but up to several weeks.
Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Sift flour twice with baking powder, spices and salt.
Resift half of the flour into butter mixture and blend in thoroughly. Add fruits with their soaking liquid and remaining flour. Stir together throughly.
Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Line two 8 inch square or two 9-inch buttered loaf pans with buttered brown paper. Turn batter into pans. Bake for 2 to 21/2 hours, until tester comes out clean. Placing a small pan half full of water on the bottom of the oven for the first hour will keep the cake moist.
Cool cakes in pans for 1 hour, then invert onto rack and peel off paper. Moisten with a little more rum. Cool completely. Store in airtight container and allow to ripen for a month or two. If you like, frost with an almond-flavored icing, or almond paste icing then royal icing.
Variation: Candied cherries and 1/4 cup kirsch or Cherry Herring cand be substituted for brandied cherries.
Thank you all so much for your help! I've decided to save it for when I'll have more time to soak the fruit, instead of doing it for her birthday next weekend.
Yes the longer the cake sits after baking the better the flavors develop.
That recipe looks similar to the English fruit cake, which is traditional at weddings. It should stand up to stacking just fine. Just be sure you use proper support when you stack it. You can use butter cream with the cake, but I wouldn't use too much. But that's all a personal taste thing, obviously.
Does anyone know how I could get a copy of Cookie's Cookery Book?
maybe Joyfull4444 can help as I see her referring to it.