My husbands family is from Trinidad and traditionally cakes for weddings/birthdays are black cake. I make black cake for Christmas but I don't cover it at all.
My SIL's birthday is in a couple of weeks and she wants me to ice her birthday cake. Someone else has made the cake itself and I'm fine with that. She says I don't need to do the marzipan and such, but just "ice it" as she says. She doesn't want it covered with royal icing either.
Has anyone ever used a buttercream type icing on a fruit/black cake before?
I come from the American tradition that thinks that ANY covering on a fruitcake is overkill, so I may not be the one to ask, but I think buttercream would be just too much. What about fondant, which you can peel off before eating the cake? Or even marzipan with nothing else on top but a little bit of decoration, if you like. Since my mother often served fruitcake with a small dollop of whipped cream, I would think about icing the whole thing in stabilized whipped cream, a much lighter covering for an already heavy cake. I'd be really interested to know what you decide.
We eat spice (dark) fruit cake with a white cheese such as wensleydale, (UK). So maybe a cream cheese icing woud be nice, but you would need to cover this last minute as the colour from the soaked fruit will bleed into the icing if you dont seal it. You could coat the cake in egg white(and leave to dry) to help seal it, but mazipaning it even thinly would be best. Would love to know what you do actually do!
Wow someone on CC with Trinidadian connections! I am a Trinidadian living IN Trinidad and ALL our fruit cakes made here are covered in marzipan or royal icing. Since our cakes are well SOAKED with rum and cherry brandy, I have to use marzipan to contain the moisture from the cake or it seeps through and stains the fondant. Depends on if you soak your cake after baked. We all do!
Just out of curiosity, I looked up the recipe for West Indian black cake. I think it's going to be my new Christmas cake recipe - it looks delicious!
The fondant idea may sound like a nice one, however, it is absolutely a horrible idea for black cake - it will bleed through/stain the fondant. Your best bet is to use a butter cream that is light and not too sweet, in the past I have used a tangy lemon one and found it to work quite well for an event for some Belizeans.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions/input.
@marianna46 - my mother used to make fruit cake (not the same as the one I make) and cover it with royal icing. Back then I didn't like fruit cake. LOL. It took me a couple of years of making it before my hubby said "that taste like Mom's"...I knew I'd hit the jackpot then. LOL. Even my MIL wants mine, doesn't even make it anymore.
@TMC22 - I agree that the cake would have to have something covering it before the icing, if I go with some sort of buttercream
@Pearl645 - there are lots of people on here with Trinidadian connections. I have yet to actually visit T&T though. My cakes are definitely well soaked. I can only assume the one I've been given to cover has also been soaked. So I agree, something to keep that moisture in is needed.
CakeDolphin - fondant is the traditional covering for black/fruit cake, but it's never put directly on the cake. There's always a think layer of marzipan first to seal the cake, and then it's covered with fondant.
I'm still leery of a buttercream icing. I think I'm going to have to try with some of my own cake which I still have from Christmas (love that it lasts so long!) and see how it goes. The last cake I made that was covered in marzipan and fondant was for my FIL birthday which was before I was into caking. I'm going to check with the friend who covered the cake (I baked it) and see what she thinks as she works with black cake a lot.
I will let you all know what I end up doing.
This black cake sounds intriguing. Anyone willing to share a recipe? I plan to make a regular fruit cake soon in order for it to be ready by Easter. I could go ahead and bake this along with it since it seems they may be similar with respect to ingredients.
So the birthday party is today. I was able to convince her that an icing just wasn't going to work, so I covered the cake in marzipan and then fondant. I've done lots of fondant cakes, but this was the first time with marzipan. I made a number roses and rosebuds out of gumpaste. It's been a year or two since I've at and made a rose so I just went with the basic Wilton Rose which I enjoy making. I made them in yellow and then dusted them lightly with a little yellow, orange or red non-toxic chalk and then steamed them to set the colour. Except for my sucky writing (I need practice) I'm quite pleased with the finished cake.
Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions.
Now that's really lovely, pmarks0! I've never decorated a fruitcake before, but looking at your cake I want to try.
Thank you Marianna. Marzipan is new for me, but with a few pointers from a friend, it was easier than I expected.