Saturday, July 14, 2012

Trinidad Black Cake

                                       Trinidad Black Cake
Black cake is traditionally served at Christmas and at Weddings, throughout the Caribbean.
It's a rich, flavorful, rum infused fruitcake, blackened by burnt sugar syrup, that adds a distinct caramel flavor to the batter.
In Trinidad, it is customary, to allow the fruit to soak for a year, before using it.
There is also a quick soak method, where the fruit is simmered in 1-1/2 cups rum and 1/2 cup cherry brandy for 10 minutes, then cooled before using.
There a many variations of this cake. Some are moist and dense, some are cake like. This is a moist version.

For the Fruit:
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lime
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup dried cherries- I used a 6oz. package
1 cup dried prunes-halved
1 cup currants
1cup raisins
1/2 vanilla bean-split
1cinnamon stick
1-star anise pod or 1/4tsp. ground
1/2 cup cherry brandy
A fifth of spiced rum- you will use about 3/4 of the bottle
A large jar with a lid

 Preparing the fruit:
Split the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the jar, then drop in the bean.
Add the zest, fruits and spices to a large jar.
Pour in the brandy plus enough rum to cover the fruit.
Place the lid and allow it to steep for at least 3 weeks.
This time I thought I would try peeling the fruits, and cutting them into tiny julienne slices, like you find in candied citron.

      Even though this will be put in a food processor later, I halve the prunes.

Add everything to a large jar, (split the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the jar, then drop in the bean). Place the lid, and steep at least 3 weeks. This old, gallon pickle jar has gotten a lot of use over the years. It's made lots of vinegars and liqueurs. 3 of my grandchildren, once ate an ENTIRE GALLON of pickles, in one weekend. I could not believe it. All that salt! I don't buy them pickles anymore, SHeesh!

Place a colander over a bowl and strain the fruit, reserving the liquid for basting on the finished cake. Add the fruit, a little at a time, to a food processor, and pulse until you have a chunky paste. set aside. This looks a bit like poo, but it smells amazing, and intoxicating! I wound up with about 3 cups of fruit, and 1/4 cup leftover juices. The fruit absorbed the rest.

For the cake: Adapted from a recipe by Ramin Ganeshram .
Make the burnt sugar syrup ahead of time, so it has a chance to cool before use.
2cups flour
2tsp. baking powder
1tsp. cinnamon
1/4tsp. nutmeg
a pinch of allspice
2 sicks of butter-softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2tsp. almond extract
1/2tsp. vanilla extract
All of the recipe for Burnt sugar syrup
All of the processed fruit
1/2cup slivered almond
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2-one gallon storage bags

Preheat the oven to 350*
Spray 2 round cake pans with cooking spray.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Set aside.
Add the butter and sugar to a large bowl. Beat until fluffy
Add the vanilla and almond extracts, mix to combine.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add all the burnt sugar syrup. Beat into the batter, scraping the sides.
Stir in the fruit and nuts, mix to combine, then beat about a minute.
Stir in the flour mixture, mix to combine, then beat until fluffy.
Divide the batter between the 2 baking pans.
Bake 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 250* bake and additional 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pans about 15 minutes. Brush on the leftover juices from soaking the fruit. or mix together 1/2 cup rum with 1/4 cup cherry brandy.
Let stand until cool.
Remove the cakes from the pans,and put them in the storage bags.
Refrigerate for three days before serving.


  1. Wow I'm honored! thanks for the awesome recipe!