February 24, 2011

Birthday Black Cake

A friend of mine requested a traditional Jamaican Black Cake for her husband's 35th birthday.  I had baked this previously, but decided to try a different recipe this time around.  With this cake I used fruit that was soaked for two months, I added bread crumbs to the recipe and an extra tablespoon of browning.

  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter
  • 1/2 pound light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of browning
  • 6 ounces bread crumbs
  • 6 ounces flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rum
  • 1 pint Port
  • 4 cups mixed marinated fruit, recipe follows, squeezed and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla, lime juice, and lime zest. Add the eggs 1 at a time, and incorporate well. Combine bread crumbs, flour, all the spices, baking powder, and salt. Combine rum and port. Add flour mixture alternately with rum/port mixture into the batter. Fold in the chopped marinated fruit.
Prepare 1 (8-inch) cake pan. Fill the pan 3/4 of the way and bake until a skewer comes out of the center of the cake clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Mixed Marinated Fruit:
  • 1 pound golden raisins
  • 4 ounces mixed peel
  • 4 ounces cherries
  • 1/2 pound prunes (pitted), cut in quarters or eighths, depending on size
  • Jamaican white rum
  • Passover wine
Grind raisins, prunes, mixed peel, and cherries and put in a glass jar and cover with mixture of equal parts Jamaican white rum and passover wine. Cover with a tight fitting lid, label, and date the jar. Put in a cool, dry cupboard. From time to time, check the fruits to see if more liquor is needed, as the fruits will plump and soak up the liquid.
Keep the fruit covered in liquor. It is best to allow the fruit to marinate for at least 1 month for best flavor.

This cake was covered with a delicious royal icing.

Beat 2 egg whites to a froth. Add 1 pound confectioners sugar, 1 tsp lemon juice a little at a time on low speed.  DO NOT LEAVE UNUSED ICING UNATTENDED...IF YOU HAVE TO STOP, MAKE SURE IT IS COVERED WITH DAMP PAPER TOWELS, OR COVERED AND REFRIGERATED. This icing hardens and dries up quickly. A second layer of icing may be applied when the first has dried. Decorate as desired.

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