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West Indian Black Cake – Packing A Punch!

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There is nothing that says Christmas (to me) more than a well made West Indian Black Cake. A slice of this cake and a Coke and off I go by myself to slowly enjoy this piece of heaven.

This confection is a potent addition to any sweet table. Not everyone can master the fine art of creating the exact level of moistness needed to ensure success of this traditional recipe. The moistness determines whether you have accomplished the task…or not!

I usually have mine shipped to me as my cake master is not in the area in which I live. I have heard that an exceptional black cake baker exists in my downtown. Josh Labelle, are you really up to the task?

For those of you willing to give it a shot, the recipe is below. Good luck and would love to hear your results. Please share them on the D & A Facebook page! Be careful, this dessert has the ability to knock you on your behind!

1 pound raisins, minced

1 pound prunes, pitted, minced

1 pound dried currants, minced

1 pound glace cherries, minced

6 ounces glace lemon peel, minced

3/4  liter Passover wine

3/4  liter dark rum

2 pounds dark brown sugar

1 cup water

4 1/4 cups cake flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups sweet butter, softened

10 large eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla extract



In a large bowl, mix all the fruits thoroughly with the wine and the rum; let the fruit macerate, covered, at room temperature for at least two weeks.

In a heavy skillet combine half of the brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and gently boil the syrup, swirling the skillet occasionally, for a few minutes, or until it is reduced to 1-3/4 cups.

Let the syrup cool; reserve.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg together into a bowl. In the large bowl of an electric mixer cream together the remaining brown sugar and the butter until it is fluffy; then beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in the vanilla, the flour mixture, and 1-1/3 cups of the burnt sugar syrup, reserving the remaining syrup for another use.

In another large bowl, combine well the flour mixture and the fruit mixture and divide the batter between two buttered and floured 10″ springform pans. Bake the cakes in the middle of a preheated 350 degrees F oven for two hours, or until a tooth pick inserted in the centers comes out with some crumbs adhering to it. (The centers of these cakes will be quite moist.)

Let the cakes cool in the pans on a rack, remove the sides and bottoms of the pans, and wrap the cakes in foil or wax paper. Let the cakes stand at room temperature for a week.


Author: Pamela Sylvan



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