Trinidad Black Cake (Christmas Cake)
The elements of this fruit cake from Trinidad are prepared on separate days. We have divided it into three sections – the early preparation, caramelizing sugar, which can be done the day before, and the day of cooking. This is a rum cake, a fruit cake, a Christmas cake. Euphoria.
- Two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans or 1 10 inch tube pan.
- 1 pound currants
- 1 pound raisins
- 1 pound prunes
- 1 pound dried figs
- 1 16 ounce jar maraschino cherries, drained
- 1/2 pound mixed peel
- 1/4 pound almonds chopped
- 1 tablespoon angostura bitters
- 2 1/2 cups dark Jamaica rum
Caramelizing Sugar (see note below)
- 3/4 pound brown sugar
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 teaspoons grated lime peel
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 cups flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 pound butter 4 sticks softened
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 9 large eggs
- Prep Day
- Chop currants, raisins, prunes, figs and cherries. Put in large bowl with mixed peel and almonds. Stir to combine. Sprinkle on bitters and pour rum over mixture. Soak for a minimum of 24 hours, extending to one month. Dream about this cake for whatever period of time you have chosen.
- Caramelizing Sugar click for note
- Put brown sugar in heavy pot. Stir, letting sugar liquefy. Cook over low heat until dark, stirring constantly, so sugar does not burn. When almost burnt, remove from heat and stir in hot water gradually. Mix well, let cool, and pour into container for use in final cooking.
- Final Cooking
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Bring fruit from its resting place. Stir lime peel, vanilla and caramelized sugar into fruit. Mix well. Set aside.
- Sift together flour, baking powder and cloves. Set aside.
- Cream together butter and sugar until mixture is light. Add the eggs, one at a time until blended.
- Stir in dry ingredients gradually. When mixed, stir in fruit mixture.
- Pour into tins lined with buttered parchment paper or waxed paper. Place pan (or pans) in large shallow pan of hot water. Cook in preheated 250°F oven for 2 1/2 – 3 hours or until a tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cake should have shrunk from sides of pan.
- Cool for 24 hours in tins. When cool, moisten with rum, remove from tins, and wrap in aluminum foil or a rum drenched cloth. Cakes may be stored to ripen. If keeping for any length of time, check occasionally to add more rum.
- Yield:1 large or 2 medium cakes
Many Trinidadians burn the sugar over a fairly high heat, then add liquid. We preferred to pull it off the heat before it was too burnt, but you may choose your preference.