TRINBAGO CHRISTMAS BLACK CAKE (Fruit Cake)

Complexity:Advanced

Ingredients

  • 1 lb prunes (pitted)
  • 1 lb raisins
  • 1 lb sultanas
  • 1 lb currants
  • ¼ lb mixed peel
  • ½ lb cherries
  • ¼ lb ground almonds (optional)
  • ½ lb slivered almonds (toasted)
  • ¼ lb pecans (toasted for decoration) optional
  • 1 lb granulated sugar
  • 1 lb flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 lb fresh butter (unsalted)
  • 9 eggs
  • 2 tsp. almond essence
  • 2 tsp. vanilla essence
  • dash of bitters (optional)
  • 1 bottle rum
  • 1 bottle cherry brandy
  • Browning (powdered cinnamon, boiling water, 1 lb brown sugar)
  • Foil
  • Plastic wrap

Directions

  1. DAY 1 To prepare fruit: Cut up prunes (one into five pieces) – set aside Clean and wash fruit thoroughly. Dry fruit getting rid of as much water as possible.

  2. Mince two handfuls of fruit in a food processor with the mixed peel.

  3. In a large heavy-duty pot, place all fruit with piece of hard spice. Add ¾ bottle of rum, and ¾ bottle cherry brandy. Cover.

  4. Turn on heat and let it come to a boil reducing heat to simmer immediately and leave for 15-20 mins. Leave covered until next day.

  5. DAY 2 Prepare 3 medium size cake pans. Lightly grease with margarine; cut foil to fit bottom and sides of pan then lightly grease foil again and set aside.

  6. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  7. Mix in all the fruit a little at a time. Remember to remove the piece of spice. Add essence and bitters and blend in well.

  8. Sift flour and baking powder and add to mixture with powdered cinnamon a little at a time folding in after each addition.

  9. Wash syrup off cherries with a little warm water and dry.

  10. Add ground almonds, slivered almonds and cherries. Reserve some cherries and almonds, which you can place on top of cake for decoration. Do this before baking.

  11. Add browning to add colour and mix well.

  12. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees.

  13. 1.Fill cake pans 2/3 full – decorate top with cherries, almonds, pecans. Bake for 2½ hrs or until cake pulls from side of pan.

  14. Wet cakes with remaining alcohol in pans (Rum and Cherry Brandy mixed together). Leave in pans to cool until next day.

  15. Wrap in cling wrap next day and leave until ready for use. This cake freezes well. Wrap over in foil to freeze but lasts without refrigerating up to approx. 2 months.

  16. BROWNING 1 lb brown sugar boiling water

  17. DIRECTIONS 1.Place sugar in a heavy duty pot. 2.Let sugar melt on medium heat till it bubbles and begins to rise. 3.Place pan in sink and keep putting a little boiling water at a time until the bubbling stops. 4.Cool and bottle until ready for use.

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