Black cake is a delicious dark-colored party fruit cake, prepared with an assortment of fruits typically including plums and rum-soaked raisins. The cake is traditionally served in Caribbean cuisine; however, it is also a popular cake in the Guyanese, Jamaican, and Trinidadian cuisines. Though, the cake can be served on any occasion, it is conventionally associated with weddings and Christmas, more commonly Christmas. Brown sugar and browning (a type of sweet and bitter caramel) are also the commonly suggested ingredients as per the black cake recipe. Black Cake seems to be a derivative of the English plum pudding. As the cake is made with rum as one of the vital ingredients, it can be preserved for several months, without the loss of flavor and taste. A special kind of wine, known as black wine, is produced in Grenadines and St. Vincent for use in preparation of the black cake. The decoration of the cake depends on the occasion for which it is made. For example Christmas black cakes, should have green and red colored decorations, with a Christmas theme, while wedding cakes should have red, blue, and other attractive colors, keeping in mind the theme of wedding.
Popular Black Cake Recipes
A few popular black cake recipes, classified in terms of different cuisines, have been discussed hereunder:
- Caribbean black cake- black cakes in Caribbean cuisine are traditionally served during Christmas time, infused with flavors of cherry, rum, spices, and fruits. Three separate mixture viz. egg mixture, flour mixture, and butter mixture are prepared, and combined together in a baking pan, before being baked in oven. The butter mixture is a blend of sugar, butter, browning (caramelized brown sugar), and vanilla. Egg mixture is an amalgamation of eggs and rum. Flour mix is a combination of flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and all spice. Grated lime zest, nuts, raisins, and fruits are added to the combined cake batter, prior to baking process.
- Jamaican black fruit cake- the Jamaican black cake recipe suggests soaking fruits such as prunes, cherries, raisins, and currants in a mix of rum and wine for around two weeks, before combining it with flour mixture to prepare the cake. The cake is baked in a greased and floured baking pan in hot oven, and wrapped in aluminum foil or wax paper, once cool. Almond paste can be applied on top of the cake prior to being served. The flour mixture is a combination of flour, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, vanilla extract, sugar syrup (water and brown sugar reduction), butter, brown sugar, and eggs.
- Trinidadian black cake- in Trinidad, black cake is a Christmas affair, primarily made with alcohol (a mix of rum and cherry brandy) drenched currants, raisins, and prunes. The fruits are soaked in alcohol, three to five days prior to baking the cake. On the day of baking the cake, the alcohol soaked fruit mix is blended until slightly chunky, and then combined with browning, and flour mix. The batter is baked in a greased baking dish in preheated oven for a few hours. Browning is a reduction of water and brown sugar. Flour mixture is an amalgamation of butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, almond essence, lemon zest, lemon essence, flour, nutmeg, mixed spice, and baking powder.
- Guyanese black cake- The Guyanese black cake recipe suggests having a layer of icing on top of the cake. The icing can either be “Royal” made with egg whites, icing sugar, and lemon juice, or “Marzipan” made with egg white, ground almonds, almond essence, and icing sugar. The rum soaked fruits are combined with browning and flour mix, and then baked in oven. The cake is allowed to stay in the baking pan for 2-3 days, before covering it with icing. It is then allowed to dry for a day prior to being served.
One serving of Caribbean black cake of 165 g provides around 547 calories, obtained from 22.3 g of fat, 111.1 mg of cholesterol, 327.9 mg of sodium, 75 g of carbohydrate, and 7.2 g of protein. Of the total amount of fats in the cake, around 50 % make up the saturated fats.