>Holiday Baking: Black Cake

Several years ago I was introduced to the excellent book Home Cooking by the late Laurie Colwin, in which she spoke about several experiences in her life involving food and cooking, and included the recipes for each dish. While many of the recipes are interesting and easy (the creamed spinach with jalapeño peppers recipe is worth the price of the book, easily), the most fascinating recipe is that for West Indian black cake, involving chopped fruits marinated for two weeks in wine and dark rum, and an elusive ingredient known as burnt sugar essence, which I have never been able to either buy or successfully replicate.
Nigella Lawson gives an adaptation of this recipe in How To Be A Domestic Goddess: Baking And The Art Of Comfort Cooking, and while this made a perfectly delicious cake, it came out a light golden brown, and nowhere near black. Therefor, having finally obtained a small cast iron frying pan, I’m going to attempt the original recipe again. Tonight I’ll be chopping fruits — raisins, prunes, currants, cherries and mixed citrus peels, then mixing them together in Madeira and our locally produced Stroh Rum. By Christmas it’ll be ready to use.

UPDATE: For ql and anyone else mad enough to want to try, here’s the Nigella version.

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5 Responses to >Holiday Baking: Black Cake

  1. Anonymous says:

    >Recipe?I’ve been toying with making an xmas fruit cake. This sounds like just the ticket.ql

  2. Anonymous says:

    >Speaking of creamed spinach with jalapeno peppers — that dish was my contribution to this year’s Thanksgiving feast and as always, it was a big hit with everyone, young and old. Thank you for introducing new readers to the late great Laurie Colwin – her book is a classic.–Carlisle

  3. Anonymous says:

    >I’m sure this is completely fat free, yes?Buckeye …

  4. Anonymous says:

    >Not sure whether Buckeye is asking about black cake or creamed spinach — but if it’s spinach, you can make a low fat version by using, as I did, non-fat evaporated milk, and reducing the amount of cheese. Excellent.

  5. Karin says:

    >I love book, Home Cooking, and you just reminded me I lost my copy! I really identified with Colwin and some of her cooking experiences which paralleled mine.

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