Caribbean black cake

Caribbean black cake
  • Serves icon Serves 14
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 3½-4 hours, plus overnight soaking and cooling

Shivi Ramoutar’s rum-drenched fruit cake recipe is a popular recipe in the Caribbean at Christmas time – every family has their own recipe, and every family claims their recipe is the best. Here’s Shivi’s boozy version.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
463kcals
Fat
18.8g (10g saturated)
Protein
6g
Carbohydrates
56g (44.9g sugars)
Fibre
3.3g
Salt
0.3g
Calories
463kcals
Fat
18.8g (10g saturated)
Protein
6g
Carbohydrates
56g (44.9g sugars)
Fibre
3.3g
Salt
0.3g

Ingredients

  • 250g prunes
  • 
250g currants
  • 125g dried cherries
  • 
75g raisins
  • 50g candied citrus peel
  • 250ml good quality dark rum, plus extra to brush
  • 
250ml cherry brandy
  • ½ tbsp Angostura bitters
  • 250g unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
  • 
250g demerara sugar
  • 
100ml freshly boiled water
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 
1¼ tsp ground mixed spice
  • Finely grated zest ½ lemon
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 4 medium free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond essence

 

You’ll also need:

  • A 23cm diameter, deep loose-bottomed cake tin

Method

  1. Put the dried fruit and citrus peel in a large bowl, then pour over the rum, cherry brandy and Angostura bitters. Cover with cling film, then set aside in a cool, dark place to soak for 24 hours (or see tips).
  2. The next day, heat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. Grease and line a deep 23cm diameter loose- bottomed cake tin with baking paper.
  3. Heat the 250g demerara sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat until it dissolves and turns a dark caramel colour (about 5 minutes). Take the pan off the heat and stir in the freshly boiled water – be careful as it will bubble and spit a little. Return the pan to the heat and continue to stir until you have a smooth, syrupy caramel sauce. Set aside.
  4. Transfer the soaked fruit along with any remaining alcohol in the bowl to a food processor and pulse briefly – don’t overdo it as you want to keep a few chunks in the mixture.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, mixed spice and lemon zest. In a separate large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs into the butter mixture, one by one, until well combined, then stir in the vanilla extract and almond essence.
  6. Using a large metal spoon, gradually fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until fully combined. Fold in the blended fruit, followed by the caramel sauce. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin, then transfer to the oven and bake for 31⁄2-4 hours until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack, then brush the top of the cake generously with extra dark rum. Allow the rum to soak in and the cake to cool completely before serving, icing or storing (see make ahead and tips).

delicious. tips

  1. If you’re short of time, put the fruit and liquor in a heatproof bowl and cover with cling film (step 1), then warm for 3-5 minutes on medium power in the microwave, stirring occasionally, to soften. The flavour won’t be as full but you can use it straightaway.
    This is a great cake to try if you’re not a fan of traditional fruit-packed Christmas cake. We’ve kept it bare so you can leave it to mature before icing in December.

  2. The cake can be made up to 3 months in advance; wrap in baking paper, then cling film and store in an airtight container. Feed the cake (brush the top) with a little rum every week.

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Read what others say...

  1. Love this cake. I make it every year, and it always goes down very well. It’s great sliced with a piece of crumbly cheese like Lancashire or Wensleydale. It also works extremely well heated up and served with custard as an alternative (and very boozy) Christmas pud.

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