With only thirteen days away from Christmas we are pretty sure that most Belizean kitchens have already started preparing and baking black fruit cake, which is the season’s tradition here in the jewel.
So, our Foodie Friday segment brings you the famous black fruit cake recipe which is a must have during Christmas time in all Belize homes. But first a little history:
This tradition which spreads throughout the Caribbean dates back to the middle of the 17th century when English settlers brought over a tradition of the ‘English pudding.’ Over time that was radically modified by African slaves and their descendants who evolved it into a rich rum cake, a potent mix of finely ground raisins, cherries and nuts which were soaked for months in over proof rum.
- 2lb flour
- 1lb butter
- 3lb brown sugar(set 1lb of sugar aside for stewing fruit)
- 1pt. stout
- 1/2 pt. caramel colouring
- 1 qt. rum
- 1lb raisins
- 1lb currants
- 1lb citron
- 1lb dates
- 1lb cherries
- 1lb mixed peel
- 1lb pecans/walnuts
- 8 eggs
- 1tsp. baking powder
- 1tsp allspice
- 1tsp nutmeg
Soak fruits in rum and sugar for at least 7 days before making cake.
Put aside a little flour to use on fruits before adding to batter. This keeps fruits from settling at the bottom of the cake.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating constantly. Add flour, baking powder and spices into the butter, sugar and eggs mix with a spoon. Then add stout and colouring to the mixture. Beat for about 4 minutes at high speed. In a separate dish pour the rum off the fruits.(The rum should be kept to add to the finished cake after cooling) Flour fruits and add to the batter.
Heat oven to 300ºF. While the oven is heating just let batter “settle” a while. Line baking pan with aluminum foil or wax paper. Grease lightly with butter. Spoon batter evenly into the buttered pan about 3/4 full. Bake in slow oven for about 3 hours. Insert toothpick in center and it should come out clean when done.
When cake is completely cool sprinkle rum all over. Garnished with cherries and walnuts.
Flavouring improves with storing. You can sprinkle cake again with rum, brandy or wine before storing to enjoy later!
Although everyone loves their black cake, the texture preference can vary: some like it soaking wet, others like it more fruity, more plain or nutty. Feel free to make changes to the recipe as you like.
Original recipe courtesy: Belize Poultry Association
Chaa Creek blog
Black Fruit Cake CHRISTMAS RECIPE
1 lb. butter
1 pt. stout
1 qt. rum
2 lbs. flour
1 tsp. allspice
3 lbs. brown sugar
1 lb. of each fruit
½ pt. caramel coloring
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. nutmeg
Stew all the fruit with 1 lb. brown sugar and rum. Cook the mixture until the liquid becomes thick syrup. Let the fruits cool overnight.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter along with 2 lbs. brown sugar and add in eggs one at time. Then add flour, baking powder, all spice, stout and caramel coloring one at a time to the mixture. Lastly, fold the stewed fruit to the mixture. To avoid having the stewed fruit sink to the bottom of the mixture, drain them, mix with 1 beaten egg and dredge in flour before adding it to the batter.
Now, line your cake pans with parchment paper and fill about ¾ ways with the batter. Bake at 270˚F for about 3 hours.