All Jamaicans will tell you that Christmas means sorrel and black cake. 🙂
As one of my many exam procrastination projects, I made a Jamaican black “rum” cake with royal icing — all vegan. I then brought it to Tracy’s house for her first annual Christmas baking competition. I’m now suffering from a mild diabetic coma.
Typical black cake uses rum/port wine to soak the fruits and glaze/soak the cake once baked. This recipe uses no alcohol or rum since I don’t drink alcohol. It also means that this cake cannot be kept out for very long. I did, however, use “rum flavour” which I found at a West Indian store in Montreal. Also, black cake is supposed to be black. Feel free to add a little more browning if needed, but not too much, since browning is quite salty and bitter. Here’s the recipe:
Jamaican Black Cake
1 kg of mixed glazed fruits (rutabaga, orange peel, lemon peel, cherries, glucose-fructose, citric acid, corn syrup)
1 bottle of sparkling grape juice (I didn’t have grape juice, so I used apple and pomegranate)
1 bottle of rum flavour
1/2 cup currants
1 cup raisins
4 cups flour
7 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer with 10 tbsp of water
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
salt (optional — omit if using Earth Balance)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup Earth Balance vegan spread
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 shredded coconut
1 tsp browning
Soak the mixed glazed fruits, currants and raisins in half of the sparkling apple juice and rum flavour overnight.
Blend the fruit mixture in your blender or food processor until almost smooth (this depends on preference. If you want a chunkier cake in which you can taste pieces of the peels, don’t blend until smooth).
In a small bowl, prepare your egg replacement and mix with a hand mixer.
In a medium bowl, cream the sugar and butter until smooth and fluffy.
Add all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, spices) to a large bowl and mix well.
Mix in blended fruit mixture with dry ingredients.
Add wet ingredients (egg replacement, vanilla extract, almond extract, browning, creamed sugar) and mix well with a hand mixer. The batter should be thick but pour-able.
Grease and line two round pans with wax paper, and fill the pans with the batters (3/4 full).
Put the pans in the centre of the oven. Put a pan of water on the bottom rack in the oven, under the cakes. This “steams” the cakes so that they come out moist.
Bake for 1 hour until cake tests done.
Once cooled, remove cake from pans and pour the rest of the sparkling apple juice over the cakes to enhance moisture.
Royal Icing (taken from The Joy of Vegan Baking cookbook):
1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp Ener-G replacer
2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp almond extract.
Mix the Ener-G replacer with the water, then add the almond extract and the sugar. Mix until smooth. Spread the icing on the cake but do so quickly — once the icing dries, it will start to crack and will be hard to work with.