Black Cake - A Love Affair

Ever since I read Laurie Colwins passage on Black Cake, I have been slightly obsessed.

I love fruit cake - not the crappy dry kind with the burning awful cheap liquor taste and the frightening bits of bright green and red candies studded throughout

But I will eat almost every other kind of cake/fruit/alcohol combination.

I had lovely fruited tea loaf in Waterford, white fruitcake from Texas, rum cake in Barbados, fig cake from Croatia, if it's fruit and alcohol bound in batter, I will try it.

So the idea of a gorgeous black damp rummy fruity cake made me both drool and then want to read every recipe Colwin put on paper.

This past Christmas I started my fruit in November. I made one gi-normous 10 pound cake(12" round) that disappeared in about one minute. And about 6 little loaves, 5 of which disappeared equally quickly. I kept one to see how it age.s

I've already started my fruit for Christmas 2007. I am so excited


Chris said…
I love Laurie Colwins cookbooks. I attempted the black cake a few years ago, but didn't have the burnt sugar essence, and it was a disaster. I'm guessing it's now available on-line somewhere. Is that what you used? I'd love to hear the details. It's not too late for me to start the fruit for next Christmas! Chris
Hi Chris - I actually found several different kinds of Burnt Sugar essence at Tropical Foods here in Boston.

Are you in Massachusetts? I can tell you which shops I've seen it in, or I can mail you some. I found that the type in the bottle was preferable to the kind in the jar. I forget the names, but know it by sight.

Also remember the recipe in her book is a little loosey-goosey so I sort of use it as a guideline.

Send me an email if you need burnt sugar mailed to you. It would be a major shame if you could not enjoy the rich dark deliciousness of black cake!


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