My cousin-in-law Roseanne was grateful enough to reveal her Guyanese black cake recipe to me. As you know by now I have acquired a passion and love for Caribbean food and have come to enjoy many of their culinary traditions. Mainly due to the fact that I have lived and worked in the Caribbean and second because of my beautiful wife Denise, whom I have met there, while, working as a chef. Now, 20 years later, I have two big sons who love our culinary traditions. We always wanted to make sure that our kids grow up knowing both cultures. So over the Holidays I usually cook popular German foods and my wife cooks Caribbean cuisine. That way my sons could appreciate different culinary traditions and indeed they love it. Thank God for that.
Culinary Traditions over New Year to bring Prosperity and Luck
One of these traditions is the black Cake, which is usually baked at Christmas, New Years and for weddings. Black cake is home to the entire Caribbean and is offered throughout the year in gift stores and bakeries alike. When it comes to Christmas and New Year it is a must to bake black cake. As my cousin-in-law puts it; the New Year can’t find you without black cake, freshly baked bread, pepper pot and black eye peas & rice. According to Caribbean traditions these four food staples bring you luck and prosperity for the New Year.
The Difference Between Fruit Cake and Black cake
Black cake is essentially a fruit cake which is simply colored with molasses. However, there is a fundamental difference in preparation and taste of both cakes. The fruits for black cake are soaked in alcohol and spices for a few month, preferably up to a year. After the black cake is baked it is immediately soaked with more alcohol. I’ll get to the specifics of the alcohol a little later. Both cakes are being baked for weddings and other festivities.
Planning and Preparing the Black Cake is Essential
In order to bake a perfect black cake one should plan for it way in advance. As I mentioned before, soaking the fruits in rum, brandy, port and other flavors is very important to make a flawless cake. The longer the fruits being soaked the better the outcome meaning flavor. However, I have baked a black cake with fruits soaked only a week and it worked out, too. But to get the real flavor and moisture into the cake, it’s better to soak it for a longer period of time. Then, when it comes to bake the cake having fun is equally important. Traditional a few friends come together and join the “baker” to help with simple procedures, talk about the old times and sip some port wine.
Guyanese Black Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert, Cakes,
Author: Kraemer’s Culinary Blog
Serves: 2 x 9″ cakes
Prepare fruits early in advance (if possible) for better flavor.
1/2 lb golden raisins
1/2 lb currants
1 lb prunes
1/4 lb candied lemon peel
1/4 lb candied Orange peel
1/4 lb candied cherries
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp almond essence
Cover with 1/2 liter dark rum, 1/4 liter cherry brandy, 1/4 liter port wine
Keep an additional 1/4 liter of rum and port wine for later.
[url href=”http://verygoodrecipes.com/desserts” target=”_blank” title=”Caribbean Black Cake”]Black Cake[/url] Batter:
1 lb / 454 grams unsalted butter, room temperature but not too warm
3/4 lb / 340 grams dark brown sugar
12 fl oz / 360 ml molasses
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
A pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp almond essence
1/4 tsp anise essence
1 cup / 120 grams chopped walnuts
11 Eggs, room temperature
14 oz / 400 grams flour
1 tsp baking powder
In a food processor chop <a class=”zem_slink” title=”Dried fruit” href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dried_fruit” rel=”wikipedia” target=”_blank” data-mce-href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dried_fruit”>dried fruits</a> to about a quarter of its size.
Soak dried fruits with alcohol until completely covered, then close with a tied lid or aluminum foil. Keep at a cool dry place for at least 2 month to up to a year.
Black Cake Batter:
With an electric handheld mixer or KitchenAid mixer whip butter and sugar on high-speed until it doubles in volume.
On medium speed slowly add molasses, all flavors and spices.
Now add one egg at a time.
By now the batter should have doubled again in volume.
Add chopped walnuts.
Mix baking powder with flour and slowly add to batter.
Oil and flour two 9″ baking pans and divide batter among the two.
In a 300 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven bake for about 1 hour and thirty-five minutes.
As soon as the cake is removed from the oven pour about 1/4 liter of rum over it. Do not remove the black cake from its form. Let the cake absorb the alcohol. Once the cake is cooled out remove it from the form and wrap it with plastic wrap and foil. After about 4 hours pour 1/4 liter of port wine over it. Wrap cake again airtight.
Very often peanuts are being used in the black cake as specially in the Caribbean, since peanuts are always readily available at a lower price. I just happened to like walnuts over peanuts. [br]Warning: This cake should not be fed to children and young adults under the age of 21 due to its high alcohol content.
What are you cooking for the new year?
Do know of any dishes that suppose to bring you luck and prosperity?
Have you tried black cake before? Did you like it?
Culinary traditions are the essential focus point in many cultures. In fact many families celebrate and enjoy them year after year. Very often they are being taught by the elders to their children in hope they will continue them. I guess one of the biggest Culinary Traditions are the Holidays, such as Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years Eve, Easter and many more, just to name a few. The point is families have a particular ritual to cook and present their food, which makes it so interesting. Obviously religions play a vital part of traditions, too.
Culinary Traditions in the Caribbean with Curry Goat
Interestingly every nationality celebrates their Holidays differently from others. Whether it’s potato latkes and apple sauce for the Jewish Holidays or a roasted duck with orange juniper berries and braised red cabbage on many Christmas menus. A Caribbean Holiday tradition is to serve curry goat with green beans as well as the famous honey glazed ham we have here in the states as well.
But what is yours?
Do you have a culinary tradition that your family continues? I would be thrilled to hear what your specialty is for the Holidays. Don’t be afraid to leave a comment below. Thanks – You know I love comments.
A Culinary Tradition is to make Holiday Cookies
Culinary Traditions bring forward memories and rituals from our ancestors. How powerful is that? If you are in the fortunate position to ask your grand parents why and how they prepared and cooked their traditional foods, whether its for a Birthday or a holiday, you might get some answers you wouldn’t have expected. Before I came to America I only knew about German traditions. However, I can honestly say that America is a hot spot of culinary traditions and a melting pot of fantastic multicultural cookery. That being said; these traditions don’t always have to happen over the Holidays.
Germans Culinary Traditions is to serve coffee and cake in the afternoon
Daily Eating Habits as a Result From Culinary Traditions – It’s Tea Time!
England and Germany have one tradition in common. Tea Time – which is around 4pm in the afternoon. Although, Germans serve more coffee than tea, the ritual is very similar. Tea time in England is also called High Tea, which is served with an abundance of finger-sandwiches, scones and sometimes petis-fours like pastries. In Germany we would serve Danishes and cakes with our coffee.
Plum Cake – a German tradition
In fact when ever I visit Germany I can’t get away from looking at the fancy pastry shops and bakeries. The first is called Konditorei and the latter is Backerei. A Konditorei offers very fancy cakes, petit fours and usually hosts a Cafe on the same premises. Many of the elderly come here and meet with friends to enjoy coffee and cake also called “Kaffeeklatsch”. That’s the time when women of age come together and chat, chat and chat :-).
Belegter Boden – Fruit Tart – A simple but satisfying cake
The tradition continues as coffee and cake is served in many households as it is in ours, too. It is a beautiful thing to bring the family together around 4 or 5pm, usually after work. As everyone talks about the day’s events accompanied by a good cup of coffee with a delicious piece of cake is certainly a highlight. It’s a tradition even my sons and my wife enjoy here in the States.
Bakeries and pastry shops alike play a vital role in Germany as they offer a staple food in German tradition. Many bakeries now offer a few tables and a simple lunch menu with sandwiches etc. The beauty is – everyone knows everyone. Who ever comes in says “Malzeit”, which is translated as “it’s time to eat”
If you like fancy cakes and you have the chance to visit Germany than check out a Konditorei. You’ll be glad you did.
A Bread Basket in Germany…
Another Culinary Tradition that can’t be ignored. German bread. The variety of breads offered in most Bakeries are astonishing. From the rustic sourdough, six grain, whole wheat, almond white to organic multi grain bread. There is something for everyone. The majority of breads are crispy on the outside, yet soft and moist inside. Most people here do not toast their bread unless it’s white bread. I truly love a great breadbasket with a variety of breads and rolls for breakfast. Most German breads are made from a good amount of whole grains and include a lot of fibers. Although there is an increase in outlets of large commercial bakeries throughout Germany, the quality of bread and rolls offered is superb.
What’s your thoughts on this?
What is your favorite family tradition and what do you cook?
I can’t believe it is this time of the year again. Not too long ago I packed all my Christmas decoration away – it seems. Well, I think Christmas is the best time of the year. Beautiful childhood memories reminding me of the Christmas Holiday preparation.
Grandma’s Cinnamon Stars Were The Best
Just the smell of freshly baked cinnamon stars reminds me of my Grandmother baking during the Holidays. There was something magical to it. I was fortunate to have spent a lot of time with my Grandma watching her baking Christmas cookies, that is cinnamon stars in particular. I was just 7 or 8 years old, probably too young to understand the relevance and importance of a recipe. However, what I do remember is she never had one.
Not even a scale she had. Now – remember this is in Germany where we only work with grams and kilo. We don’t even work with cup measurements. However, today it is simply unthinkable not having a scale – nonetheless a recipe. Even to this day – not even my Mother – could really tell what the exact ingredients were. That is, for my favorite “cinnamon stars”, next to many other cookies, cakes, roasts and other good Grandma delicatessen. Although she did emphasized that lots of butter is always a good thing. And she was right, just as Julia Child said, butter is flavor.
One thing is sure, the flavor of these Christmas cookies were incredible. To be quite honest there are probably better cookie recipes out there, but you know when Grandma baked them – no one could do it better. Regardless of what she cooked or baked it was just simply incredible. I guess most of us have these fond memories of our Grand parents in particular when it comes to the Holidays.
So now you know that I didn’t inherit a recipe for my cookies, yet I did my best to make it as close as possible to Grandma’s cinnamon stars. What I did inherit was an old German cookbook from 1889, which is awesome. Unfortunately the cinnamon stars were not listed, but similar recipes were. I hope I gave you some inspiration to bake some of your favorite Grandma’s Holiday cookies. Happy Holidays
With a speed mixer whip butter and sugar until creamy.
Add vanilla and bitter almond essences.
In a separate bowl mix all other ingredients together.
Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into the butter mixture.
Don’t over mix.
Place dough on a with flour dusted surface.
Quickly knead dough to a shape of a ball.
Roll out dough about 1/4 inch / 7mm thick and cut out stars.
Place cinnamon stars on a greased and floured baking tray.
Bake in 350 degree Fahrenheit / 175 degree Celsius preheated oven until the edges are slightly turning golden brown (about 12-14 minutes)
While the cinnamon stars are still hot place them in a bowl with powdered sugar. Turn cookies once or twice in the sugar and let cool out on a rack.
When cookies are cool sprinkle with more powdered sugar. That’s best done with an icing sugar shaker. Store in an airtight container.
Bake cinnamon stars longer if you like them crispy. For a more chewy consistency bake less.
Tip: Remove dough before it forms a ball. At this time the dough is very light and fluffy. On the table mold dough into a ball and gently roll it down to a 1/4 inch height. Follow instructions above.
I like to split up the dough and put half in the refrigerator, while I roll out the other half. Always make sure that surface is dusted with flour. Turn dough often while rolling out and dust with flour again. This will assure that the dough is not sticking to surface.
Plum cake, it’s either you like it or you don’t. That’s my experience. Not everyone likes plums. During my trip through Germany, I tasted quite a few pieces of plum cake and was able to bake my own, too. I was lucky to get some great plums since the season was almost over (in Germany). These plums actually called Zwetchgens or Quetsch plums here in the USA. Zwetchgens or Quetsch plums are only available during August through October. Other plums might be available through imports during the year.
If you have never eaten plum cake, give it a try. Let me know if you liked it.
German Apple Plum Cake
Yeast or Short Dough for Plum Cake?
German plum-cake can be made with a number of doughs ranging from yeast dough to short-cake. Some cakes are layered tightly with plums while others have a little space between each plum for the dough to rise. For this cake I added Boskoop apples, which I thought gives it a different twist. This plum cake is made with a completely different dough and will pleasantly surprise you. At least it surprised me and my friends. See recipe for more info.
When buying plums look for the more tart ones such as Csar or Quetsch plums. Using sweet plums resulting in a much sweeter cake. Sweet plums also release more juice, which is than absorbed by the cake dough making it soggy. It’s really up to your personal taste. Don’t use hard plums as they are not ripe yet. Keep them in a dark place to become slightly soft to the touch. As with apple cake – tarter apples are usually preferred. In general: Sweet fruits – you would enjoy eating – are not ideal for baking. This plum cake is slightly different as it has less plums and more cake dough compared to a yeast dough.
Apple Cinnamon Cake Batter
Use Applesauce for Two Reasons.
The apple sauce in this recipe will keep the cake moist for days where other plum cakes with a yeast dough will dry out after the first or second day. Applesauce also replaces about half of the amount of butter or oil you would use otherwise. So if you have a favorite cake dough try to replace half of the oil or butter amount with applesauce. Let me know how it worked!
Greased and flour-dusted cake pan
Apple Plum Cake Preparation
You can put as many apples and plums on your cake as you wish. I prefer a moderate amount of fruit so I can taste the dough, too.
German Apple Plum Cake Platter
German Apple Plum Cake
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Dessert, Cake, Baked Goods
Author: Kraemers Culinary Blog
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
0.75 cup vegetable oil
1.5 cup sour cream
Zest of 1 lemon
2.5 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp dark rum
3 dashes of bitter almond oil
1 cup chopped walnuts
4 cups flour, sifted
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
a sprinkle of salt
2 LB Quetsch plums, halved and seeded
4-5 large Boskoop or Granny Smith Apples, sliced in 1/2 inch wedges
Mix eggs and sugar until foamy about five minutes with an electric mixer.
Incorporate oil and then sour cream.
Add apple sauce and all other flavors.
Mix flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder together.
Stir flour mixture slowly under the eggs until well incorporated.
Do not over mix.
Cut plums in half and remove the seeds. Than cut each plum half way through the center. They just look better that way.
Spread batter evenly over greased and floured baking pan.
Alternately place one row of Quetsch plums and one row of apples on top of batter. Depending on your size of baking pan you might have left over fruit.
Bake cake in a preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes at 350 Degrees Fahrenheit or 175 Degrees Celsius.
I used baking powder and baking soda for a reason. Baking soda works well with acids and sour cream. Since I have plenty of acids in this cake it makes sense to use both. Make sure to bake the cake immediately after mixing and assembling the fruit. Otherwise the plum cake will fall.
Tip: If you like crumbs on your cake this is the one to do this.
If you don’t like the flat baking pan you could use your loaf pan. Just make sure to use about half the amount of fruit and cut them into small pieces. Otherwise the fruit will fall to the bottom of the cake.
I like this cake because it’s very moist and easy to bake. The apple sauce can be substituted by cherry or blueberry compote, if apples are not your favorite. Mashed ripe bananas also work well in this recipe. I used to make all my cakes with a more traditional pound cake recipe, however the amount of butter and eggs used in theses cakes add too much cholesterol to our daily lives. Yes we eat cakes almost on a daily basis at tea time. That’s why I like this apple walnut cake recipe. It is much lighter than most cakes, yet just as delicious.
1.5 cup Apple sauce
1.25 cup sugar
0.5 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
0.75 cup sour cream
Zest of 1 lemon & 1 orange
0.75 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 dash of bitter almond extract
0.5 cup raisins
0.5 cup walnuts
2.25 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
0.3 tsp salt
Pour the apple sauce, sugar, eggs, oil in a bowl and on low-speed. Whether you have a hand mixer or kitchen-aid mixer, both work fine. Add sour cream, zest, vanilla, cinnamon and almond extract. Now add the sifted flour, baking powder, walnuts, raisins, salt and incorporate well, but don’t over mix. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour batter into a greased 9-inch square baking pan. A 9-inch kugelhopf mold works too. Bake apple cake for about 50-60 minutes.
Tip: If you are not sure if the cake is completely baked insert a skewer into the deepest end of the cake. If it comes out clean the cake is finished, otherwise give it a few more minutes. Clean the skewer before reinserting again. Depending on your oven the baking time might vary.
Let the apple walnut cake cool out and remove from pan. Once cake is cool it is ready to be frosted.
Before starting the frosting make sure the butter is at room temperature. Mix cream cheese, butter, vanilla and lemon extract in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Then add the sifted sugar and incorporate until creamy. If the frosting is to liquid at more powder sugar.
If you don’t like frosting you can dust it with a little powder sugar, the way shown in the picture. Of course the kids like to have it a little sweeter so you could serve this cake with vanilla ice cream or whatever flavor you prefer. Decorate with fresh berries and you have a simple but delicious cake. Enjoy!
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