The Christmas Cake or Black Cake is the the most emblematic desert of the season. Usually is served after the Christmas dinner or the New Year celebration; this dessert close the celebration night.
The black cake contain fruit, nut and spices, that have been previously soaked in dry run alone or with run an cherry brandy for some time. Our grandmothers and mothers used to soak this mixture of fruit and nut even for one year, now we are lucky if we put the fruits to soak one month before or even one week before. But for longer the fruits have been soaked in rum the taste of the black cake will be nicer and richer and the fruits will be full an juicy.
When I made my first Black cake about two or three years ago for a Christmas Function that my husband had, I did not even have the time to put the fruits to soak in rum for more than 12 hours... the result was good, I knew that the fruit did not have the time to absorbed all the flavour, so I put a little bit more of rum in the mix... the cake came out delicious and a good alternative for the whom that like a cake more soft and less heavy, the texture was more like a sponge cake, due to the among of liquid in the mix I got enough mix for two cakes instead that one, as the recipe said. But the experience was good, now if I want a black sponge cake I do not soak the fruit for long, and I had in my kitchen cabinet a good bit of fruit macerated since two years ago, for those who want a traditional black cake.
The fruit more common used in Black Cakes are prunes, raisins, currant, sultans, cherries, nuts like almonds, you can also add fruits or confetti's typical from your country. The liquor that I usually use is brandy, rum, there is a affordable brandy called cherry brandy that comes in different brand names. The original dark color that characterise the Christmas Cake is given by dark (no sweeten) chocolate or browning (melted brown sugar with water). The fruit and a good browning is the key for a good black cake, better the quality of the fruit, the run and the browning, better the quality of the cake.
Search Amazon.com for chritmas