Guyana Black Cake Part 1

>> Sunday, November 8, 2009

A few months ago I had a craving for Guyana Black Cake.  I'd never really liked the taste of it but something was calling me.  Every few months or so I get strange cravings for the weirdest Guyanese dishes and call my mom up asking for the recipe.  Since I had cut grains out of my diet, using flour was out of the question.  Nuts might work I told myself.  And they did.  Three months later, I created a recipe for grain-free Guyana Black Cake.  It doesn't look like the typical Black Cake, but it did the trick.  Enough so that I ate 1/4 of the pan within 15 minutes of it coming out of the oven.

To start the process, back in August I got the fruits marinating.  The longer the better.  Some people have them marinating for a whole year!  I wanted the cake for the holiday season so I had to start them right away.  I used equal amounts of figs, dates, raisins, and prunes.  Most recipes call for lots of prunes to darken the cake and give it the characteristic black color, but that didn't matter so much to me.

Today I took a portion of the fruit puree out and it was potent!  Still sweet so I decided not to put any sweetener in the cake.  In the end, the fruit was enough to sweeten it.  The brandy flavor was ever-present so I had the feeling of eating a real rum-soaked black cake.  All in all, I think it came out well.  The hubby liked it, but I think he'd much prefer it slathered with icing.  I used almond butter to replace the flour and there was no nut taste whatsoever, so I was very pleased.  I still have more than half of the puree left to experiment with.  Maybe next time I'll get a denser texture and richer taste.  Maybe less almond butter?

Drunken Fruit
Yield: About 3- 3 1/2 cups fruit puree

4 cups dried fruit (I used dates, prunes, raisins, figs)
1/2 liter brandy

Mix fruit in a large bowl.  Pour in brandy and let soak on counter for about 2 days.  Puree in blender or food processor.  Pour into a glass container and store in fridge.

Guyana Black Cake
Yield: 12 pieces

1 16oz jar (2 cups) roasted almond butter
1 1/2 cups dried fruit puree (soaked in alcohol)
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract
2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Mix almond butter and fruit in a large bowl until smooth.  Add eggs, almond extract, and baking soda, mixing well until all incorporated.

Pour into greased 9x13" dish (I used the Baker's Edge Brownie Pan) and bake for 20-30 minutes, based on your oven.  Check periodically by inserting a knife through the middle.  Cake is done when knife comes out clean.


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