Date: Wed, 7 Jul 93 9:25:27 CDT
1 pound raisins, minced 1 pound pitted prunes, minced 1 pound dried currants, minced 1 pound glaceed cherries, minced 6 ounces glaceed lemon peel, minced 6 ounces glaceed orange peel, minced 1 bottle (750 ml) Manischewitz Concord Grape wine 1 bottle (750 ml) dark rum 2 pounds dark brown sugar 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons double acting baking powder 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, softened 10 large eggs 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 1/2 cups almond paste, if desired 7 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted 6 large egg whites at room temperature 2 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice silver dragees for decorating the cake In a large bowl, combine well the raisins, the prunes, the currants, the cherries, the peels, the wine, and the rum and let the fruit macerate, covered, at room temperature for at least 2 weeks. In a heavy skillet combine 1 pound of the brown sugar and 1 cup water, bring the mixture to a boil over moderate heat, stirring and washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the side wtih a brush dipped in cold water until the sugar is dissolved, and boil the syrup, swirling the skillet occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is reduced to 1 3/4 cups. Let the burnt sugar syrup cool and reserve it. Into a bowl sift together the flour, the baking powder, the nutmeg, and the cinnamon. In the large bowl of an electric mixer cream together the remaining 1 pound brown sugar and the butter until the mixture is light and fluffy and beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, the flour mixture, and 1 1/3 cups of the reserved burnt sugar syrup, reserving the remaining syrup for another use. In another large bowl combine well the flour mixture and the fruit mixture and divide the batter between 2 buttered and floured 10-inch springform pans. Bake the cakes in the middle of a preheated 350F oven for 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours, or until the cakes are set and a tester inserted in the centers come out with some crumbs adhereing to it. (The centers of the cake will be quite moist). Let the cakes cool in the pans on a rack, remove the sides and the bottoms of the pans and wrap the cakes in foil or wax paper. Let the cakes stand at room temperature for 1 week. Roll out half the almond paste between sheets of plastic wrap to form a 10-inch round and remove the top sheet of plastic wrap. Fit the almond paste layer over one cake, trimming the edge if necessary, and remove the other sheet of plastic wrap. Roll out and fit the remaining almond paste onto the remaining cake in the same manner. Make the icing: In a bowl with an electric mixer beat 4 cups of the confectioners' sugar, the egg whites, and the lemon juice for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the mixture holds soft peaks. Beat in the remaining 3 cups confectioners' sugar and beat the icing until it holds stiff peaks. Transfer 2 cups of the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip, spread the remaining icing on the tops and sides of the cakes with a long metal spatula, and pipe the icing in the pastry bag decoratively onto the cakes. Arrange the dragees on the cakes. Makes 2 black cakes. -------------------------------------------------- 1 pound each: dark raisins, currants, pitted prunes and glace cherries 1/2 pound mixed peel 1 quart white rum 1 pound dark brown sugar 1 pound butter 1 pound eggs (one dozen) 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1 pound flour (about 4 cups all-purpose) 3 teaspoons baking powder 3 ounces burt sugar, or substitute 6 ounces of gravy coloring 1 quart tawny port Place raisins, currants, prunes, cherries and peel in a large plastic or glass bowl. Add 1 cup rum. Put through a meat grinder, using a medium blade. Mix with remaining rum so that the ground fruit forms a smooth paste. Cover tightly. Let stand at least two weeks. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream dark brown sugar and butter. In a separate bowl combine eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg and whip until foamy. Combine egg mixture with butter-sugar mixture. Add ground fruits. Mix well. In a separate bowl, mix flour with baking powder. Stir flour mixture into fruit mixture. Add burnt sugar or graving coloring. Batter should be dark brown. Grease and lightly flour 2 10-inch springform pans. Fill with mixture and bake 2 hours or until a tester comes out clean. Take pans out of the oven. Let cool 1 hour, then remove cakes from pans and cool completely. Pour one cup port over the top of each. Let it absorb. After 10 minutes, pour on remaining port. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let cakes age at least a week. Do not refrigerate. Makes 2 cakes.
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