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In a large bowl, combine well the raisons, the prunes, the currents, the cherries, the peels, the wine and the rum and let the fruit macerate, covered at room temperature for at least two weeks. In A heavy skillet combine 1 lb of the brown sugar and one cup of water, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring and washing down any sugar crystals clinging to the side with a brush dipped in cold water, until the sugar is dissolved. Boil the syrup, swirling the skillet occasionally for 3 to 4 minutes or until it is reduced to 1 and 3/4 cup 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 pound of brown sugar and the butter until the mixture is light and fluffy and beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, the flour mixture, and 1 1/3 cups of the of the reserved burnt sugar syrup, reserving the remaining syrup for another use. In another large bowl combine the flour mixture and the fruit mixture and divide the batter between two buttered and floured 10 inch springform pans. Bake the cakes in the middle of a pre - heated 350F. oven 1 hour and 5= 0 minutes or until the cakes are set and a tester inserted into the centers comes out with some crumbs adhering to it. (The centers of the cakes 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 two sheets of platic wrap to form a 10 inch round and remove the top sheet of plastic wrap. Fit the almond paste over one of the cake layers, trimming the edge if necessary, remove the other sheet of platic wrap 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 confectonsers sugar and beat until the icing holds stiff peaks. Transfer 2 cups of the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip, spread the remaing icing on the tops and the sides of the cakes with a long metal spatula, and pipe the icing in the icing bag decoratively onto the cakes. Arrange the dragees on the cakes. Makes 2 cakes. Laurie Colwin for an article in Gourmet Magazine NOTES : "There is fruitcake and there is black cake, which is to fruitcake what Brahmss piano quartets are to Muzak. Its closest relatives are plum pudding and black bun, but they are mere third cousins twice removed. Black cake, like truffles and vintage Burgundy, is deep, complicated, and intense. It is light and dense at the same time and demands to be eaten in a slow, meditative way" So said Laurie Colwin in an article in the November 1988 issue of Gourmet. I was so intrigued by this recipe that I immediatly snipped it out to "save". Save it I did....lost for 9 years, it just reappered during an especially vigorous file cleaning session. It sounds marvelous. Posted to MM-Recipes Digest V4 #266 by LBotsko@aol.com on Oct 09, 1997
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upscalebohemian 3 months agoComparing this to the recipe in Laurie Colwin's book Home Cooking (where the chapter on Black Cake is the final chapter), this recipe is clearly NOT her recipe at all. It might be a good recipe (I don't know), but it is not THE recipe Laurie Colwin wrote as has been linked to this page by Saveur and others, and is quite different. Even just reading the ingredients list one can see it's quite different. Baker beware.