This is not your traditional chocolate fruit cake. It’s gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and vegan. I’m pretty sure it’s the healthiest Trinidad style black cake you will ever come across!
In Trinidad and Tobago the traditional christmas cake is called black cake or simply fruit cake. Consider this cake the healthy, fit cousin of traditional black cake. Jeez I’m so bad, but seriously this is probably the healthiest Trinidad style black cake you will ever come across. Gluten free, dairy free and vegan.
I am giving you ample warning, you need to soak your fruits with alcohol for at least two days and up to 1 year. The fruits I used to make this cake came with us on the move from Budapest. They have been sitting waiting for me for one year. I guess they were pretty drunk but just to be sure the cake lived up to its name I poured some rum onto the surface of the baked cake.
Back when I was growing up Christmas in Trinidad was all about the food and the music. Today it seems everyone is in panic mode running around like headless chickens to get the perfect present. Maybe my memories are just skewed, maybe I was just always a foodie. When I think back some of my fondest memories of christmas are of black cake, sorrel, pastelles, ham with ponche de creme and ginger beer for the adults. I also remember it was the only time of year we could buy apples and grapes.
Fruit cake is an absolute must for a real Trini christmas. I was really afraid that I would no longer be able to enjoy this cake that embodies the whole feeling of christmas and to some extent my birthday which falls in January. I would normally have left over black cake as my birthday cake. I am elated that this gluten-free, dairy free, egg free Drunken Chocolate Fruit Cake is everything and more. Who says that those with diet restrictions can’t have any fun.
Go on have a guilt free bite!
- ½ cup pitted prunes
- ½ cup dark raisins
- ½ cup pitted dates
- ½ cup dried currants
- 8 ounces cherries
- 3 cups dark rum, plus more as needed
- 1½ cups cherry brandy or cherry wine plus extra for grinding fruit
- Combine the fruit and alcohol in a large container with a tight-fitting lid. Let sit at room temperature for at least 2 days and up to 1 year.
- Shake or stir the mixture occasionally.
- When ready to bake, combine the macerated fruit mixture with its liquid in a blender or food processor and process in batches, using extra brandy or rum as needed. I grind mine fine as I do not like bits of fruit in my cake. You can choose to leave chunks of some of the fruit if you prefer more texture.
- 1 cup cooked sweet potato puree (approximately 2 small sweet potatoes steamed and pureed)
- ¾ cup drunken fruit mix
- 2 small ripe bananas
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¾ cup maple syrup or honey
- ¾ cup almond milk (or other milk of your choice)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon Angostura bitters
- 1 cup chestnut flour (buckwheat, GF oat or any all purpose GF flour works as well)
- ¼ cup arrowroot starch (potato starch or tapioca starch also works)
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder (guar gum, xanthan gum, milled chia or flax seeds)
- 1½ teaspoon GF baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of rum
- Preheat oven to 350F/ 180ºC. Grease a large bundt cake pan and set aside.
- Place all liquid ingredients in a blender or food processor to combine.
- Combine all dry ingredients.
- Add wet mixture to the dry and mix until everything is combined and uniform.
- Pour into your bundt cake pan and bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer inserted down the centre comes out dry.
- Remove from oven and cool.
- Pour additional rum into the cracks on the surface of the cake.
- Prepare the chocolate rum drizzle by combining all the sauce ingredients. Once the cake is cool, transfer it to a serving plate and drizzle with the sauce.