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Dec 23, 2008

Elda Blades gives tips on making a black fruit cake

Story PictureFruit cakes are a staple fare around the Christmas season. And although not everyone is a fan, tonight the temperature in homes across the country will go up considerably as ovens are lit to bake white and black cakes. For those trying their hand at making a black fruit cake for the first time, we’ve got some tips and tricks from veteran cake baker, Elda Blades. Blades, a guest on Open Your Eyes, shared with William and I how she makes her famous cake.

Marleni Cuellar
“This is two pounds of all purpose flour, and then we have a pound of butter, which we have here and that has been creamed with one pound of brown sugar?”

Elda Blades, Cake Baker
“Mhmm, brown sugar. The brown sugar, it just gives you a little more molasses flavour even though I have molasses in here. I have a mixture of molasses in that. Burnt sugar, we use blackening, but I also use burnt sugar because it gives it that little slight bitter taste. If you use only burnt sugar, it will give it that real old fashioned taste that tastes bitter. You have the burnt sugar, you have some rum or wine. Some people like wine and some like rum. I don’t fancy wine; I prefer using just plain rum.”

“For every pound of flour use one teaspoon of baking powder. So you have two pounds of flour in there.”

Marleni Cuellar
“Level?”

Elda Blades
“Mhmm, level it.”

Marleni Cuellar
“Two?”

Elda Blades
“Yeah, just put that in, that’s your spices, that’s allspice, cloves and nutmeg. For this amount of cake you need about two cups of liquid to put in this. We have my homemade blackening—the burnt sugar—the other just blackening, the syrup and rum and I mix it all up together in there. So I’ll open this. This even has a little bit of… when I make my peel, I save some of the syrup to put along with this because it also give it a nice flavour. I make my own peel, every year I peel about a hundred oranges and cut them up and make my own peel. So we need about two cups.
So just mix this up. One thing with black cake, you don’t have to cream it a long time because it’s not a light cake, it’s a heavier cake it’s more like a pudding. And then to this, I start putting in my fruits. If it isn’t the texture that I want I’m going to put in a little more, so this is my fruit. With this you can put whatever you like in your cake. Then I’ll put the eggs. For every pound, you use about three eggs. Your eggs also must be room temperature okay. We’ll almost add all the flour. Just put half to make sure.”

William Neal
“We’ve added the second half of the flour and we’re folding it again to make sure that… basically you want to remove all the lumps.”

Elda Blades
“If I was at home now I would put in a lot more so it could look more black. I like my cake to be black, I don’t like it to be brown. Now you have a mixture.”

Marleni Cuellar
“How long does this normally bake for?”

Elda Blades
“About an hour and a quarter because it’s not a very liquidy cake, you know. You want your cake to have a lovely glaze.”

Marleni Cuellar
“What kind of syrup is this?”

Elda Blades
“This is just sugar syrup. I would also take a fork… so it cane penetrate and have a spoon to rub it on. We can show what it looks like ready for the market.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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