or the saga of Winnifred’s cakes.
About two weeks before Christmas we decided to attempt the next stage of Winnifred’s black cake recipe. We started with four different sized cake pans, three of which had been bought in the last month for this specific purpose, the other pan was a gift I’d bought for Victoria on my very first visit. We took the cake pans; one 8″, two 9″ and one 10″; to the dining table and cut patterns out of parchment and unprinted, brown paper, grocery bags to line them.
The next stage of the prep involved cubing the 4 lbs of butter as well as pulling out the other ingredients so they would be at hand as needed. By some quirk, our fairly well equipped kitchen lacks a scale, which was quite necessary when dealing with unmarked 2 Kg bags of brown sugar. We know that 1 Kg is 2.2 lbs our dilemma was how to measure out the the other 1.8 lbs, in the end we just eyeballed it and started adding the sugar and butter in batches.
We had three batches of Caribbean sugar, including some coarse Guyanese sugar, which we chose to use, not a good idea when you’re supposed beat the mixture until smooth, but we managed to get it done.
The oven in our apartment; we believe; was installed when the apartment was built, which would make it close to 30 years old and hence flaky to say the least. The cake pans couldn’t all fit on one rack of our oven, so we opted to put the two bigger cakes on the bottom rack and swap every 30 minutes. The actual baking process took about three hours although the bottom of the smaller cakes which we put on the bottom rack to finish cooking did get a little burnt.
We then proceeded to soak the cakes, half cup of rum for the smaller cakes and full cup for the bigger cakes. The end result left our kitchen smelling like a rum shop for days. After soaking for two days, we put two cakes in to a cake tins and wrapped the other two in parchment paper and foil for ready access. Thus far reviews have been good, including the cake we sent with a friend as a gift to Paris for Christmas; hence the title of the post.