Jamaican Black Cake
The cultural idiosyncrasies of each Caribbean island are rich and telling. And Black Cake—even with its own slight variances—offers a delicious commonality between each isle in a way that allows the diversity to shine but leaves the baking tradition of this cake intact. Here, the delicate nuance of raw almonds (and almond extract), the warm spiky notes of allspice, and plenty of rum inform my family's version of Black Cake with a uniquely Jamaican sensibility. I've substituted dark molasses for the more traditional browning or burnt sugar essence. However, despite adaptations, the cake’s blackness, rich density, and ever-present tingle of rum—which also preserves the cake—will always be its most distinguishable features.