Thursday, December 30, 2010

Torta Negra

Torta Negra is the classic Christmas & New Year's Eve Cake in my homeland, Venezuela. It is made with a delicious combination of ingredients taken from spanish and european cuisine, like all kind of christmas nuts and wine.

Traditionally this cake is prepared starting weeks before, as the maceration of dried fruits and nuts in wine gets better and better with time. But don't panic! It can also be done some days or the same day. Though making it the same day it will be served won't have the same level of deliciousness as starting days or weeks before. But if you don't have time, go ahead and give it a try! And remember it goes perfect for New Year's Eve celebration!


Fruits & Nuts Maceration:
(for 1 Lt Wine, lasts for 3 or 4 medium sized cakes)

  • 1 Lt Sweet Red Wine
  • 250 gr Hazelnuts
  • 250 gr Walnuts
  • 250 gr Almonds
  • 250 gr Raisins
  • 250 gr Dried Plums (Prunes)
  • 2 Tbsp Cinnamon (powder)
  • 1 Tbsp Cloves (powder)
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger (powder)
  • 1 Tsp Cardamom (powder)
  • 1 Tsp Nutmeg

  • 4 Eggs
  • 300 gr Flour
  • 220 gr Sugar
  • 200 ml oil / melted butter
  • 200 ml wine from the maceration mix (use the liquid without the fruits & nuts)
  • 2 Tbsp Baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp Cacao powder
  • 250 gr. Fruits & Nuts from the maceration mix (try not to add too much of the wine)


Fruits & Nuts Maceration:

In a large bowl (use one with lid), add all the fruits, nuts and spices and the wine. Mix well for a minute. Close the lid and reserve in a dark, cool place. You can keep this mix for weeks, even months. But if you need to bake your cake urgently you can leave to rest for some hours, or you can use it immediately if you have no other option. Will taste good but not as good as to letting it rest for a least some hours, as the fruits and nuts need to absorb at lest a bit of the wine.


With your hand-mixer, beat the eggs and sugar for 2 - 3 minutes until you get a brighter and smooth cream.

Add the oil and next the wine from the maceration mix. Beat well the mix for a minute.

Add the flour previously mixed with the baking powder and the cacao. Add by portions and mix well.

Change to the lowest speed of your mixer or change to your spoon, add the fruits & nuts mix. Mix carefully.

Fill your baking form, previously prepared with butter and flour to avoid any sticky accident.

Bake at 180 °C / 356 °F for 35-40 minutes. Test with a clean wood stick or a clean knife in the center of the cake. If it comes out perfectly clean, your cake is done!

Decorate with cacao powder, confectioners sugar, chocolate couverture, Ganache, or as you desire.

Serve and Enjoy!

Note: this cake as well last long when preserved in a dry and cool place. It can last for weeks, but always have an eye on it.


To close I want to give thanks to Wendy and to everyone in our Team, for the wonderful experiences and the opportunity to share some of my favorite recipes with all of you and our followers. This year was superb and I know next will be even better!

I wish you all a Happy Happy, Prosperous and very very Successful New Year - 2011 !!!

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