In the heart of Colombia’s vibrant and diverse culinary culture is a decadent dessert that is sure to steal your heart. Known as Torta Negra Colombiana, or Colombian Black Cake, this indulgent confectionery is a quintessential dessert that has been enjoyed by generations of Colombians.
I am thrilled to share with you this traditional recipe that has been passed down from my grandmother and perfected over time. The Torta Negra Colombiana is a rich cake made with candied fruits, nuts, spices, red wine, and rum. This unique cake combines Colombian flavors with European influences to create a heavenly dessert that will satisfy even the sweetest tooth.
This cake’s uniqueness comes from its rich and complex flavor profile, which is derived from the variety of spices and sweeteners that are blended together to create a harmonious taste. The medley of flavors includes cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, dried figs, raisins, currants, prunes, walnuts and hazelnuts. Each bite of this divine cake delivers an explosion of flavors that will keep you coming back for more.
Whether you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet cravings or impress your guests with something special, the Torta Negra Colombiana is the perfect choice. So let us dive into the recipe together and discover all the secrets behind this classic Colombian dessert.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
There are plenty of reasons to love the Torta Negra Colombiana, also known as the Colombian Black Cake. First and foremost, it’s a truly unique cake that has a rich history and cultural significance in Colombia. But beyond that, this cake is loaded with complex, intriguing flavors that make every bite a satisfying adventure.
One key ingredient is red wine, which gives the Torta Negra Colombiana its signature deep, warm flavor. The wine is paired with other robust ingredients, like ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and dark rum to create a spice blend that’s perfectly balanced for a sensory explosion.
But that’s not all – the cake also features candied figs and brevas caladas (candied plump figs), raisins and pitted prunes soaked in cognac, and toasted hazelnuts and walnuts. It’s a wealth of textures and tastes in every delicious slice.
And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you to try this recipe out, let’s not forget about the presentation – topping off this beautiful cake with powdered sugar is simply stunning sight. So what are you waiting for? This cake is a must-try for any adventurous baker looking to take their taste buds on an unforgettable journey.
Below you can find the ingredient list for making the Colombian Black Cake or Torta Negra Colombiana. This cake is rich in flavors, thanks to its combination of spices and dried fruits soaked in spirits. Gather all the ingredients you need and follow the recipe steps to create a scrumptious dessert.
- 2 cups (450g) self-rising flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
Fruits and Nuts
- 2 cups raisins
- 2 cups pitted prunes
- 2 cups brevas caladas (candied figs)
- 1 pound candied fruits (raisins, plums, figs chopped into pieces)
- 1 cup port wine
- ½ cup dark rum
Butter and Sugar
- 1 pound (453.59g) unsalted butter
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 cup turbinado sugar
- Powdered sugar for dusting
Spices for Colombian Black Cake
- A pinch of salt
- Zest of one orange
- Zest of one lemon
- Vanilla extract
Extra Ingredients to Soak Fruits
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup cognac
Note: If you can’t find brevas caladas, you can substitute with any other candied fruits or dates. And if you want to add a twist to the recipe, feel free to use different kinds of nuts like hazelnuts or walnuts.
The Recipe How-To
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
2. In a large mixing bowl, Cream 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) of butter and 2 cups of light brown sugar, 1 cup of demerara sugar, and ½ cup of turbinado sugar until fluffy.
3. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
4. Add in the seedless raisins, chopped pitted prunes, and currents. Make sure to toss them with flour before adding them to the mixture.
5. Pour in the red wine, cognac, port wine, dark rum, and mix until well combined.
6. To this mixture add the hazelnuts and walnuts; stir briefly.
7. Mix together the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground nutmeg, and add to the batter a little at a time until well blended.
8. Fold in the candied fruits dry figs chopped into small pieces.
[Optional] At this stage I’d recommend a taste test ’cause every cook needs some tender loving care (TLC).
[Optional] Lick either a spoon or fingers to check for sweetness or toasting type flavor profiles—just make sure no one is watching or you’ll look like Goldilocks sneaking porridge from three bears – not that I’ve done that before.
9. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate overnight or for several hours so that all those delicious flavors meld together wonderfully.
[Optional] At this stage you could do two things: watch paint dry or clean up – my recommendation is clean up! Trust me you’ll thank me later when there are no dirty dishes to clean after baking this marvelous Torta Negra Colombiana.
[Optional] Alternatively do what I do- dance around your kitchen like no one’s watching!
10. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with butter and dust it with flour (or use parchment paper).
[Optional] Tip: Use scraps of parchment paper on sides to protect against over-browning during baking.
[Optional] Place flaked almonds on the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking –- trust me it’ll come out smooth as butta!
[Optional] This recipe will make enough batter for two cake pans so get ready for double YUM!
Keep calm throughout the above steps because now it’s time for all those mouthwatering ingredients to transform into something absolutely incredible!
11.) Time to pour half (or pour in one quarter each if using two cake pans) of your scrumptious black cake torta batter into the greased and floured pan.
12.) Bake for an hour, check with toothpick (it should come out clean), then repeat until baking time is approximately
Substitutions and Variations
I believe that there’s always room for experimenting with recipes and making them more personalized according to our own preferences. If you’re feeling adventurous, try some of these substitutions and variations to give a unique twist to the Colombian Black Cake recipe:
– For a non-alcoholic version, you can swap the red wine, cognac, and port wine for grape juice or any other fruit juice of your choice. However, keep in mind that this will alter the taste of the cake.
– Instead of walnuts, use hazelnuts or almonds for a different nutty flavor.
– You can replace currants with raisins and prunes with dried apricots or dates as per your taste. Moreover, if you are not a fan of figs, substitute them with any other candied or dry fruit like cherries or cranberries.
– If self-rising flour is not available then substitute it by combining 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
– In case you don’t have all the spices mentioned at home, cinnamon and nutmeg alone would still give a festive flavor to the recipe. Additionally, if you love cardamom or allspice more than cloves feel free to mix things up.
Remember that changing quantities or ingredients could have an impact on the texture and flavor of the final product so be prepared to adjust some measures accordingly. Nonetheless,sometimes taking a little risk can result in delicious surprises that we didn’t even know we’d love!
Serving and Pairing
Once your Torta Negra Colombiana is ready, it’s time to serve and enjoy it in all its glory. This cake is dense, rich, and packed with robust flavors that will steal the show wherever you take it.
When serving the Torta Negra Colombiana, I suggest cutting it into thin slices as it’s quite filling. I also recommend sprinkling a generous amount of powdered sugar on top for an extra dash of sweetness and a beautiful finishing touch.
When it comes to pairing, there are many options to choose from depending on your preferences. A glass of red wine or port is a classic pairing for this type of dessert because they enhance the bold flavors of the cake without overwhelming them. However, if you prefer something lighter, a cup of coffee or tea could be an excellent choice to complement the rich taste of the cake.
If you want to take things up a notch, consider making a quick homemade whipped cream or vanilla ice cream that can bring out the warm spices like cinnamon and cloves used in this recipe. You can even drizzle some rum sauce over the cake for more depth of flavor and moisture.
No matter how you choose to serve and pair your Torta Negra Colombiana, your guests are guaranteed to be impressed with its robust flavor profile and decadent texture.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
As a baker, I understand the value of making things ahead and storing them for later. The Torta Negra Colombiana is no exception; it actually tastes even better after a few days of resting. That being said, here are some tips on how to make it ahead, store it, and reheat it to perfection.
To make ahead:
If you want to save time on the day you plan to serve the cake, you can bake it up to two days before your event. After you let the cake cool completely, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap to prevent moisture loss and place it in an airtight container. Store it at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
Torta Negra Colombiana has a long shelf life if kept properly. If stored at room temperature in a cool and dry place, it can last up to two weeks. If you let the cake sit in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic wrap for up to four weeks, its flavors will continue to develop and intensify as time passes.
When reheating creates softening instead of drying out the cake, always do this carefully. Take the wrapped torta out of its container and place it on a baking sheet or tray. Preheat your oven for about 10 minutes at 350°F (180°C). Then place the cake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.
For best results always remember to remove the plastic wrap before heating at room temperature or reheating because the cake can dry out if reheated in plastic wrap.
With these storage and reheating tips, you can enjoy your Torta Negra Colombiana any time you crave its spicy sweetness, perfect texture, juicy raisins, dried plums or figs, and delicious crunchy nuts with just that extra hint of mingling spirits – any time of day!
Tips for Perfect Results
Making a Torta Negra Colombiana is not just about following the recipe; it’s the little things you do to make it perfectly. Here are some tips for getting your Torta Negra Colombiana to turn out just right.
Firstly, remember that this cake is all about letting the ingredients speak for themselves. To ensure your ingredients truly shine, always use high-quality ingredients. For example, opt for freshly ground nutmeg and cinnamon instead of pre-ground ones.
Secondly, a great tip for baking Torta Negra Colombiana is to soak the candied fruits and nuts in cognac or rum for at least two days before baking. The fruits will absorb the flavors of the cognac or rum, giving them a deep and rich taste.
Thirdly, when mixing your dry ingredients into your batter, be careful not to overmix – this will keep your cake from becoming tough or rubbery. Mix until everything has just combined!
Another important tip is to keep a close eye on your cake while it’s baking. While the listed baking time may give you an accurate estimate of how long it takes to bake, every oven is different. So test for doneness with a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake’s thickest part before removing from the oven.
Lastly, when presenting your Torta Negra Colombiana, decoration plays a vital role. Let your imagination run wild and add cherries, nuts or sprinkle confectioner’s sugar on top for a stunning look that will impress everyone.
By following these tips and applying attention to detail, you’re sure to end up with a delicious Torta Negra Colombiana that will be well worth every step you took to make it!
This Torta Negra Colombiana, or Colombian Black Cake, may look intimidating but don’t let that stop you from trying it out. With its array of spices and bold flavors, this cake is a special treat that is perfect for any occasion. Plus, the recipe allows for substitutions and variations to suit your personal preferences and needs.
So, give it a try! Share it with friends and family, indulge in a slice or two, and savor the deliciousness that is the Torta Negra Colombiana. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Torta Negra Colombiana -- Colombian Black Cake Recipe
- 450 450 g demerara sugar or 450 g light brown sugar
- 200 ml cognac (more to taste)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda (dissolved in a bit of warm water)
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 120 g powdered sugar
- 1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup currants
- 200 g butter, softened
- 400 g self-rising flour
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- 400 ml red wine (any red drinking wine will do, NOT cooking wine)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C and grease/flour an 9" cake pan.
- Combine the red wine, butter, sugar, currants, walnuts, hazelnuts, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and cognac in a saucepan; bring to the boil.
- Boil for 3 minutes.
- Let mixture cool to room temperature.
- Next add the flour, the vanilla, and the baking soda that has been previously dissolved in a bit of warm water.
- Mix thoroughly and pour into a cake pan that has been buttered and floured.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes.
- Turn the oven off and let the cake stand inside until it tests done.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Your Own Notes
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Steven is a chef by heritage, so it’s no wonder why baking is such a big part of who he is. To share his passion for all things sweet, he created cookiesncrepes.com. It’s the perfect platform to indulge in delicious treats, all with a sprinkle of his signature flare.