Emily Dickinson's Black Cake

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Washington Post


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3 cups sugar

1 cup brandy, or more to taste

1 3/4 pounds raisins

8 ounces dried currants

8 ounces dried apricots, cut into pieces the size of raisins

8 ounces pitted dried prunes, cut into pieces the size of raisins

2 ounces dried pears, cut into pieces the size of raisins

4 ounces pitted dates, cut into pieces the size of raisins

1/2 cup brandy

3 1/4 cups unbleached flour

4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves

1 1/4 teaspoons mace

1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 1/2 pounds unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the pan(s)

13 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

3/4 cup molasses

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