I love to bake, I think I love baking more than I do cooking. There is something special about having the smell of baked goods wafting around your home. I love the end product and I have a number of friends and family who are my unofficial baked-goods-sampling -and- feedback team.
Most people love cake for all kinds of celebrations. At this time of year many people like to try out their cooking and baking skills for the festive season. Christmas cakes are widely available but I have yet to see any Jamaican Christmas cakes on sale in any of the major supermarkets. In addition if they were available I’m not sure if it would be suitable to a wide range of dietary requirements. Well it doesn’t matter any way because here is my recipe that you can use to impress your friends and family, with the fact that you have baked it yourself .
2 cups/250g/9oz plain flour
Pinch of salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp mixed spice
⅓ cup/75g/2½oz soya or sunflower non-dairy spread
1 cup/256g/9oz muscovado sugar
1¼ cups/170g/6oz dates, finely chopped
1 cup/200g/7oz sultanas
1 cup/200g/7oz raisins
¼ cup/56g/2oz glacé cherries, chopped
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 cup/250ml/½ pint soya milk (alternatively you can use oat, rice or coconut milk)
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
2. Sift flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl.
3. Rub in the non-dairy spread.
4. Stir in the sugar, dates, sultanas, raisins, cherries and cloves.
5. Add the lemon zest and stir well.
6. Add all but two tablespoons of the soya milk and stir lightly.
7. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of soya milk in a pan or microwave so it’s warm but not boiling. You should be able to touch it without burning your fingers.
8. Pour the heated soya milk onto the bicarbonate soda and then stir it thoroughly into the mixture, without actually beating.
9. Spoon the mixture into a 7 or 8 inch cake tin, greased and lined with baking paper or greaseproof paper.
10. Smooth and slightly hollow out the centre.
11. Bake for an hour, then turn the oven down to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3 and bake for a further 45 minutes.
12. It’s ready when a skewer or cocktail stick comes out clean.
Plantain Cups With Ackee Filling - My Signature Dish
I LOVE plantain it is one of my most favourite things to eat. I like ackee too so when I came up with this recipe it was a match made in heaven for me. This can be served as a starter ( you can make mini ones) or a main course served with roast potatoes and a side salad. This is suitable for most diets including vegans, vegetarians and those on a gluten free diet
Plantain is a part of the staple diet in countries like in West and Central Africa, Central America, all across the Caribbean islands and also the northern, coastal parts of South America. On of the major advantages of plantain is that they grow all year round, making them a reliable all-season staple food.
According to draxe.com there a good health benefits for eating plantain. The nutritional value includes potassium, fibre, vitamin b12 and magnesium
Ackee is a fruit but it is eaten like a vegetable, in the same way that a tomato is a fruit but is eaten like a vegetable. Ackee, also known as achee, ackee apple or akee (Blighia sapida) and is a member of the Sapindaceae (soapberry family. Ackee is native to many countries in West Africa including Ghana, Gambis, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone .
Ackee was imported to Jamaica from West Africa (probably on a slave ship) around the year 1778. Since then it has become a major part of many Caribbean cuisines, and is also grown in tropical and subtropical areas elsewhere around the world.
Plantain Cups With Ackee Filling Recipe
For The Plantain Cups
• 2 ripe plantains
• Spray Oil
– Wash and peel the plantains
– Chop the plantain into 3-4 pieces
– Boil plantain until soft and tender.
– Drain the cooked plantain
– Press the plantain into the oiled muffin tin to form the cups
– Bake at 180c / 350f or gas mark 4 for 20-30 minutes until golden brown
– Remove from the muffin tins and allow to cool slightly
For The Filling
• 1 medium can of ackee (540g)
• 2 oz. coconut oil (plus a little more if needed)
• 1 Large Onion chopped
• 2 Plum tomatoes
• Half a green pepper chopped
• 1/2 Tsp. Salt
• 1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper
• ½ tsp season all (optional)
• 1 small scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
– Sauté onions, peppers and tomatoes until onions are soft.
– Open the can of ackee and drain the liquid from the tin.
– Add ackee to onions, peppers and tomatoes and fold together.
– Allow to cook for 2 minutes, and then add salt to taste.
– Add black pepper and scotch bonnet pepper
– Simmer on medium heat for another 3 – 5 minutes.
– Place 1-2 spoonfuls of ackee into the plantain cups an serve