Sunday, March 20, 2011
Lots of Pork and a recipe for Trinidad Black Cake
I am not sure where to start. I know you know that I am a bit (yes, a bit not a LOT) crazy. I mean I sorta get Dr. Food into a lot of trouble and leave my family shaking their heads and thinking to themselves "I won't say anything". I had the incredible honor of getting to spend the day at a farm with lots of incredible people. I took part in the Charcuterie thingy at @Podchef's farm. Uh, yeah that is a Twitter name but ok just follow along. You know that I am doing this Charcuterie thing, and I just took it a step further. I bought a pig. Not only did I buy a pig but as luck would have it I got to take an amazing class. Ok just go here to read what it was.
Look at the artistry.
Sausage wrapped in Caul. Makes me all weepy just looking at it.
The food we got to eat was incredible and once again I lived in the moment and didn't get pictures of the cassoulet or the people that I met (looking through my magic mirror and waving to David, and Neal, and Iliana, and Leslie, and uh oh forgot other names) shit. Ok, and another thing is I am really tired so just look at the pictures and know that I was working my tush off all day packing this stuff up and curing and hanging and I have a cold and am sick too.
Tying stuff and...
Sealing meat and...
Shoving in the freezer. I can't do anymore today. I do have to stop here to say that the experience has left me a changed person. It was intense and eye opening to see where our food comes from and the loving way that animals CAN be raised. I have always wanted a farm and seeing Neal and Cathy's farm was just how I always imagined mine would be other than the fact I never knew how much work it really was. Ok, so Dr. Food who has lived on farms keeps saying to me "YOU could never do it!". He may be right. I still wouldn't mind owning my miniture cow though. How hard could one little cow be?
Anyhow, I am indebted to Neal and Cathy and Kate and Dominique for everything that I got to learn from them in 2 days.
Ok now as promised here is the recipe for the Jamaican Black Cake that I brought to the farm but didn't get any pictures of.
Oh wait...I did get a picture of fruit soaking in booze
Oh and of the browing the sugar.
That is it but you have to believe me that it taste good.
Trinidad Black Cake
Adapted from Sarina at Trini Gourmet
1 lb butter (use margarine for pareve)
1 lb sugar
1 tsp lemon essence
2 tsp lime rind (zested)
2 tsp almond essence
2 tsp vanilla
1 lb all-purpose flour (use 1/2 cassava flour + 1/2 lb rice flour for gluten-free)
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 lb pitted prunes
1 lb raisins
1 lb currants
1 bottle rum
2 tbsp Angostura bitters
1 lb brown sugar (I used Jaggery)
1/2 cup boiling hot water
Have on Hand:
1 more bottle of rum
Three to Five Days Before:
Up to 5 days before you make the cake, chop up all the fruits for the fruit base. Place in a large bowl, pour in Angostura bitters and rum. Leave in a cool corner, covered, to soak up the liquor. As I said 3-5 days (or longer)
On the Day Of:
Blend Fruit Base:
I pour the soaked fruit and juices into a blender and blend until thick and still a bit chunky (like tomato sauce). Note: If you have been macerating your fruit for a minimum of a month in advance you can skip this step
Burn sugar until caramelized, add hot water gradually. Mix well and leave to cool.
Please be extra careful at this stage as a ‘browning’ burn is NOT a fun thing! (When I left it to cool it hardened in the pan. I would suggest putting it on wax paper or pouring it before it hardens. If it hardens I would grind it back into something that can incorporate into the batter.
Once that is done…
1. Preheat oven to 250F (no that’s not a typo)
2. Cream the butter and sugar.
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing to incorporate
4. Add lemon essence, lemon zest, almond essence and vanilla
5. Mix and sift flour, baking powder, mixed spice and nutmeg.
6. Gradually add sifted ingredients to creamed mixture
7. Mix in fruit base puree and ‘browning’
8. Pour batter into greased tins that have been doubly lined with brown paper or parchment paper
9. Bake for 3 hours
10. Once removed from the oven soak the tops with equal portions of the remaining bottle of rum.