Tuesday, 24 December 2013

SOUL Post: Christmas Baking- Caribbean Black Cake

Seasons greetings all!

Here in our family, every year I make a Caribbean Black Cake. There are many recipies out there on the net. I use a recipe from my grandmother's age old recipe stash, from Christmas in the Caribbean. The Guyanese is different to the Jamaican version of black cake as it contains shortening as well as a few other ingredients.

To me what makes this cake unique is the addition of molasses adding a deep dark colour as well as richness to the cake. i'd recommend soaking your fruits months or even a year ahead if you can; this time next year you too can enjoy the taste of a traditional Caribbean Christmas cake  . The fruits mature over time and make for a rich  boozy unbeatable Christmas cake. I usually buy a huge bag of dried fruits that drench In large container with a mixture of whisky and rum; topping up throughout the year.

Here is the recipe:

                                            8oz currants                                             
                            8oz sultanas                            
                                4oz raisins                                
8oz butter
4oz cherries 
2oz shredded peel 
2oz chopped nuts 
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp ground mace and grated nutmeg   
                            8oz flour                            
8oz sugar
4-6 eggs
 half cup molasses
quarter pint brandy or rum
pinch soda

  1. Pick and clean fruit cut up or mince raisins. Soak fruit in rum or brandy if wish. 
  2. Prepare nuts and peel cut up cherries.
  3. Cream butter and work in sugar; beat well.
  4. Whisk eggs thoroughly and beat in sugar mixture.
  5. Sift flour and spices and stir lightly into mixture.
  6. Add fruit and soda dissolved in a little warm water.
  7. Turn into a lined cake pan and bake in a slow oven (275 degrees F.) for approx 3 hrs

NB if prepared mixture may be covered with greased paper and steamed for 2 hours then bake in a slow oven (300 degrees F.) for 1 hr.

Once cooled I soak the warm cake with a syrup. To make this heat a cup of molasses, some vanilla essence, any alchohol you have in the cupboard and brush onto the cake. This deepens the colour as well as makes the cake even richer. 

Everyday I brush the syrup onto the cake at least three days ahead of christmas. If you like you can even brush a cap ful of rum also. This cake is not for kids!

You will end up with a wonderful delish cake:

Merry Chrismas all!


Monday, 16 December 2013

Life of a Year 2 Commercial Music Student: It's Christmas

Hi guys!

Wow. Christmas is 9 days away now. I cannot wait, this has always been my favourite season. I don't know what it is about christmas but I can feel the magic in the air.

So semester 1 at uni is over! Bitter sweet, as the intensity heightens to the release of the EP but it's nice to have a rest. The studios at uni closed for a whole month last Thursday! Shock horror. But gives time to work on the theory side of things. One hell of a semester it's been, literally studio studio studio, essay, studio, essay.

On Friday I submitted assignment 1 for released recording. It was something. 12 ideas and 6 unmixed demos. As everyone wanted to use the studios it was literally impossible to get a studio. And when I did I fainted, yes fainted on the day my assignment was due. I managed to record with my trustee c214 mic despite it and my two friends brought me to safety lol. But on top of that my logic projects didn't bounce in time so I had to work with what I had. This is something that I've learnt a lot this semester. You have to be quick and time does not wait; literally. No pun intended there.

When setbacks arise don't get down and :

Bring on the festivities. Eating & being merry. Stay tuned as I write the top happenings for 2013!! 

Have you got anything planned this christmas? What is on your playlist this christmas?


Thursday, 5 December 2013

Year 2 of a Commercial Music Student: Flu 2.0

Hi guys!

So I was hit by the flu bug yet again! Where, when, what, why how?!?

It seems to be going around at the moment. But this bout hit me harder than the last and I thought that was flu. This knocked me for six since I haven't been ill for a while. So guys I've come to the conclusion I need to juice up! I bought £8 worth of fruit and vegetables determined to juice.

So last week I was productive. Managed to record a basic instrumental for my next track I'm working on 'Look What You did'. The main chords with the melody is a harp. I then added some drums, and percussion, and next plan to add some kind of bass. It's sounding good so far. Think Ryan Leslie with the drums. If I could just have the drums from his track with Jasmin Villegas I would be a very happy girl lol!

The six songs so far for my EP in no particular order  singer/songwriter edition is:
1) Better than Before
2) In Retrospect
3) HeartStrings
4) Look What You Did
5) Blind
6) DJ (Care Less Party More)

Stay tuned and more to come all. Next week is a very busy one.