Caribbean Dessertpineapple rum cake

Pineapple Rum Cake
(Serves 8)

This sweet concoction is to die for. End of story. (Wait till you see what's in it.)

1 C butter
2 C sugar
4 eggs
2 1/2 C flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C buttermilk
1 tsp. pineapple extract*
1 tsp. rum extract*
1 C crushed pineapple (drained)

Glaze (optional)
3/4 C butter
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour three 9" cake pans.

Cake: Cream butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate before adding the next. In a second bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a third bowl, combine buttermilk with rum and pineapple extracts.

Add a bit of flour mix to sugar-butter mix and stir. Add a bit of the buttermilk and stir. Alternate between flour and buttermilk mixes, adding them gradually to sugar-butter mix. End with flour addition. Finally add the pineapple.

Pour batter into cake pans and bake for 25 minutes, or till a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool before taking them out of their pans. Stack them and dust with confectioners sugar and grated coconut.

Glaze: Or make the glaze by combining all 4 glaze ingredients in a saucepan and bringing to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes and drizzle over the cake (and between layers) while cake is still warm.

| See more Caribbean recipes |

Tips & Glossary

Caribbean cuisine is an exquisite blend of African, Asian, European, and Carib Indian (the area's original inhabitants) foods. Dishes are highly seasoned, either with a dry rub or marinade —or both. Below are some typical ingredients found in Caribbean food.

Callaloo: young leaves of either the taro root plant or amaranth; used widely in Caribbean cooking. Spinach can be used as a substitute.

Spices: Allspice, bay leaves, black pepper, chives, chili peppers, cilantro, cinnamon, coconut, curry powder, escallion, garlic, ginger, lime, mace, nutmeg, onion, oregano, sugar, thyme, orange, tomato paste, vanilla, cayenne (red) pepper.

Jerk: Jamaican cooking method in which meat is rubbed, prior to grilling, with a blend of seasonings, often firey hot.

Jerk is also the name of the seasoning (from Spanish charqui, or dried meat). You can buy jerk in most grocery stores (even McCormick makes it), or can make and store your own.

• 1 T each—onion powder, garlic powder, dried chives, brown sugar; 2 tsp. each— (ground) allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon; 1 tsp. each—sage. thyme, salt, black pepper, cayenne (or more to taste). Mix thoroughly and store in a tightly covered jar.

There are thousands of versions; figure out what flavors you like most and add or subtract accordingly.

Typical meats: goat, pork, chicken, and some beef (though beef has tended to be expensive).

Fish: varieties that abound in surrounding waters, some familiar to us—grouper, cod, tilapia, blue marlin; others not so—200 species of jack, chip-chips (tiny clams), casadura (primitive armored catfish).

Native plant foods:
• ackee—peach-looking fruit with pulp like scrambled eggs
• annatto (achiote) seed
red coloring or flavoring agent w/ slightly sweet peppery taste.
• cassava root (taro root)
• malanaga root
• scotch bonnet peppers
• breadfruit—fruit used like a potato in salads, stews, even whipped.
• passion fruit

More familiar foods:
bananas and plantains, okra, yams, papaya, mangoes, coconut, yams, sweet potatoes, rice, beans, corn and cornmeal.


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