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Trini Christmas? Coming? No… Well Start Cookin’. We Got You Covered!

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Not everybody can make it to T&T this year for that sweet Trini Christmas. Well, we’re all about spreading the good vibes so no matter where you’re spending your season, we’ve got some recipes that’ll make you feel like you’re spending it with us, right here on the island of sun, steelpan and sweet wine… (wink wink).

Ever tried making Ponche de Creme (Ponch A Creme) ? Try this… 

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons grated lime zest
  • 3 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cup canned evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups rum
  • 1 tablespoon aromatic bitters
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs and lime zest using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually pour in the condensed milk while continuing to mix, and then pour in the evaporated milk.
  2. Stir in the rum and bitters, and sprinkle with nutmeg. Transfer to a bottle and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve over crushed ice.

 


Now, here’s the recipe for the Trini Fruit Cake. Be sure to let us know how it turns out! 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pitted prunes
  • 1 pound dark raisins
  • 1/2 pound pitted dates
  • 1 pound dried currants
  • 1 pound dried cherries
  • 8 ounces glacé cherries
  • 4 ounces mixed candied citrus peel
  • 3 cups dark rum, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry brandy (may substitute Manischewitz Concord grape wine), plus extra for grinding fruit
  • 4 ounces blanched, slivered or sliced almonds
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for the pans
  • 1 pound dark brown sugar
  • 10 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest of 2 limes
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Angostura bitters
  • 1 pound flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Combine the prunes, raisins, dates, currants, both kinds of cherries, the candied citrus peel, 2 cups of the rum and all the brandy in a large container with a tight-fitting lid. Let sit at room temperature for at least 2 days and up to 1 year. Shake or stir the mixture occasionally.
  2. When ready to bake, combine the macerated fruit mixture with its liquid and the almonds in a blender or food processor and process in batches, using extra brandy to loosen. Grind to a coarse paste, leaving centimeter-size chunks of some of the fruit intact for texture.
  3. Pour the granulated sugar into a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the sugar has melted and caramelized until almost black; it will smoke a bit and it’s much darker than you’ve caramelized sugar before. Turn off the heat, then carefully add the boiling water (furious steam here), stirring to incorporate. It may stiffen up before you add some of the caramelized sugar to the batter, just return the pot to a burner on low heat, which will loosen it up again.
  4. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Use butter to grease three 9-inch or four 8-inch pans, then line the bottom of each with a double layer of parchment paper.
  5. Combine the 4 sticks of butter and the dark brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer; beat on low, then medium speed for several minutes, until light and fluffy. Stop to scrape down the bowl. On low speed, beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the lime zest, vanilla extract and the Angostura bitters, beating until well incorporated. Scrape the very wet batter into a very large mixing bowl.
  6. Combine the flour, baking powder and cinnamon on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Fold the flour mixture by hand into the butter mixture, then gradually stir in the macerated fruit paste and 1/4 cup of the black/caramelized sugar. This is a very heavy batter, and stirring will take muscle; you might want to divide among a couple of bowls for mixing in a stand mixer; you can use a dough-hook attachment. The batter should be the color of dark walnuts; if the color seems too tan or light, stir in more or all of the black/caramelized sugar as needed.
  7. Divide the batter among prepared pans, filling them almost to the top. Bake for 1 hour, then reduce the temperature to 225 degrees; bake for about 2 hours, or until a tester inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean. Transfer the cakes, in their pans, to wire racks to cool.
  8. While the cakes are cooling, baste them with the some of the remaining cup of rum every few minutes until the cakes are cool and/or no longer absorb rum. They will absorb several tablespoons each; you may not use all the rum.
  9. When completely cool, invert the cakes onto plates. The cakes are ready to serve, but will taste better if they sit for at least a few days.

We’ll have more for you as the days to Christmas stroll on, so keep checking back with your favorite hub for Caribbean entertainment news. We love having you!

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Caribbean Buzz

Skinny Fabulous Touches Down in T&T.

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We’re one Caribbean people and so when Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival becomes the focus of Caribbean attention, the stars from across the Lesser Antilles, begin showing up. Skinny Fabulous- Gamal Doyle, has touched down in T&T. We just love Skinny. He’s definitely a force to be reckoned on the Soca circuit and we’ll tell you why.

Skinny’s been sharing his book choices with fans on social media.

Did you know that a couple years ago, Skinny Fabulous and Machel Montano teamed up on a Soca track called, “Go Hard” that  earned them the spotlight on ESPN? It was an amazing accomplishment and for the pair and of course it came with great financial rewards no doubt. Beyond that, Skinny Fabulous is one of those Caribbean artistes who’s been to far off places like Dubai for performances, pleasing audiences that aren’t quite familiar with the sound of Soca music. St. Vincent- the land of his birth, Doyle remains a grounded spirit and in recent weeks he’s been showing his fans how he maintains his calm. He’s been reading while jet setting! His latest book? – ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferarri’…

Skinny has released a few songs already ahead of T&T’s Carnival excitement. One of our favorites however is ‘Every Gyal’. Check it out below and let us know what you think.

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Caribbean Buzz

Huge Weekend of Sweetness in T&T. First Reggae then Soca.

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What a huge weekend! First, reggae hitmaker Chronixx destroyed Trinidad’s Southland, delivering his countless hits to a sea of reggae loving concert goers, then on Sunday, Soca queen, Destra Garcia sends ripples through the entertainment fraternity.

Destra Garcia announces her engagement.

Yes folks, Destra Garcia is officially off the market. The singer who broke her ankle while performing in Bermuda earlier this year, announced her engagement via Instagram on Sunday night.

Posting an image of her engagement ring, the artiste who is possibly the most toured entertainer out of Trinidad and Tobago, revealed that she has managed to keep her engagement a secret for some time. Destra and her daughter’s father, Brian, have been together for a number of years- their daughter, Xaiya, already 7-years-old.

Destra and Brian have been together for years.

The public announcement has however been downplayed by radio personality and comedian, Rachel Price who, during her radio program on RED 96.7FM this morning, subliminally questioned the need for the announcement since the pair have been together for so many years. Such is the norm in the entertainment arena in Trinidad and Tobago these days it seems though. Much scrutiny seems to be pouring out of every nook and cranny leaving us to wonder just how much love is being shared in these parts at all. Anyway, Congratulations to Destra Garcia and her husband to be, Brian. We wish you both many blissful years ahead.

 

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