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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baking with Mike Keyton

When it comes to cooking, Mike Keyton is another person I'd likely kidnap and chain to my kitchen. This could be why the best cooks never visit me.

PS...Note the temps, spelling, and weird words like treacle. Mike is British, but I don't hold that against him. :grin:

Take it away, Mike.

Early Christians would be bemused  by what we eat to celebrate Christ's birth. No doubt there'd be conferences to ensure the Turkey was not an heretical bird. A medieval lord would be equally cautious in forsaking his pork or beef for such a strange looking creature. A global culture encourages uniformity, it also allows diversity and the chance to free ourselves from the shackles of Christmas Cake and the ubiquitous mince pie.

This Christmas go Caribbean. Below are two recipes: Jamaica Ginger Cake, followed by a fat free and protein rich cake I pinched from a West Indian cook.

Recipe and Method

7 oz Brazil nuts - cut in half             4 Figs - chopped 
6 oz Walnuts - ditto                       3 oz raisins 
3 oz almonds                                 6 oz half glace cherries 
4 dates - chopped                         3 oz mixed peel

Mix the above together and stir in to the batter below:

3 oz sifted flour 
3 oz brown sugar
3 eggs

A squeeze of lemon (alternatively rum) pinch of salt, tsp of baking powder, vanilla essence.

Place in greased-proof paper lined tin and cook for 2 and a half hours at 300 degrees F.

The result is a very nutty cake. Not good for dentures.
Jamaican Ginger Cake Recipe
This combines richness and pungency and is dead easy to make. Done right you will have a dark brown cake with a slightly gooey gingery centre that solidifies when cold. (The original recipe used lard instead of butter and had a little less ginger but this works for me)

2 oz butter                             4 oz black treacle
6 oz of molasses sugar             2 oz golden syrup
2 beaten eggs                        1 tbs of dark rum
8 oz of self raising flour            2 oz sultannas
3-4 tsp of ginger                     3 pieces of stem ginger in syrup. 

Place butter, sugar, treacle and syrup in pan and warm until the fat has melted and the mixture is soft.

When cooled a little beat in eggs and fold in all the remaining ingredients, slicing the stem ginger before hand.

Pour the mix into a lined and greased 2lb loaf tin.

Bake 180 degrees (Celsius) for aproximately 40 minutes.

Okay, now the cake is done, and between now and Christmas you'll be gorging yourself silly. But for me, coming up is the real treat of the season, best sampled in the early hours of Boxing Day or the day after that: Toast and dripping.

I'm talking about the post-roast meat jelly, which most cooks urge you to use in your gravy. Well, put some aside.

Toast a thick slice of bread and spread the jellified meat juice* on to it. Puncture the toast whilst it's hot so the melted juice sinks through, and then sprinkle with salt. 

Eat immediately - preferrably early in the morning, outdoors and beneath a grey, shreddy sky. Lancashire weather.

Contemplate the year's end and the year yet to come and enjoy the simplicity of hot toast and dripping.

* If you're feeling a little bit sinful you can use some of the fat. That's the white stuff that does all manner of bad things but which, like sin and Blue Stilton is good in small doses.

NOTE: For other DIY Christmas posts, go here. All contests for the DIY posts end 12-22-11, so you can comment on any previous post.

I'm an adventurous eater, but not a particularly adventurous cook. Are you?  

This is why I kidnap good cooks and bakers. (Don't worry. I eventually let them go.)


Renee Miller said...

Drooling...I'd try this. I mean, it's not like I haven't ruined simple things like frozen pizza. I'm not afraid of family is. :)

Mike Keyton said...

You won't fail with this, Renee. You'll be a 'Domestic Goddess'. But is Tweed ready for one of those?

Renee Miller said...

A domestic goddess? Perhaps not. They're having trouble adjusting to their Ruler as it is. Throw a goddess in and...well implosion is likely.

Clarissa Draper said...

That looks so delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

Jenna Cooper said...

Mmmm...that looks delicious! I'll have to try it sometime. :)

Mark Noce said...

Looks is meal time yet? :)

Angela Brown said...

Both recipes sound scrumptious and the picture of that cake is making me wipe the drool from my mouth to prevent some innocent passerby from slipping lol!!

Great eating digs Mike.

Nom Nom.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

mmmm those look and sound so good. I could really go for some cake right about now

L.G.Smith said...

I think I gained two pounds just reading this.

Last year we did a Mexican Christmas and served homemade tamales. Mmmm....

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: I might try the nutty recipe, but the ginger cake is beyond my meager talents.

Is your family spoiled by your cooking? Or do you only treat them on holidays?

Southpaw said...

Thank goodness just looking at the photos and recipes don't put pounds on! LOL

Mike Keyton said...

Thank you for the comments. I must confess, reading other people's recipes puts the pounds on me too. I guess I'll have to put the three line whip (that's a parliamentary term nothing to do with S+M) on Maria and get her to do the the ginger cake. It's really easy and once its in the oven it can't fight back. Worse thing that can happen is that you end up with a big biscuit. Then you know its over cooked:
Southpaw, LG, Angela, Jenna, Sarah and Clarissa, thanks again for the comments

Mike Keyton said...

Failing eyesight - thanks Mark. It is yummy. One straight after another. That's the way to go

Kaz Augustin said...

Wouldn't you know it, I only baked a fruit cake last night? LOL Basted with whisky while hot, of course! But will definitely try these, Mike. Great recipes!

Kaye Manro said...

What great recipes! I'm so not that talented. I only wish. Still I could surprise everyone and try at least one of these!

LD Masterson said...

Maria, when you kidnap Mike, can I live under your kitchen table and catch the scraps.

Shelley Munro said...

The Jamacian Ginger cake sounds extra delicious. I'll have to hunt down some stem ginger & try this recipe.

Tracy Jo said...

That Ginger Cake looks so nummy!!

Mike Keyton said...

Kaz, do you continue to feed your cake over a fortnight? By that I mean pinprick the cake deep down with a long thin needle and dribble two tablespoons of rum or brandy across the surface every day. Not advisable to drive after eating one or two slices : )
LD under the table is a home from home for me. Favourite hiding place as a kid.
And Shelley, Tracy, Kay, go for it. I bet you get it right first time.

Cathy in AK said...

I'm an adventurous eater and a somewhat adventurous cook. These sure do make me want to tie on my apron and dive in. Yum! Thanks, Mike and Maria : )

Anonymous said...

Adventurous...yep, especially in the eating :)

Thanks for the recipes. Yum! I can't wait to try them out.

Mike Keyton said...

Cathy, Raelyn, I hope they work out and you enjoy one or both of them before the New Year.

Cate Masters said...

Yum, those look delicious. The thought of eating them in the Caribbean makes them even more appealing. :)
Happy holidays, Mike!

Mike Keyton said...

Cate, that's kind of you. Merry Christmas to you too.