Wednesday 19 June 2013
Food, Music, Food, Music, Food, Music... Ad Infinitum
The official summer season kicks off in two days but this blog owner has been suffering its effects for a couple of months already. Due to the prolonged cold weather we had after March when spring should have arrived, pollen has appeared later than usual. And that goes for tree pollen and pollen from flowers. So, you could say that I have been under a double attack in the last ten or twelve weeks, except for my fortnight holiday in Cuba back in April.
This is the reason why my recipe tonight carries sugar up its sleeve, to me summer is sugar, I have no idea why. This is one dessert I will be making very soon if I can just get over the fact I have to include rum. You see, I’m teetotal. But I confess it’s the pineapple that’s done the trick for me.
I came across this pudding in the pages of The Guardian’s new(ish) Cook supplement and knew immediately I had stumbled upon one of those delights my family will be asking for again, again and again. Words by The Soul Food Girls Supper Club, by the way.
Pineapple and rum upside-down cake with hot buttered rum sauce
For the cake
435g pineapple rings, drained
2 large eggs
125g golden caster sugar
150g plain flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g unsalted butter, melted
Zest of ½ a lemon
75ml semi-skimmed milk
3 tbsp dark Jamaican rum
For the sauce
100g light brown muscovado sugar
120ml double cream
120ml dark Jamaican rum
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Grease a round cake tin and preheat the oven to 175C/350F/gas mark 4. Line the bottom of the tin with pineapple rings – you may need to squeeze them in a bit to make them fit. Cut the remaining rings in half and line the sides. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together until light and frothy. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and mix well. Add the flour mixture to the eggs and sugar, and combine well. Add the butter, lemon zest, vanilla extract, milk and rum and mix well. Pour the cake mixture on top of the pineapple rings and bake for about 40 minutes until it has risen, is a light brown colour and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake sit for about 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely. The bottom (the top when it's upside down) of the cake will look underdone: this is because the pineapples are so moist, but the rest of the cake will be fine – so don't worry! To make the sauce, stir the sugar and cream in a saucepan over a medium heat until melted and it has become well combined. Add the rum and allow to simmer until slightly thickened. Add the butter and stir until melted. Pour over the cake while hot and serve immediately.
For more recipes visit soulfoodgirlssupperclub.blogspot.co.uk
The music to go with this recipe has to make the listener melt like the sugar and cream in the saucepan. The kind of melody that makes you go: “I’m easy like Sunday morning”. That’s why I am going to start with the still little-known Alice Russell. What must Alice do to be better known by soul and jazz lovers? There was a time when her albums Under the Munka Moon 1 and 2 were played back to back to back in my house. Breakdown is the reason why. Beautiful harmonies with a strong voice.
From Alice we go to a duo of whom I haven’t heard anything for ages. Jazzyfatnastees is summer and vanilla extract, in all their sultry glory. Enjoy.
Why is it that a lot of social uprisings and riots take place in the summer? Gordon Lightfoot wrote about the Detroit riots in the 60s in his immortal song, Black Day in July. It’s only a couple of years ago that London was ablaze in the summer and look at Turkey and Brazil now (although it's autumn time in the souther hemisphere, I hasten to add. But I'm looking at it from our "summer" point of view). That’s why my third musical offering tonight comes from the godfather of rap, the late Gil Scott-Heron and one of his more consciously social compositions, B Movie, inspired by the also late former US president Ronald Reagan. Timeless tune.
Yasmine Hamdan is a new singer in my music collection. I love her voice, her projection, her arrangements. To me, here’s someone who doesn’t want to be labelled as “exotic other”, which is, sadly, the attitude I find very often amongst lovers of the wrongly called “world music” (I thought all music was world music!). Anyway, Samar, from the album Ya Nass, is beautiful.
We finish with Stevie, or rather his daughter Aisha Morris joining her dad in a duet of a song that needs no introduction. This is summer, mi gente, it might not be my favourite season, but with that pineapple and rum dessert I can put up with anything. Bring it on!
Photo taken from The Guardian
Next post: “Sunday Mornings: Coffee, Reflections and Music”, to be published on Sunday 23rd June at 10am (GMT)