Otherwise known as the ‘Island of Spice’, Grenada is a lush, tropical paradise in the south east Caribbean. As you land the air is heavy with the scent of nutmeg and cocoa beans.
Filling your spice jars
While you can buy herbs and spices, in pretty spice jars, easily in any decent supermarket, going to the source results in a far richer, fresher flavour. If you are lucky enough to visit Grenada you will want to bring home nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, pimento, cloves, bay leaves, ginger and turmeric along with the local fruit, pericarp, used to make jam, juice and flavoured syrup. However thanks to the internet you don’t need to book an exotic holiday to achieve the authentic taste of the Caribbean. Simply stock up with some spice jars, spice labels and order the spices you want online. When they arrive, grind them, decant them into your spice jars, add your spice labels and get cooking!
Using your spice jars
This moist, delicious cake tastes great cold or hot with custard or ice-cream, with afternoon tea or as a dessert.
Spiced Orange Cake
- 1 small orange (ideally a thin-skinned variety)
- 275g self-raising flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 275g golden caster sugar
- 275g butter, softened
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice (ground nutmeg, ginger and allspice)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 175g icing sugar, sifted
Preheat the oven to 160ºC and grease and line two 20cm, deep cake tins. Put the whole orange in a saucepan and pour over enough boiling water to cover the fruit and simmer for about 20 minutes, until soft, then set aside to cool.
Once cooled, cut the orange in half and remove pips, then put the whole orange in a food processor and whizz for a few seconds. The texture should remain slightly chunky. Reserve two tablespoons of the pulped orange for later, leaving the rest in the processor. Add the flour, baking powder, golden caster sugar, 225g of the butter, the eggs and the spices to the food processor with the orange and blend for a short while until the texture is smooth – avoid over-processing. Pour the mixture evenly between the cake tins and bake for about half an hour. Remove cakes from the tins and cool on a wire rack.
To make the cake filling, cream the remaining 50g of butter with the icing sugar and the orange pulp that was reserved earlier. Spread the icing over one of the cakes, then top with the other cake. Dust the top generously with icing sugar and, if you wish, decorate with some orange slices.