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Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Christmas ham recipes

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Gulab jamun


"I wanted a traditional dessert on the menu, and this ticks the box. Gemma, our pastry chef, perfected it and added a saffron syrup," says D'Sylva.

You'll need

200 gm (2 cups) full-cream milk powder 55 gm (1/3 cup) fine semolina 50 gm (1/3 cup) plain flour 1/3 tsp baking powder 240 gm smooth ricotta (see note) 80 ml (1/3 cup) clarified butter, melted 2 tbsp warmed milk To serve: silver leaf (optional, see note)   Saffron syrup 300 gm caster sugar 1 tbsp saffron threads 2 star anise 1 cinnamon quill

Method

  • 01
  • For saffron syrup, stir ingredients and 500ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until a light syrup forms (15-20 minutes), then set aside and keep warm.
  • 02
  • Combine milk powder, semolina, flour and baking powder in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add ricotta and 80ml clarified butter, rub in with your hands, then add milk and mix to form a dough, adding a little extra milk if necessary. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly to form a smooth dough (1-2 minutes), cover with a tea towel and rest for 15 minutes.
  • 03
  • Roll 20gm pieces of dough into balls, keeping remaining dough covered, and place on a lightly floured tray. Cover with a tea towel until required.
  • 04
  • Heat remaining clarified butter in a saucepan to 120C. Fry balls in batches until golden all over (12-15 minutes). Drain with a slotted spoon and transfer to saucepan of saffron syrup. Serve gulab jamun warm or at room temperature with syrup drizzled over and topped with silver leaf.

Note Smooth ricotta is available in tubs from supermarkets. It has a wetter consistency than ricotta from the deli counter and is perfect for this recipe. Silver leaf is available from select delicatessens and art supply stores.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 - 6 people

Drink Suggestion

Kracher Beerenauslese Welschriesling & Chardonnay Blend 2009, Burgenland.

Featured in

Sep 2013

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