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Aunt Tia’s Coconut Johnny Cake

The origins of johnny cake dates back to the 18th century. Fishermen and sailors made this bread on the decks of their vessels by building a fire in a box that was filled with sand to keep the flames from spreading to the craft. It was originally called journey cake because it was quick to make and sustainable while travelling. Taste a piece of history with my aunt’s legendary recipe.

Serves 8

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup frozen grated coconut, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup whipping (or heavy) cream (35%)

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Grease an 8-inch (20 cm) square baking dish with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and mix together.
  3. Add butter and, using your hand, combine with flour by breaking up into smaller pieces. Add coconut, oil and mix.
  4. Slowly pour in milk while mixing with your other hand to form dough into a ball (the dough should be soft and easy to handle). Dust a clean surface with flour and knead dough a few times.
  5. Place dough in the baking dish, spread out and level with your hands. Pour cream over and bake, about 45 minutes until the top is golden or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm with guava or mango jam.