This Nutmeg Plantain Cake with a coconut caramel popcorn topping has been in my head for over a year. No lie folks.
The main reason it took so long was that I was way too impatient to let the plantains ripen. Miss N and I love plantains so much that 2 days into the extra ripening period, I would just give up and we would have baked plantains or fried plantains for breakfast. I eventually figured out that if I got at least 24 plantains in one go, we would have enough to eat as well as make this plantain cake. It only took me a year to get this sorted. Duh right?
Why Plantain Cake?
Plantains are a huuuuuuuuuuuge staple in West African cuisine. Back home, I cannot remember a week going by without us having some form of plantain for breakfast, lunch and supper.
Heck one of the first ever times I cooked for my parents was frying them plantains. They very encouragingly and very politely ate my overcooked first attempt. But since then, I have always loved them and I am always looking for new ways to cook with them, like with this very moreish plantain cake.
Why Nutmeg Plantain Cake with Coconut Caramel Popcorn?
So enter my Nutmeg Plantain Cake topped with piles and piles of coconut caramel popcorn. Basically all the Sierra Leonean flavours I like in one cake. Just take some lovely overripe mashed plantains, then add a huge helping of good quality aromatic nutmeg (Schwartz ground nutmeg I am looking at you) and you got yourself a cake.
And what it cake it is. This cake is gorgeous like my Berry, Orange Blossom And Elderflower Cake With Mascarpone Whipped Cream and my Chocolate Sponge Cake With Chocolate Caramel Popcorn. But not too gorgeous to eat of course.
Don’t forget to make coconut caramel sauce for your plantain cake
You can stop there with the cake but please, please, please don’t. Make an easy peasy, 10 mins of effort, coconut caramel sauce. Try to avoid eating spoonfuls of this straight out of the pot as you wait for the cake to cool. Mix the popcorn with the caramel sauce, pile it all onto the cake and there you have it. The perfect Nutmeg Plantain Cake with a whole load of coconut caramel goodness. Folks there is nothing better.
You can make Plantain Cake with bananas
Now if you don’t have plantains you can use overripe bananas instead. And since it does not require the use of a stand mixer, you have no excuse not to try it.
PS – I have a whole load of Schwartz spices in my pantry that I can’t live without. I absolutely adore them and I reckon if you pop over to your local super market and stock up on a few of them you will feel the same. Find out more about them via their twitter or Facebook or Instagram accounts.
Sierra Leone flavours – is the spot on my blog where I share both traditional Sierra Leonean recipes and West African fusion recipes.
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Nutmeg Plantain Cake With Coconut Caramel Popcorn - West African Flavours
For the nutmeg plantain cake:
- 2 overripe plantains mashed
- 2 eggs
- 125 ml (0.5 cup) vegetable oil
- 100 ml (0.42 cup) milk
- 250 g (9oz) self-raising flour
- 225 g (8oz) caster sugar
- 1.75 tsp ground nutmeg I used Schwartz
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 egg whites
For the whipped cream
- 250 ml (1 cups) whipping cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
Coconut caramel popcorn:
- 115 g (½ cup) popcorn
- 2 tbs oil
- 70 g (0.75 cup) unsalted butter
- 210 g (1.25 cups) light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) full fat coconut milk or more to your taste
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- To make the nutmeg plantain cake preheat the oven to fan-assisted 160C / 180C / 350F / gas 4 and grease and line two 20cm / 8 inch cake tins.
- Mix the mashed plantains with the 2 eggs, oil and milk until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, nutmeg and baking powder. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined and lump free. Whisk the egg whites until just stiff and use a spatula to gently fold in the egg whites.
- Split the cake mixture evenly between the two cake tins. Bake in the oven for about 30 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven, let cool in the tins for 5 mins before cooling completely on a wire rack.
- Make the whipped cream by mixing the cream and sugar together in a large bowl and whipping till the cream forms soft peaks.
- To make the coconut caramel popcorn line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- Make the popcorn. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the popcorn to the hot oil and cover the pot with a lid. Gently shake the pot when the corn starts popping. When finished remove the pot from the heat and transfer to a bowl, making sure to discard all the unpopped kernels.
- Make the caramel sauce. Combine the butter, sugar, water and salt in a sauce pan, over medium heat and mix until the butter has melted. Bring the caramel mix to the boil and then boil for 5 mins stirring occasionally. Switch off the heat and mix in the coconut milk and coconut extract. Let the caramel sauce rest for at least 15 mins as it thickens upon standing.
- Pour as much coconut caramel as you want on to the popcorn and mix until well coated. Transfer the popcorn to the baking tray and spread out in a single layer. Let the coconut caramel popcorn cool and then break into pieces.
- Spread 2/3rds of the whipped cream on the top of one cake, place the second cake on top and cover with the remaining whipped cream. Top the cake with all the caramel popcorn topping making sure to pile it as high as you can. Serve.