To say true, I’m not a big fan of exotic flavours in desserts. I prefer simple ones: chocolate, orange, vanilla. Too simple? But you can always spike it with some liquor or rum! Any additions? Why not – I love honey, caramel and nuts. And what about fruits? Well, I choose something more conventional for my palate: apple and pear, strawberry and banana… As far as all those tropical fruits are concerned, I don’t mind eating them on their own, but if you make me choose between a sophisticated gateau garnished with lychees, star fruits and kumquats and a simple apple pudding, I would go for the latter one.
No wonder, when I saw Barbados cake in my “Zumbo” book, I initially decided against cooking it. Mango, pineapple, coconut – it’s not “too” exotic for me but not too appealing at the same time as well. After giving it a thorough consideration, however, I came to the conclusion that I should definitely give this recipe a try before I leave India. In Russia, I figured out, I would most probably face the problem of finding all the necessary ingredients (like kaffir lime, jaggery, coconut milk powder and cream, nothing to say of fresh tropical fruits) and even if I do I would have to pay much more for them! It became obvious that it would have been stupid “to skip” the recipe.
Oh man! I’m so happy that I actually made this dessert! Yes, of course, it is quite quirky: both in terms of appearance (the composition of different elements looks a bit abnormal and funny) and in terms of flavours (coconut and mango jelly, jasmine rice mousse and jaggery mousse, with almond short crust pastry at the bottom) – but it is so beautiful at the same time (again, both in terms of an unforgettable appearance and those bold flavours). I guess when I’m back in Russia and feel like impressing someone with ultimately exotic dessert, I will take the trouble of finding all the ingredients there and cook Barbados once again!
The recipe can be found in the book “Zumbo” by Adriano Zumbo