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Trini Bakery Goodies – the Photos

Biscuit CakeYou may recall that in my recent post, Ode to the Bread Van, I rambled on, reminiscing about all the goodies that were to be had from Trini bakeries and bread vans. With nary a picture to illustrate. Especially unfortunate for those who may not have known some of the goodies I mentioned. This post will rectify this situation (mostly, I am still looking for a madeleine!). Text in quotes is me copying from the last post…no need to try to come up with new words, right?


Biscuit Cake insidesThe featured item in the last post, the Biscuit Cake is up there at the top. And to your right, you can see the insides of this cake/biscuit/cookie. I did not get a chance to make it (from this recipe posted at Celnet.org.uk) over the past weekend, but I did enjoy this one from a neighbourhood bakery. “Biscuit cake is so named, possibly because it is shaped like a big biscuit (American terminology=cookie). While it may appear firm and hard on the outside, it should have a softness to the bite with a milky mild sweetness, and appears almost unleavened? Of course those dryness-czars have attacked this delicacy as well and many bakeries had versions that were dry and tough and unappealing unless dunked in tea.”


Not the traditional Jam TartJam Tarts

“flaky layered pastry, twisted into a big triangle, with bright red jam of unknown (to me) origins, warm so that the jam oozed out when you bit into it, with the top of the pastry glistening with its light layer of crystallized sugar. The pastry would be so good, you’d eat the dry ends even if they didn’t have a speck of jam!”

Sadly, this is NOT a traditional jam tart, which uses FLAKY pastry. I gather that more and more places are making them like shown in the photo, with PUFF pastry. Sigh. Same jam filling I remember, but why mess with the pastry??


Currants RollCurrants Roll

“this is a Trini classic – similar flaky pastry as the jam tart, but rolled out and sprinkled with currants and sugar and rolled up, baked and sliced diagonally creating that recognisable shape with layers of pastry and currants rolled around inside.”

This is not the greatest currants roll example. I will replace it with another when I get to another bakery! Too few currants and not quite enough layers. But still, decent pastry.


(Coconut) Rock Bun(Coconut) Rock Bun

“This is like a drop bun, with coconut flavour, and the “rock” really refers to the rough hard exterior – the inside should still be soft. It’s scone like, not rolled out smooth, but dropped onto the baking sheet, so it looks like a rock I suppose. I used to eat all around the outsides before the middle – the hard outsides were my favourite part.”

Cynthia posted a recipe this past Saturday, for Fruit Rock Bun, which you can try out as a variant of the rock bun. The recipe linked to before is Trinigourmet’s.


Coconut Turnover insidesCoconut Turnovers

These were not in my post, but aka_lol mentioned them, reminding me that they are “the bread and butter” of bakeries (his pun).

These are lovely yeasty soft, slightly sweet and spiced bun dough rolled around a sweet and spiced coconut filling. The Guyanese have their solara, we (and the Bajans) have these turnovers. And as for buns and hot cross buns, check out Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Punch and Tastes Like Home.


Cassava PoneCassava Pone

This wasn’t in my original post. I think largely because as a child I did not like pone. The squishy texture, spicing etc, were not appealing to me. Now, however, I love it. When it’s done right of course. Moist and sweet, with spices and a slight crunch of coconut. That’s the way I like it. I don’t mind if it is cassava pone, or pumpkin, or sweet potato or a mixture. Just get the right balance of sweet and spice with the perfect moist-with-a-bite texture and I can enjoy.

Recipes on Trinigourmet and Simply Trini Cooking.


The photos I took this weekend of the bakery haul are all in one set on my Flickr.

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19 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. The biscuit cake looks so good. Great for dipping in my coffee. I can’t believe I never had those before. I am not familiar with the coconut turnovers in that shape. Usually the ones I get are sliced like the currants roll (my favourite) or the jam turnover

    1. Wizzythestick on April 1st, 2010 at 3:50 pm
  2. ah, the Guyanese solara is sliced like that, but with bright red coconut filling :-) I think the Bajans do it like the photo here too, but perhaps with less yellowy dough.

    2. Chennette on April 1st, 2010 at 7:44 pm
  3. Now I am hungry :mrgreen:

    I don’t know how to put food into words or pictures but you did it so well again with this post – it is too appetizing 😉

    That currants roll looks so fresh I can see the crumbs on the couch and floor.

    Yep, that is the biscuit cake I know about and now I remember why it was called belly full.

    The coconut drop smells of plenty vanilla. Drops are the perfect beach snack.

    I haven’t had pone in over a year – I can smell it now. I love the crust the best :)

    Jam tarts are hot and flaky when best :)

    3. aka_lol on April 2nd, 2010 at 3:33 pm
  4. Biscuit Cake, Currant Rolls and Coconut Turnovers.. now I have a craving. All I need is a slice of that fruit cake that’s sol at puffnstuff (sp) and I’ll be set. Only last week I had a reader over at my site asking for a recipe for coconut Turnovers.. I sent them to Cynthia’s site for her recipe. I’ll have to pass on this link to them as well.

    happy cooking


    4. Chris De La Rosa on April 2nd, 2010 at 4:07 pm
  5. Oh man, this is some serious Caribbean food culture in this post. The bakery van rings through throughout and it is interesting to note the variations of offerings in baked goods in each place.

    I have been disappointed too many times with cassava pone so these days, unless I make it myself or know for sure that the source is a good one, I stay away from cassava pone.

    I fell in love with the Bajan turnovers on sight but was disappointed at the little bit of coconut I’d find inside… then Taymer (Vegan in the Sun) shared a recipe with me from her school days of doing economics; I made it last year and since then, I cannot bring myself to buy a turnover, it cannot begin to compare to the real thing. The flavour and texture is more pronounced in the recipe I got from Taymer. Some Bajan friends that I shared the turnovers with reminisced that the ones I made is how the ole time Turnovers used to taste.

    5. Cynthia on April 3rd, 2010 at 9:50 pm
  6. I had meant to set this up as a proper shoot with props etc – since my cravings in the last post :-) Unfortunately I was under the weather last weekend and was asleep when I was supposed to be going to the bakery. Fortunately for parents – my father got a list from Mom and Lilandra and bought the items and I awoke with enough light to line them up and just click. So I am glad the bakery made some mostly good looking stuff :-)
    It is true though that so many things you are used to are not made the same way anymore in the bakeries – it’s the same I assume in Guyana since it took me a while to like some of the traditional offerings here, because they just weren’t the way they were supposed to be!

    6. Chennette on April 4th, 2010 at 12:29 am
  7. …. i LOVE the pic of the pone, with the little bit of fiber reaching out to me and calling my name… YUM!

    7. Tamarind Ball on April 6th, 2010 at 8:42 pm
  8. I like cassava so I am sure I would enjoy the Pone, and the jam tarts yummy.

    8. Glennis on April 7th, 2010 at 3:18 am
  9. Chennette girl you just brought back lots of memories. I haven’t tasted biscuit cake in ages and those coconut turnovers are to die for. So sad though that they don’t make them like they used to.

    9. Felix Padilla (raz4125) on April 7th, 2010 at 12:53 pm
  10. thanks people :-) I can’t provide the quantum of recipes like Felix, but I could talk about them!

    10. Chennette on April 7th, 2010 at 7:09 pm
  11. Hi
    I tried to get the recipe for the biscuit cake but the site was unavailable.
    Can you let me have a working link please? Love the recipes. We used to get a jam bum at a bakery in Kingstown St.Vincent and I would love to get recipe for something like that. I think that this might be close.

    12. Elizabeth on April 18th, 2010 at 6:36 am
  12. Hi Elizabeth – apparently if you search for it on the site you can find it, but for some reason the direct link doesn’t always work…I never saved it, so I am going to reproduce in the comments pending my actually TRYING the recipe :-)

    UPDATE – we tried this recipe and it is OFF – too much liquid. Way too much. Need to retry!



    120g flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    120ml milk (or water)
    pinch of salt
    100g sugar
    110g butter
    sugar to dip


    Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Meanwhile, combine the milk and sugar in a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Add the butter and stir gently until molten (do not allow to boil).

    Form a well in the dry ingredients then pour in the milk mixture. Mix gently by hand to form a dough then take small pieces and shape into balls. Dip the tops of these in sugar then place on a lightly-greased baking tray and place in an oven pre-heated to 180°C. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until cooked through and golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking tray before serving or storing.

    13. Chennette on April 19th, 2010 at 12:03 pm
  13. I don’t know where to put this and i know this might be a lil off topic, but i did a search and i did not see any mention whatsoever regarding calalloo??? But i was just wondering what is your take on Jamaican calalloo as i had some last Friday and believe it or not i think it tastes better than ours – sans okra=no sliminess.

    14. Umar on May 2nd, 2010 at 10:18 am
  14. oh my gorsh, I want to sink my teeth into all of them. *drool….

    Now I really want some pone!

    15. Splitsun on May 2nd, 2010 at 11:20 pm
  15. Trying the Biscuit Cake this Friday 😀 !

    17. The Trinigourmet on October 13th, 2010 at 2:28 am
  16. My boyfriend is trini and is always talkin about coconut tarts. Would you happen to know how to make them? Greatly appreciate it :-).

    18. nany on February 5th, 2011 at 3:50 pm
  17. hi Nany – Ramin Ganeshram’s book “Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from T&T” has a recipe – she shared it on Epicurious

    19. Chennette on February 5th, 2011 at 8:29 pm
  18. Hi my partner is bajan and iv attempted to make sweet bread for him a few times but I cant seem to get the outside right its to hard although the inside is right I have followed the recipe to the letter pls can u advise

    20. mandy on August 31st, 2014 at 5:33 pm
  19. Hi Mandy

    Glad you tried the sweetbread recipe and at least the inside came out ok.

    Maybe you can try baking it a somewhat lower temperature. I think I have the recipe at 190 deg. C which is about 375 F – try it at 350 so that it doesn’t bake too hard on the outside while the inside is cooking.

    Alternatively/additionally, you can try to pour a couple tablespoons of water, or diluted milk over the top to keep it moist.

    hope it works out!

    21. Chennette on August 31st, 2014 at 11:32 pm

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] little for my edification. Fortunately she followed up this month with an even more thorough post “Trini Bakery Goodies – The Photos”, that includes a picture (and recipe) for said Biscuit Cake – that thing really doesn’t […]

  2. […] lane, remembering all the associations with bakeries and buying pastries such as biscuit cake. [Photos in this later post]Of course, there were the times when during the week, on our way home from school we’d stop at […]

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