For the longest time, I had a hankering for some sweet potato pone — the kind my aunts used to make. According to Google, pone is an unleavened cornbread or flat cake. Apparently it’s well known in the southern United States, but Jamaicans are known to end a good meal with some sweet potato pone or cassava pone for dessert.
I searched online and in my cookbooks for a recipe, but couldn’t find one that was to my liking (and was vegan). So here’s my attempt at a Jamaican classic:
Juice from 2 small oranges (or you can use a cup of orange juice)
3 medium sized sweet potatoes (peeled and grated)
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 cup coconut milk (from a can)
¼ cup grated fresh ginger (you can use powered ginger, but it won’t be as authentic)
2 tsp vanilla
3 tsp Ener G egg replacement + 4 tbsp water
2 tbsp flax meal + 2 tbsp water + ½ tbsp. cornstarch
½ tsp dried/dehydrated lemon peel
½ tsp dried/dehydrated orange peel
¼ tsp browning (opt.)
2 cups cornmeal (for firmness – I would increase this to 3 or 4 cups cornmeal and/or add 1 cup flour)
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.
Cream sugar and butter in a small bowl.
Mix Ener G egg replacement and water in another small bowl
In yet another small bowl, mix flax meal and water and cornstarch
In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients (in no particular order) and mix thoroughly.
Grease a cake pan and pour mixture into pan. Bake for 1 hour and a half, or until inserted knife comes out clean (i.e. pone tests done).
It tasted EXACTLY like it should!! I’m so proud of myself!
You will notice that I didn’t use any salt. Whenever I use Earth Balance butter in a recipe, I have learnt (from experience) to omit the salt since the butter is salty enough. You will also want to wait for the pone to cool completely and maybe even cut it in the pan, or else you will end up with something like this:
The pone lacked the firmness that I wanted. Next time, I might add another cup or two of cornmeal (or flour). You can also reduce the sugar to like 1/2 cup and still have this taste good.
Update – Feb. 13, 2013
It firmed up! This is what it looked like after being in the fridge a few days: