Learn to Make a Journey Cake
Originally, the indigenous Arawak people would bake a flat corn cake on a hot stone, which they would take with them as nourishment on daily expeditions. When they met, European colonizers found that this cake could be kept for several days and could sustain a person easily on long journeys. Europeans added wheat flour, transforming the original cake into a small bun.
Journey Cake or Johnny Cake?
And that’s how it was named the journey cake, a cake for the journée, or day, in French. Since it could be transported easily in saddlebags or even cooked along the way, the journey cake became the customary travel cake. It doesn’t dry out or fall apart in the bottom of a bag, and can be made from simple, easy-to-find ingredients.
Along with the colonizers, these cakes made their way all over the Caribbean, and after multiple linguistic and cultural distortions, they also became known as Johnny cakes. Historians believe that janiken, an Indigenous American word meaning corn cake, could also be at the origin of the name.
The journey cake can be eaten hot or cold, plain or spiced up with cod, chicken, or tuna… You can also enjoy it with a main course, as a dessert, or for breakfast.
To make a dozen journey cakes, you’ll need 300 grams wheat flour, 1 tsp yeast, 1 tbs sugar, 2 tbs butter, a bit of salt, and water to moisten the dough.
Sift the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt together, then incorporate the melted butter. Mix everything by hand and add only enough water to create the right consistency for the dough. It shouldn’t be too sticky or too dry. Then, make a ball out of the dough, roll it out, and separate it into a dozen round pieces. Flatten these into small round loaves.
Finally, warm a big pan with a bit of oil and cook the cakes until golden on both sides. Drain the oil on a paper towel.
There’s nothing left to do now but enjoy!