Comfort Foods With Denai Moore
Here at Browns, our community stands at the heart of all that we do. From our designers, to our customers, to our colleagues who work alongside us each day, Browns is a business built on supporting the bonds that matter. That’s why we’re launching “A Family Affair”, a project that celebrates our creative communities in the times we need one another the most.
To kick off this project, we’ve asked Browns favourite Kai-Isaiah Jamal to guest edit our first week of events and happenings, selecting some of their nearest and dearest to keep us inspired and entertained. For the first in our “Comfort Foods” series, Kai asked vegan chef and songwriter Denai Moore to teach us how to make her favourite rum and ginger dish. Read on to learn more...
Rum and Ginger Roasted Pineapple Crepes
1 cup spelt flour (plain flour or buckwheat flour works too)
1 ½ cups non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Pinch of salt
Butter for frying
One ripe pineapple
50ml dark rum
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons of vegan butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 inch fresh ginger
Start by removing the skin from the pineapple and slicing into rings. Now slice your ginger - no need to remove the skin! Add to the pineapple.
Measure out the flour, baking powder and salt and add to a bowl. Mix the dry mixture together and then add the milk, whisking until you have a smooth batter. It should be loose and velvety.
On a medium heat melt a tablespoon of butter in your frying pan. Take a ladle of the batter and pour into the centre of the pan, allowing it to spread across the pan. Cook the crepe on the first side for about a minute - the colour should be golden before you flip it. Then flip and cook for another 30 seconds.
To pan roast the pineapple, take a frying pan and melt two tablespoons of butter on a medium heat til it foams. Add three rings into the pan. Fry until lovely and caramelised, then flip the pineapple and cook on the other side for another minute. Add your spices to the pan, and let cook for 30 seconds in the butter and pineapple juices.
Add your maple syrup and rum. If you're using a gas hob, tilt your pan and flambé your sauce, or use an electric lighter. Cook for another 30 seconds until the flames die out and then remove from the heat.
To plate up, slice your pineapple in halves, and fold two crepes onto the plate in blankety triangles. Add your pineapple and some of the syrup. Serve with fresh mint and crème fraîche or yoghurt.
Why did you choose this dish?
When Kai challenged me to make a dish using rum and ginger, pairing it with pineapple was the first thing that came to mind. The ingredients are really familiar to my Jamaican roots.
How would you describe what you do?
I'm a songwriter and chef. Writing a song and writing a recipe go hand in hand, as it's mostly about trusting my gut instinct. I tend to spend my days making myself elaborate dishes and then making a beat in the afternoon.
How do your friends and your community influence your work?
I think being a part of a generation where we have so many platforms to share our work with each other is so inspiring. I love working with my friends as I feel like they see me in an authentic way and can bring out the best in me. We soundboard off each other and check in on each others’ projects, and I'm always giving my creative family sneak peeks of things to get their honest feedback.
How do you cook up an idea? Talk us through your creative process.
I think of flavours that I love and pair them together. It's like being a matchmaker - sometimes they work together, sometimes they don't. The creative process is very humbling, especially when it doesn't work exactly how you imagined it. I'm always chasing dishes that literally don’t exist to anyone besides me.
Favourite thing to eat?
I love Jamaican breakfast. Ackee, fried dumplings and plantain.
Least favourite thing to eat?
Out of season tomatoes. Or unripe fruit. Truly the worst.
If you were a dish, what dish would you be?
I'd say a taco? As I'm made up of so many things that come together.
What would be your last meal and where?
Jamaican breakfast at my home in Margate.
In life, what’s the best recipe for success?
I think just going for the things you want. I truly believe in manifesting success.
They say that success smells sweet. What does it smell like to you?
An elaborate French pastry dessert. Lots of craft and effort goes into them, and they're always the most beautiful desserts.