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Sweet potatoes and coconut

Potato Pudding Cooking Class with Recipe

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Last night I participated in the Potato Pudding cooking class organised by the Department for Youth and Community Services. During the month of October, the department is hosting the events to teach residents how to make traditional dishes. The first session was sugar cakes taught by Vicky Locker and her mother Hazel Tuitt. They were also the teachers for the pudding class.

Tuesday night’s potato pudding session was a surprising mix of students, which included men, boys, girls and moms and lots of people with cameras.

It was good fun and of course it doesn’t hurt to get some pudding to take home. Here’s the recipe as you’ve been asking for it on Facebook.

We did one potato pudding without spices and two in which we added cinnamon and nutmeg. Trust me the spices wake up the pudding. It really is up to you how much spices you like, and you can taste as you add to see if the flavour is as you like it.

The recipe below makes one large pan. We had double of everything to make the 3 puddings.

1 coconut to 3 lbs of potatoes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 tbsp cooking oil (Cooking oil helps to keep it moist) i.e. the secret ingredient
2 cups brown sugar
A pinch of salt
2 tbsp Almond Essence
2tbsp Vanilla Essence
A pinch Black Pepper
Spices to taste (nutmeg, cinnamon)
4 cups flour
3 tbsp baking powder


The old school way requires that you grate the potatoes and the coconuts separately by hand. Thank God we didn’t have to do that and they had already used a processor to grate them.

Get a large mixing bowl, pour in your grated potatoes and then add the grated coconut. Mix together then add the 2 cups of brown sugar.

Add the pinch of salt, add the flour little by little. They added the baking powder on top of the flour and mixed it all in. Add your essences. Mix them in. Add your spices to taste. Black pepper as well if you like. (Our recipe did not include ginger but some people like to add it. I don’t mind a little ginger.)

The secret ingredient I did not know was included was sweet oil aka cooking oil. They used plain vegetable oil. I don’t know if it makes a difference if you prefer corn oil. (should have asked). But it helps to keep your pudding moist.

Now the baking.

The puddings did not sink in the middle. WIN! I realise I was always overmixing my pudding and using too much flour. If you’re mixture is too thick, just add a bit of water. You know your pudding is ready for the oven when you do that wooden spoon test, and the spoon and can stand up without you holding it.

We used an old school metal pan, which Vicky says is older than her 25 years (lol) so we are talking those old school pans which I don’t see in shops around here anymore. However, it made a difference in the final product. We waited about an hour for the puddings to bake. One was in that metal pan, another in a pyrex (glass dish)…we call everything pyrex 🙂 and the third in those disposal foil pans we buy for Christmas so we don’t need to wash but black people reuse anyway. 🙂

The pans were all greased with cooking oil. The mixture is poured in about half way, as they need space to rise.

They came out evenly browned and the edges were perfect in the metal pan. In the others, they tended to be more burnt. But some of us love the burnt edges so no loss of pudding there.

The trick is to let it cool. It really needs the time to sit and set or it will fall apart when you try to cut it. So let it cool for about an hour then come back to slice it up and serve.

Thank you to the Department of Youth and Services for this great class. It was so good to see the children there learning how to make the pudding. I’m looking forward to the goat water cooking class next week. All of their sessions are already booked out. However, please let them know you would be interested in learning and I am sure they could be motivated to host them again, for a small fee.

Let me know how your pudding comes out. I’ll be trying this as soon as I get my hands on some sweet potatoes.