Here at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum we know that one of the best ways to actually appreciate food history is to taste it. That's why we've offered our demonstration lunches for over a year, which give our patrons a chance to enjoy a delicious lunch and watch it being prepared, all while learning from our staff about the history and culture behind the unique dishes of Louisiana.
On Mondays we explore the classic Creole dishes of New Orleans, from a remoulade salad to a hearty sausage and chicken jambalaya, finishing with the always dramatic bananas foster. This fall we added the Creole-Italian lunches, which celebrate the unique foods that have been created by Italian immigrants to Louisiana, including olive salad, red gravy over pasta, and snoballs, the ubiquitous summer treat.
We love these lunches, and it seems like you do too! One request we've had was to expand our reach to the rest of Louisiana, and since Cajun food is one of the great culinary contributions of this state, we're excited to offer a Cajun demonstration lunch now as well. Alternating every other Thursday with the Creole-Italian lunch, we're diving into the history of the Cajuns in Louisiana and tasting the flavors through a fresh corn macque-choux with tasso, a sausage and chicken gumbo, and a delightfully dense and spicy gateau de sirop. Steen's Cane Syrup, the 106 year old family owned syrup mill in Abbeville, Louisiana, recently came on board to supply the Cajun demonstration lunches with the authentic flavor needed for proper gateau de sirop. They came to our first run of the class at the beginning of March, and had a great time sampling the menu with Jyl (SoFAB's Director of Culinary Programming) and Liz (SoFAB's Director).
Purchase your tickets for the demonstration lunches here to enjoy it yourself! If you can't make it to New Orleans anytime soon, here's the recipe for Gateau de Sirop.
SoFAB’s Gateau de Sirop
- 1 piece fresh ginger, about 4 inches long, grated
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups Steen's cane syrup plus extra for serving
- 1 cup peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 large eggs
- Whipped cream for serving, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine ginger and water in a small saucepot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid. Discard solids. Set aside.
- Butter a 9" cake pan, sprinkle in 2 tablespoons flour and tap to coat. Discard excess flour. Set aside. Combine remaining flour, soda, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
- Combine 1 cup cane syrup, oil, brown sugar, ginger water and hot sauce in a large bowl and mix to combine at medium speed until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Add flour mixture and beat mixture until smooth. Pour batter into cake pan and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack.
- Using a cake tester poke holes through cake, stopping just short of the bottom. Pour remaining cane syrup over cake and allow to sit for at least 1 hour
- Serve with extra cane syrup and whipped cream, optional.