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Gewürze aus Santa Lemusa


The Lemusan Pen nwè is closer to European fruitcake than to Black Cake, which is prepared and eaten during Christmastime on all the English-speaking islands in the Caribbean.

Pen nwè

Lemusan Fruitcake

Pen nwè («Black Bread») is actually prepared during Christmastime in Santa Lemusa. Agent Hektor Maille has such a weakness for this bread that his cook Odette has to make «Black Bread» for him throughout the year – and also on the evening before Maille sets off on his difficult mission to find the kidnapped quantum physicist Jenadi Grigorjewitsch Koslow (more about it here). The Lemusan Pen nwè is closer to European fruitcake than to Black Cake, which is prepared and eaten during Christmastime on all the English-speaking islands in the Caribbean. It is mildly sweet and highly spicy with an intriguing hint of the aroma of rum. Those who like it rich can give the cake a sugar glaze after baking and eat it thickly sliced with a spread of butter.

Ingrediens (for 2 breads of 600 g)

150 g dried figs

50 g dried pineapple pieces

100 g dried papaya pieces

100 g dried mango pieces

6 dl boiling hot water

100 g dried wine-berries

100 g dried maul-berries

2 dl brown rum (e.g. Fiol)

1 cube fresh yeast (42 g)

½ dl lukewarm water

300 g full-corn-flour

1 stick cinnamon (Kannèl)

15 corns allspice (Mussagor)

10 corns black pepper

5 cloves

4 capsules of cardamom (Kap)

5 g sugar

1 pinch salt

limes (of which only the rind is used)

125 g cashewnuts (unsalted)

50 g dried coconut slices

50 g honey


  1. Put figs, pineapple-, papaya- and mango pieces in a dish, add 5 dl of boiling water and soak for about 3 hours or longer.
  2. Marinate wine-berries and maul-berries in rum for about 5 hours, stir occasionally.
  3. Squeeze the water out of the figs, pineapple-, papaya- and mango pieces and collect it (there will remain about 1½ to 2 dl of liquid). Chop all the fruit into small pieces (about 1 x 1 cm), ensuring that you remove the hard part of the figs.
  4. Soak the yeast in ½ dl lukewarm water for 10 minutes.
  5. Pulverise cinnamon, allspice, pepper, cloves and cardamom seeds in a coffee grinder.
  6. Put the flour into a deep dish and mix in the ground spices, sugar and salt. Add the yeast and 1 dl of the water squeezed out the soaked fruit and make a dough (adding a little more lukewarm water if needed).
  7. As soon as the dough is ready, you can remove it from its dish and knead it well for about 8 minutes on a flour-dusted working surface.
  8. Make the dough into a ball, sprinkle the ball with some flour and replace it in the dish and cover it with a moist towel. Let the dish rest in a warm place for about 90 minutes.
  9. Dry the wine-berries and maul-berries and then mix them with the other fruit pieces Keep the rum.
  10. Remove the rind of the lime, grate it and add to the fruit.
  11. Chop or break the cashew nuts into fairly big pieces and add to the fruit.
  12. Chop the coconut strips into pieces and add to the fruit.
  13. Add honey to the fruit and nuts and mix well.
  14. When the dough has risen nicely, add the fruit mixture and knead it all together.
  15. Divide the dough into 2 longish, 7 cm-broad loaves, place on a baking sheet, smooth out its surface and cover again with a damp towel for about 20 or 30 minutes.
  16. Bake in the oven at 180° for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. When the surface of the bread begins to darken, cover it loosely with a piece of aluminium foil. To test whether the bread is fully baked you can pierce it gently with a knife – it should contain no moist dough under the surface.
  17. Remove the bread from the oven and sprinkle at once with the rum in which the berries had been soaked. Let the rum get absorbed and after 10 minutes, brush the bread again with rum, and repeat it for the third time after 10 minutes. 18. After the loaves of bread become cool, pack them in aluminium foil, and store in a cool, dry place.

The less the quantity of dry fruit used, the firmer and more bread-like the baked loaf will be. The above-mentioned quantities of dry fruit are the maximum that the dough can take to make a good bread. The amount of dry fruit can of course be varied - but care should be taken to monitor the sourness and consistency of the bread. The amount of spices can also be experimented with - here, naturally, we have reproduced the quantities given in the recipe by Odette Sissay.

Reinhard Storz tastes a slice of Pen nwè (HOIO's menu-test for Episode 1 of «Mission Kaki», November 18, 2008 in Zürich).

More about the travel adventure of Secret Agent Hektor Maille:

The whole menu, Odette Sissay cooked for Hektor Maille the eve of his mission:

First Publication: 15-11-2008

Modifications: 20-1-2009, 9-1-2010, 18-6-2011, 13-11-2011, 10-12-2011