Bonbon Sirop Recipe

| 21 comments

“Goodgood syrup, goodgood syrup…” – I can still hear my dad using those words to refer to this special sweet treat. It was one of his favorite plays of words, which he would repeat it over and over until he got a reaction from us.

Translated in French, it meant bonbon sirop. Bon = good, so bonbon=goodgood? Get it? I always giggled when he renamed it this way.

Bonbon sirop is a type of cake prepared with gros sirop (sugarcane syrup) and a mix of sweet spices.

When we were young kids we loved grandma’s bonbon sirop recipe. It was one of her many specialties, and perhaps all her grandkids’ favorite specialty. I was in high school that I was still requesting that she cook me a special batch, even though she had shared both her recipes with us. Somehow we couldn’t beat her magic hands.

We had to have her bonbon sirop or no bonbon sirop at all. I don’t really remember when she started sending them home to us. All I know is that, as we became older and more demanding, we were requesting bonbon sirop from her so often that she started making pans devoted to a specific grandkid at a time.

It was her way of giving each of us individual attention, even though it still stirred some jealousy among us. Not only did we cry a little when one of us got sent a pan – we were four grandkids at my house – but we also complained when we found out she had sent a pan to another house and not to ours.

As if requesting our own batch wasn’t enough, we also started requesting that she send the bonbon in the pan it was cooked in. The reason? We loved the sticky syrupy crumbs that got stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan. To such a point that we managed to convince her that a rounded pan was the way to go so that we would get more gooey deliciousness. She gave in for otherwise, there would be too much arguing over who would get the most syrupy edges.

I stopped eating bonbon sirop a couple of years ago when she couldn’t prepare them anymore. Store-bought versions always left me disappointed as they were almost always on the dry side with strong spice flavors.

See my grandmother made the best bonbon sirop ever. Hers were chewy and gooey with just the right amount of spices and moisture. And I find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for anyone to beat her recipe. Her bonbon sirop was simply unlike any other bonbon sirop. It was heaven!

Even though we have two of her bonbon sirop recipes, one of which I am sharing below, something tells me that all her grandkids will always feel the same way. We may find someone who makes them as well as she used to, or we may even master one of her recipes, but we will always miss one key ingredient…

That ingredient is our grandma’s love for us, her grandchildren.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of flour (3 1/3 cup)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp clove
  • 1 ¼ tsp of ginger
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 1 cup of gros sirop (dark sugarcane syrup – molasses might work as a substitute)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder
  2. In a separate bowl mix the gros sirop, sugar, milk, spices and butter
  3. Gradually incorporate the sifted mix making sure to mix it well
  4. Transfer to a greased pan
  5. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes
  6. Cool down and serve

21 Comments:

  1. Johanna

    This is a very simple recipe and I’d like to try it, but I don’t have molasses in my country (it is not found in the markets because is considered a residual substance, after processing sugar, molasses is thrown away or is used in the alcohol fabrication). With what could I replace it?

  2. Debra

    I’m so pleased I found your site! I have a Haitian woman visiting us for 3 weeks in September and want to make some ‘comfort food’ for her while she is here.
    I have a convection oven that can switch to regular baking when needed. I like to use convection when I bake cakes to heat them evenly, but I use the regular baking setting when baking cookies so I can make them chewier. Since you spoke about the gooey goodness at the bottom of the pan, I wondered which setting you thought would work best for this cake.

    1. annick says: Post author

      Hi Debra, I have never used a convection oven before, and neither did my grandma. We typically use conventional ovens here in Haiti so I am tempted to say go with the regular baking settings. The important thing is that the bonbon sirop retains its moisture which is where the gooeyness comes from. So I’d say use your best judgement and knowledge of your oven on this one 🙂 If you chose to use the convection settings please let me know how it comes out, I would love to know.

    1. annick says: Post author

      Daphné, vous êtes où? Certains pays comme les Etats-Unis ont l’extrait de vanille qui n’a pas un arôme aussi fort que notre essence locale mais fait quand même l’affaire.

  3. Daphné

    Je suis en Suisse. Oui ici aussi il y a plein d’arômes de vanille mais ils sont tous mélangés avec autre chose et n’ont pas le même goût ni la même odeur que l’extrait de vanille de lakay ;). Sauf la gousse et encore faut il la dégrafer 😀

    1. annick says: Post author

      En effet, il n’y a rien comme notre essence de vanille lakay 🙂 J’ai fait des recherches et apparemment c’est possible de préparer un extrait de vanille maison à partir des gousses que l’on fait infuser quelques semaines dans du rhum ou de la vodka. Je n’ose pas vous proposer une des recettes que j’ai retrouvées ne sachant si elles sont bonnes, mais si vous tentez l’aventure faites-moi signe 🙂

  4. MISSMO

    Hello, excellent. Merci pour cette recette Annick qu’il me tarde de tester. Pour répondre à Daphné, vous pouvez parfaitement mettre les graines vanille soit directement soit en les faisant infuser dans le lait puis filtré. Bien sûr vous laisserez refroidir le lait parfumé et suivre la recette de Annick.

    Sinon, je confirme. Vous pouvez également fabriquer votre extrait de vanille qui sera encore mieux que ceux du commerce. Il suffit simplement de laisser macérer la vanille dans du rhum. La Vodka est aussi un bon solvant mais en tant qu’Antillaise vous imaginez bien que ma préférence va au rhum. Avec son parfum rien de comparable avec la Vodka. Vous pouvez même faire avec du rhum vieux, expérience vécue.

    Je me permets de mettre le lien vers la recette qui est sur mon blog : http://bellecomme.over-blog.com/article-extrait-de-vanille-112354598.html

    Bon bonbon sirop à tous

  5. Missmo

    De rien Annick. Ben oui Daphné il faut nous donner des nouvelles. Alors moi je n’ai pas résisté à l’envie de tester cette recette et je peux dire que c’est du tonnerre. J’ai réduit les proportions pour le test avec bien entendu mon extrait de vanille maison. Ah il manquait le gingembre. Je me suis rendue compte que je n’en avais plus. Pas grave j’ai fait sans. Faut que je pense à en acheter d’ailleurs pour le prochain “bonbon sirop” qui ne va pas tarder. A bientôt.

    1. annick says: Post author

      Missmo, contente que vous ayez réussi votre bonbon sirop. Certains n’aiment pas le goût fort du gingembre et en réduisent souvent les proportions, donc pas trop grave que vous l’ayez omis. Mais, faudra nous dire laquelle des versions vous préférez, avec ou sans. J’apprécie nos échanges. Vous m’encouragez à continuer. Merci 🙂

  6. MISSMO

    C’est un vrai plaisir d’échanger avec vous Annick. Je suis “retombée” amoureuse de mon pays. Partie tôt je n’ai pas eu le temps d’apprendre beaucoup de choses et j’ai depuis quelques années une soif intense de savoir, de me ré-approprier ma culture . Je suis une fana du naturel, de l’authentique et ça me ramène souvent à mes 14 premières années en Haïti, mes lointains souvenirs.

    J’aime beaucoup le gingembre, là encore souvenir d’enfance. Il y a beaucoup de saveurs que j’apprécie et que les gens ici en Guadeloupe n’aiment pas particulièrement. L’acide, l’amer, le piquant…. que des saveurs auxquelles on habitue les enfants chez nous, le jus de citron, le thé de l’associe, le café, le thé de gingembre, le piment etc… Je risque donc d’apprécier la version bonbon sirop avec le gingembre.

    Désolée Annick mais quand je suis passionnée je “parle” beaucoup. Lol 😉

  7. Katie

    Thank you for sharing your story and the recipe! At what temperature do you bake the bread? I may have missed reading it, but don’t see it in your story. Thank you so much!!

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