Syrup Cake, Louisiana Cane Syrup cake to be exact. We should have just called it Louise’s Syrup Cake because my mother, Audrey Louise Broussard, or Weezee, as my brother called her, was known far and wide for her syrup cake. In the summer it was served with lemonade, and in the colder months it was served with a cup of hot Community Coffee. Which ever way it was served, I have yet to meet a person who didn’t like it.
The recipe itself was an altered version of one found in a small booklet of recipes from the Broussard area featuring Louisiana Cane Sugar products. Abbeville, 25 minutes south of Lafayette, is home to Steen’s 100% Pure Cane Syrup, which is the star ingredient in my mother’s recipe.
In our home on a dairy farm just outside of Lafayette, we were never without cane syrup. Let Vermont have its maple syrup. We will gladly keep our cane syrup. Back then, we didn’t buy Steen’s in a bottle or the sealed small cans you buy today. We bought it in a quart-size can version with a top that was like a can of paint. It required a manual can opener or a screw driver to pop the lid off. My mother would then transfer the syrup to other containers, including a syrup dispenser for table use over pancakes, pain perdu, cushcush, and boudin.
Yes…boudin. Cajuns, you know that I am talking to you. I compare it to eating maple syrup with breakfast sausages.
Cane syrup, with its deep sweet, caramel, mineral flavors is a true staple of Louisiana Cajun kitchens. In a world with so many additives in our foods, Steen’s is exactly what it says it is — cane juice boiled down to create a thick consistency. Its simplicity is surely a large part of Steen’s success. As the bottle states. “nothing added, nothing extracted.” I just imagine that all of the goodness that Cajun Country soil and weather have to offer are found directly in that bottle. It is like drinking Cajun Country. Sometimes, I call it Cajun Kryptonite.
Now to the recipe. You will notice that the ingredients are simple. In our house, we always had all the items available. We never had a shortage of syrup and we had many pecan trees on our farm. Mama could bake up a syrup cake easily anytime.