Soul food tends to be a combination of sweet and savoury. It’s not unusual to find a vegetable smothered in a candied sauce. Some of the dishes originally included sugar to help preserve them, others just out of the desire for something sweet.
When making a candied sauce, don’t overcook it or it will harden. This basic candied sauce can be used with a variety of vegetables, fruits and desserts.
For the candied sauce
110g butter 100g soft brown sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract zest and juice of 1 orange
First make the sauce. Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan, then add the cinnamon, vanilla and orange zest and juice and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the sugar begins to bubble.
Peel the carrots and cut them to your own preference – diced, sliced or in long strips. Put them in a pan,cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer until the carrots are tender but not limp. Drain well, place on a baking tray and pour the candied sauce over them. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C/Gas Mark 4, until the sauce begins to thicken and bubble. Serve with chicken, turkey, roast potatoes and any other vegetable.