In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Then set aside.
In a small bowl mix the cocoa powder and the food colouring and set aside.
Using a wooden spoon or a mixer beat margarine and sugar in a bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time.
Beat in the vanilla essence and the cocoa and food colour mixture.
Add a third of the flour mixture, then beat in half of the buttermilk.
Beat in another third of the flour and the second half of the buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture.
In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda, it will fizz. Add the vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine.
Pre heat the oven, 370°F.
Line your cupcake tin with some muffin liners.
Fill about 3/4 way.
The recipe said to bake for 20-22 minutes but mine took about 15 minutes to bake.
For the remaining batter I decided to bake a cake.
For the frosting, nothing fancy since it was just for our consumption.
Spread some whipping on one half and sprinkle some diced strawberries.
Layer the other half and cover with the remaining whipping cream.
For the cupcakes, I just dipped them in the frosting then sprinkled over some sprinkles 🙂
I would like to mention that normally the frosting on red velvet cakes or cupcakes is cream cheese frosting not whipping cream. I didn’t have any cream cheese and honestly I’m still scared of making some O-o plus have you seen the cost of cream cheese? Jeeze!!
These cookies are delicious. All lovers of snickers chocolate bars out there you gotta try these cookies and they even have peanut butter. I didn’t make the cookie dough though, oh I’ve just rhymed cool 🙂 . Anyway, my foodie pen pal Cici of foodie in the desert sent me the frozen cookie dough. I just sliced the dough and baked them. I made the cookies for Labour Day breakfast.
Here is her recipe:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter (she used smooth)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 * 56 g bars of snicker bars, chopped then frozen on a wide plate so they do not touch
1. Pre heat oven to 160°C
2. Sift flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, using a paddle attachment on an electric beater (you can used a wooden spoon also), cream peanut butter, butter and sugar on medium for about 3 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla and slowly add the flour. Once the flour is well mixed and had reached dough consistency fold in the snickers using a wooden spoon.
4. Put the dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to harden the snickers again so they do not melt. You can also freeze the dough at this point for up to 6 weeks.
5. Scoop the dough using a tablespoon or your hand and roll into a ball, place on a cookie sheet and flatten with a spoon.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes (12 minutes gives a chewy cookie, 15 minutes gives a harder cookie)
Since I had the dough, this is what I did.
After letting the dough thaw for a short while, I sliced it into 1 cm rings.
Line a baking tray with some parchment or grease proof paper. Lay out the rings.
Pop them in the oven and voila.
These cookies were very delicious. Hubby loved them.
By now some of you might have noticed that I really love ripe bananas and I like using them in my cooking. I think there are very versatile fruits, you can eat them as is, blend them with milk or yoghurt to make smoothies, bake them in cakes or muffins or even mix them in pancake and crepe batter. They can be even fried in butter to serve over ice cream as a sweet dessert, clearly the options are endless. Other than the fact that they are sweet, bananas are rich in Potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
What better way to use these fruits than with equally healthy ingredients, wholemeal flour.
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup margarine
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
3 very ripe bananas mashed
2 cups wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg – optional
3/4 cup plain yoghurt
A handful of raisins
Pre heat the oven at 180°C. Line the muffin tray with cupcake liners. In case you don’t have the liners, grease the tray with some margarine then dust with some little flour.
In a mixing bowl pour in the sugar and add the margarine.
Using a wooden spoon, mix the two till creamy. Add the egg and the vanilla essence.
Once combined add the mashed bananas.
In another bowl combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add the flour mixture into the sugar and butter mixture in three proportions alternating with the yoghurt.
In the third addition, mix the raisins with the flour.
Pour and mix till combined.
Finally divide the batter evenly into the already prepared tin.
Bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
If you like my page on facebook or follow me on twitter you must have seen my previous complaints about my black forest cake backfiring. It got so bad that I decided not to try again. I resulted in getting my brother to bake the cake then I do the frosting.
This past weekend we were having a bridal for a good friend of mine and I offered to bring a black forest cake. At first I had requested my brother to do the baking but on second thought I decided to ask him for his recipe. I needed to face my fears. I normally hate it when cakes back fire, though my friends think otherwise since they enjoy eating my backfired cakes, ha!
This recipe is a bit different from others that I have tried. The great thing is that it worked.
Before I go on, be warned this will be a very long post full of many photos so if you are yet to have lunch I suggest you eat first :-). Oh and another thing, making a black forest is a bit tedious, not the baking part but the layering and frosting so patience is key.
For the cake;
7 medium sized eggs
220 g all purpose flour – about 1 3/4 cups
23o g sugar – about 1 1/2 cups
160 g margarine – about 3/4 cup
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon coffee
2.5 teaspoon of baking powder
2 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 teaspoon of passion flavour essence – optional
For feeding the cake
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
4 tablespoons of water
Some juice – optional
For the frosting
Strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
wooden skewer or toothpick
Start with baking the cake.
Pre heat the oven at 180°C. Grease the baking tins and line them with grease proof paper. I used 2 9 inch round tins since I wanted the cake to have four layers.
Baking this cake is pretty easy since you just dump in all the ingredients then using an electric mixer you combine the ingredients and the cake batter is ready.
Using the handy mixer…
Divide the batter between the two tins. Ensure they are more or less the same.
Bake for twenty minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. I said a prayer as I put the cakes in.
Excitement!!! I was jumping up and down. The cakes had not backfired. Thank you God.
Let the cakes cool for about ten minutes then remove them from the tins to cool further.
It’s advisable to let the cakes cool completely, this will come in handy when layering the cake. The crumbs won’t be as many.
I wrapped my cakes in clear cling film them I put then in the fridge.
Same day evening…
Layering and frosting.
Take one cake, I put mine on top of an overturned baking tin. This is to aid in layering the cake.
Start by leveling the cake.
Then slice the cake in half to form two almost equal layers.
Repeat the above steps for the second cake.
Now for the fun part.
To make the sugar water, combine the icing sugar, water and juice if using. I used some orange juice that I had in the fridge. For the extra kick I guess you can put a tablespoon of rum in the mixture instead of juice.
Place the bottom layer of the cake on a board, then using a wooden skewer or toothpick poke the surface of the cake.
Then drizzle about a tablespoon of the sugar water over the cake. This will feed the cake to ensure it continues to be moist and spongy.
Put a dollop of whipping cream on the surface of the bottom layer.
Spread it evenly on the surface of the cake.
Spread the strawberries. I had some leftover cherries so I threw them in.
Repeat the steps for all the layers.
After filling in all the layers, coat the entire cake with the whipping cream.
It doesn’t need to look perfect since you will pile on chocolate.
When it comes to putting the chocolate, you can be as creative as you want to be. You can choose to grate the chocolate and sprinkle it all over the cake. If you are in a hurry, like I was, you can cut the chocolate into chunks and stick around the cake. Don’t worry they won’t fall off, the whipping cream acts as the glue.
Decorate the top with smaller pieces of chocolate then make a border on the cake with whole strawberries that are slightly dipped in whipping cream.
I saw a tweet that led me to this you tube video. You have to admit this is quite a nice idea for a cook show. Anyway, me being me, I just had to try the recipe and the beautiful thing is that I had all the ingredients on hand.
As Peter Nduati (C.E.O, Resolution Health E.A) demonstrated the meal is pretty easy to put together and I think you can never go wrong when baking. I used his recipe with a few tweaks here and there.
For the meat filling
1/2 kg minced meat
1 cup pre-boiled peas
4 carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
1 tomato cubed
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 cup water/beef stock/chicken stock
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt to taste
For the mashed potatoes
Handful of potatoes, peeled,washed and halved
Water for boiling
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp butter
Start by boiling the potatoes.
In a sufuria, place all the potatoes, fill it with just enough water to make them cook. Add the salt and bay leaves and cover.
Now for the minced meat filling.
In a skillet, heat some oil then fry your onions.
After the onions are slightly cooked add in the minced meat.
Season with the garam masala. Let the meat brown and cook for about 15 minutes. Then add your tomatoes.
Add the carrots and let them cook. At this point you can add the water/broth.
Let the meal simmer till the fluid has been greatly reduced then add the peas.
Now back to the potatoes. Drain them in a colander, remove the bay leaves and discard. Sprinkle over the turmeric powder and add the butter. Mash to your heart’s content. Taste to check if the salt is enough.
Now, we are ready to assemble the dish.
Rub an oven friendly casserole dish with some butter.
Put one layer of the mashed potatoes as the base.
Then line the mince meat filling.
Finally top off with the remaining mashed potatoes. I have put quite a lot of the mashed potatoes on the base that the remainder wasn’t enough to completely cover the top.
Finally, grate some cheddar cheese on the top.
Bake in a pre heated oven at 350 F for 15 minutes.
As per Peter’s recipe, there was a white sauce which i didn’t make since I didn’t have white onions. I had however made some kachumbari which I served with.
Delicious. Hubby loved it and so did our guest Ben.
Recently I have become the designated baker of cakes for a few functions. I thank God. So far I’ve baked cakes for a bridal shower and around 3 birthdays and thanks to some whipping cream and strawberries I’ve been able to pull the whole look together. Now the thing with my cakes is that I have only been making chocolate banana cakes. So recently my friend Nzilani asked for a carrot cake, new challenge? Why not.
I had only eaten a carrot cake once before and it’s my brother who had baked it. I decided to first bake one and see how it turns out before I can make for one dear Nzilani. After a few searches on google I felt confident enough to embark on this new baking adventure. Whoop! Whoop!
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp baking soda
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla essence
3 cups finely grated carrots
2/3 crushed pineapple (juice drained)
1/2 cup sultanas/ raisins
As usual start by pre heating your oven at 350º F
Then grease and lightly dust your baking tin. I also put some piece of parchment paper.
This cake is pretty simple to make, the only tasking part being the part you grate the carrots and crush the pineapples.
Start by putting the flour,sugar,cinnamon,nutmeg and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
Mix all the dry ingredients then add the vegetable oil.
Add the eggs and vanilla essence next.
The finely grated carrots.
I bet you can buy a can of crushed pineapple from the supermarket but if you wanna be frugal like me, just get around 2 pineapple slices, chop them finely then crush whilst passing through a strainer. Set aside the juice for a relaxing drink after the rigorous baking.
Anyway back to the cake, before that, I wanna thank hubby, he did the grating of the carrots and crushing of the pineapples all the while acting as the photographer. Thanks hun.
After mixing in the wet ingredients i.e oil and eggs into the dry ingredient mixture the batter will look a bit thick. You will be tempted to add some water but do what I did and resist the urge, I’ll tell you the reason later.
Finally add in the carrots, sultanas and pineapples.
After mixing them in I realised that the batter become light, must be the moisture from the carrots and the pineapples. So need to add any more water.
Pour the batter onto your prepared baking tin.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Moist and tasty. I was very proud of the results. I’m definitely trying this again and again. Next I think I’ll make carrot cupcakes.
I’m yet to bake one for Nzilani since currently she’s not into sugar.
This past weekend was hubby’s birthday, so I decided to bake him a surprise birthday cake. Planning a surprise for someone you live with can be a bit difficult. The biggest challenge was where to hide the cake.
I recall earlier this year, on the eve of my birthday, hubby had prohibited me from opening the fridge. Well it was sorta obvious he had hidden something sweet, well it turned out to be a tasty white forest cake (my favourite) 🙂
Back to the surprise, I schemed to have the cake hidden at my friends place, they are also our good neighbours. Next challenge was to bake the cake in record time, frost it and eliminate all evidences of cake bearing in mind the way the house smells when one has baked.
As usual start by pre heating your oven at 350 degrees.
Grease and flour your baking tin. This time round I also lined the bottom of the tin with some parchment paper.
Using a wooden spoon/spatula/electric mixer cream the sugar and the margarine.
Once the mixture is creamy and fluffy mix in the eggs one at a time. The mixture will look a bit curdled but it’s ok. Add the vanilla essence.
Mix in the mashed bananas.
Once well incorporated add the flour,cocoa,baking powder and salt into the wet mixture.
Fold in the dry ingredients until well incorporated. I found out recently that the cake batter should have a dropping consistency, that it when you scoop it with a spatula it should be able to drop. Don’t confuse this to mean that it should free flow. Even if it drops some huge dollops that’s ok. Well since mine what not at the right consistency I added some 3 tablespoons of water.
Pour out the batter into the prepared tin then put it in the oven to bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick/spaghetti inserted in the middle comes out clean.
AS the cake was baking I prepared the ganache and lemon icing.
In a bowl pour the lemon juice.
Add the icing sugar, small quantities at a time. We want the icing to be a bit viscous.
Patience is key while making this. I used about 3/4 cup of icing sugar. Add the vanilla essence then continue mixing till you get the desired results. Then set it aside.
Thirty minutes or so later, my cake was evenly cooked and a toothpick inserted in the middle came out clean.
Place the cake tin on a rack to cool for about 10 minutes.
Remove from the tin and let it cool further since, we’ll be frosting the cake.
I was really working in a rush and to be honest the kitchen counter was a bit messy. Since I was trying to eliminate all evidences, as the cake was baking, I also washed all the used equipment.
To be honest, I didn’t wait for the cake to cool completely, time was against me.
Since I had prepared the ganache earlier that morning, it hadn’t completely set, I wished I’d put it in the freezer, oh well.
Pour the ganache on the cake and spread it out.
The counter was full of chocolate. After putting the first layer of ganache, I squeezed the cake into the freezer for like 10 minutes to see whether it would at least set, well that amount to more mess O-o.
Add the final layer of the ganache. The dripping result.
Now for the lemon icing, I don’t have a pipping bag so I had to be inventive, so just using a polythene bag, pour the icing into the bag, push it to one edge of the bag then make a small hole. Then ice as desired. (sorry no pics, handy were messy).
Now for the end result.
I forgot to mention, just as I was beginning the second layer of frosting the cake,hubby called saying that he had just alighted from the bus and that he was on his way home O-o (the horror). Trying to buy time I requested him to go buy fruits, I even recommended some vendors that were a bit far, sneaky I know.
Safe to say, the cake was hidden at my neighbours, all the utensils washed, wiped dry and tucked away in their respective cabinets. One big problem remained, the cake smell… Well I’d earlier lit an aromatic candle so when he got home and got to sniffing (pun intended) I just said it was the candle.
Tip: Please prepare the ganache the night before to avoid the mess I made.
For those who might be wondering the surprise worked out great and hubby loved the cake.
PS. Sorry for the longest post ever. Also, I apologise for the lack of step by step pics, I was really in a hurry and took what I could.
I was charged with the great task of baking a cake for a friend’s bridal shower. Boy was I nervous, I kept asking myself, will they love it? Will they compare my cake to previous cakes? Oh well, I took the challenge. I decided to make my chocolate banana cake.
Since, the cake was for a big event, I needed to do what I don’t really like and know, frost/ice it. I searched around Dr. Google and landed on a recipe for ganache. It looked pretty simple to do.
300ml double cream
300gms chocolate chips (dark/semi-sweet) (you can but dark chocolate and cut it into chunks)
In a sufuria, bring the double cream to a boil.
As the double cream is coming to a boil, put the chocolate chips in a bowl.
Once boiled, pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let the mixture stand for 3 minutes.
Using a spatula or spoon, gently stir the mixture.
After some minutes of gentle stirring.
Since it’s a bit runny and not to mention warm, let it cool on the counter overnight. Remember to cover with some cling film.
In the morning it will be more firm and one can easy spread on the cake. If you want it to be more solid, put it in the fridge.
Next I’ll post the cake plus ganache, that is if I can locate the photos.
Tip: The double cream and chocolate quantities should be 50/50.