Lunch

Beginner Friendly Chocolate Cake with Nutella Buttercream Frosting.

By on June 15, 2020

This cake is for beginners like me, who would like to make a simple yet delicious cake that doesn’t compromise on texture and flavour! It’s a super simple guide following the equal parts method’s I learnt researching how to make the ‘perfect’ cake. Whilst my design may prove i’m not a pro baker, I’m happy to say the recipe does not disappoint! See below my recipe notes.

Cake Recipe:


300g unsalted butter
300g sugar
245g all purpose flour
30g cocoa powder
25g milo (hot chocolate powder)
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence

For the Nutella chocolate frosting:

225g butter
370g icing sugar
75g nutella
50g cocoa powder
50ml heavy cream or whole milk
25ml hot water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Baking equipment you’ll need (affiliate links included):

  1. Hand or stand cake mixer (hand whisk will work alternatively)
  2. Mixing bowls for wet and dry ingriedients for butter, eggs, flour etc
  3. Measuring scale
  4. Measuring spoons
  5. Measuring jug
  6. Cake tin
  7. Cake decorative set (Piping bag, turntable, spatula etc.)
  8. Sieve

Watch how I make it here:

Will you be recreating this recipe? If so let me know! xx

Continue Reading

Lunch

Homemade Suya (Yaji) Spice Burger with fries

By on May 26, 2020

BBQ season is finally here and there’s no better way to kickstart the season than with juicy homemade burgers! For this recipe, I’m using suya (yaji spice) to season the burger mince along with a few herbs and spices. Incase you’re wondering what Suya (yaji) spice is, it’s a peanut based rub from Nigeria used to season all kinds of meat particularly beef , chicken, ram which is widely known as suya.

For this recipe, I’m using suya spice purchased from our local supermarket, the flavour is unbelievable and I use it on pretty much any kind of meat especially, grilled chicken, beef, wings, ribs and now burgers!

For a total of 4 burger patties:

650g mince beef
4 teaspoons of suya spice (store bought or homemade)
1 tablespoon dried crushed onions (or 1 teaspoon of onion powder)
1 tablespoon panko dried breadcrumbs (optional)
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried herbs
*Disclaimer* Suya spice contains nuts, so if you have nut allergies then please avoid consuming!

Other ingredients:
4 burger buns
4 bbq skewers (to keep burger in place)
4 romaine lettuce leaves
2 beef steak tomatoes, sliced into rounds ( look out for ones that are quite big in size and quite firm)
1 large onion, cut into rings (caramelized if you like)
Cheese slices (optional)
*Feel free to add any toppings of your choice, avocado, pickles, grilled mushrooms!

Quick & easy burger sauce:
3 tablespoons mayonaise
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon mustard
1/2 teaspoon suya spice

Cheese would be a great addition to this, if you’re a cheese lover!

How to make the burger:

1. Place your mince beef in a bowl and season with all the dried ingredients (seasonings). Add the egg and breadcrumbs and bind together.

2. Wrap the beef in cling film, you can coat the cling film with a little oil prior to stop the meat from sticking to the clingfilm.

3.The beef should marinate in the fridge for several hours, over night is even better.

4. I like to leave the burger to get down to room temp when I take it out of the fridge prior to cooking so 10-15 minutes beforehand should be fine.

5. Roll out the mince very gently, with rolling pin or wine bottle (make sure its cleaned beforehand 😉 ) & simply cut out a round shape using a cup or small bowl to get identical circular shapes or even better like i did flatten cut beef into equal sections, roll gently into a ball and flatten with your hands.

4. Once you have your burger patties cut out. Fry each beef in veg oil. Use a frying pan or cast iron dish, even better grill on the bbq. Cook for 3 minutes on each side. total of 6 minutes. If you like it well done cook for an extra 2 minutes.

5. Place the cooked burger beef on your burger buns, add lettuce, tomatoes, grilled onions & any topping of your choice and burger sauce.

6. Serve with ketchup, mayo & a side of homemade (or store bought fries).

Suya yaji spice sprinkled over fries with a side of homemade burger sauce & ketchup.

Couldn’t get enough of this and would certainly be recreating it again this week! Would you be trying this? Let me know! xx

Continue Reading

Lunch

Slow cooked oxtails with rice & peas & sweet plantains | Caribbean Delight

By on March 9, 2020

Slow cooked oxtails with rice & peas has to be one of my favourite Jamaican dishes & one I can’t get enough of. For this recipe I tried to make it as authentic as I could with a few twists of my own! Once I had decided I was going to make this I made a list and headed to my local afro-Caribbean store to buy to ingriedients.

At my local Afro-Caribbean store shopping for the ingriedients! Also picked up one my fave curry powder seasoning from River Dunn.

Oxtail Recipe:

It’s all about the prep! I like to ensure I have everything ready before if start! It really relieves stress when cooking and ensuring I don’t miss an ingriedient.

1.5kg oxtails
2 onions, chopped
2 scotch bonnets, green and red, chopped (remove seeds to lessen heat).
1 maggi or knorr seasoning cube
2 tablespoons browning
3-4 spring onions, chopped
Sprigs of fresh thyme

1litre beef stock

1 tablepoon garlic & ginger paste (can be found in afro-carribbean store)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon River Dun’s Jerk Paste
1 can butter beans
Salt & black pepper
Bicarbonate soda [I know, but this is a cheat way for tenderising the meat if you do not have a slow or pressure cooker]

2 plantains – extra soft 😉

A little story: A day prior I’d decided to defrost some oxtails I found in the freezer to add to the new batch I was going to cook so it didn’t waste. Once the meat had defrosted I cooked it in some water with bay leaves and just brown sugar. Without realising how time went the fire alarm began to go off. The meat had cooked down, the water evaporated and the oxtails began to burn at the bottom. I was gutted as I thought I had wasted them and scarily enough (even though I was present in the kitchen at the time) I was too engrossed in washing and cleaning to turn the oxtails off as it cooked down. The oxtails has burnt with charred bits at the bottom of the pot. I decided to keep these semi-burnt oxtails in a bag in the fridge until I figured out what to do with them. When I cooked this new batch of oxtails I added about 3 pieces to the oxtail sauce and was amazed at how it gave the sauce an amazing smoky flavour!!!

I did take it out though as I feared it would make the sauce bitter but leaving it to simmer in the sauce for a few minutes gave my sauce a completely different dimension. So I’m not recommending burning oxtails to get this (ok maybe I am) maybe on a bbq but as it really worked & goes to show sometimes little mistakes when cooking can actually lead to something! But that being said It’s very important to please pay attention & not like me at the time as it’s dangerous if food is left unattended.

But yes, here is how to make the oxtails:

I start by washing my oxtails, then pat dry with a tea towel. I began prepping them when I returned from the store so they were already at room temperature which is important as cold meat doesn’t cook evenly compared to when it’s at room temperature ! Once my oxtails where cleaned I began to season ever so generously with the following:

Salt, black pepper, brown sugar, garlic & ginger paste, Maggi cube, Dunn’s jerk paste (feel like this adds a nice dimension to the sauce) scotch bonnets, thyme, browning, onions & spring onions.

Note: I usually add onions last as I want the seasoning to get to the meat first. Often times I add onions first but sometimes the seasonings just lay on them without actually getting to the meat.

Scotch bonnets add a floral note to the dish along with the heat, but the hot sauce adds another dimension I think, but this too is optional.

Once I’ve seasoned my oxtails I tend to marinate overnight or for several hours before cooking just so those flavours can really penetrate.

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes

I don’t have a pressure or slow cooker so I usually cook my oxtails in a cast iron pot or my trustee ceramic pot which is great for slow cooking! the trick is to add about a 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda to the oxtail to start the tenderising process when it’s cooking. I recently tried this and it worked!

Seasoned oxtails
  • In a hot pan I shallow fry my oxtails on both sides for several minutes until they are browned/caramelised. The caramelisation is also helped with the use of brown sugar. I then proceed to pour the remaining seasoning from the bowl where the oxtails was marinating in, into the pot. I then add 1 litre of stock, bicarbonate soda (to tendersise the meat) and cook the oxtails on medium to low heat for over an hour.
  • During the cooking process, I ensure I check on it regularly just to ensure the liquid doesn’t reduce entirely and if it does I just add more stock! I also like to taste along the way adjusting the seasoning to see what it needs whether it’s salt, more jerk paste, stock, browning and so forth but please do feel free to adjust to your preference. What you’re looking for is a balance of flavours and tender oxtails. Within the last 15 minutes I then add my butter beans, I do this so they do not overcook with the oxtails.
  • Once your oxtails have cooked until tender for over an hour you can begin your plantains and rice. I have a recipe here for my sweet plantains which go down a hit everytime. As for the rice and peas I’m using basmati rice which I wash and soak for about 20minutes before cooking.

Rice & peas:

2 cups of basmati rice
1 can of coconut milk
250ml water
1 can red kidney beans
1 spring onion / scallion
1 whole scotch bonnet
2-3 sprigs of thyme
Salt & white pepper

*Foil or Cling film is needed to cook rice

Simmer coconut milk for a few minutes, add pinch of salt, white pepper, thyme, spring onions, 1 whole scotch bonnet and then your washed rice. Cook on high heat for about 3-4 minutes then turn down and cook for remaining 5 add 1 can of red kidney beans (drain a little bit of a the liquid not all prior to adding to the pot), stir lightly with a fork and cover with cling film or foil and simmer until the liquid has soaked evaporated. Stir lightly with a fork and serve with plantains and oxtail.

There you have it my loves!



Continue Reading

Lunch

Bacardi Rum Cake

By on January 29, 2020

When I was approached to collaborate with Bacardi on this project during the festive period, I was elated! I’m a huge fan of the brand & of-course their rum and even though Christmas is well and truly over – January too, I have solid plans on making this Bacardi rum cake again!

What’s to love about the Bacardi Rum cake?

It’s has the perfect balance of sweetness with hints of vanilla & the [8 Year Old] Bacardi Reserva Ocho rum that thankfully doesn’t overpower the cake.

It’s moist thanks to the sweet rum syrup is drizzled ever so delicately over the cake a few minutes after it’s been out of the oven. It soaks right in not only amplifying the taste but also the texture.

Watch my recipe video on my IGTV here:

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B6bfaFXnlbQ/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Recipe for the cake:

225g unsalted Butter, Softened
225g muscovado Sugar
4 medium eggs
225g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch of fine sea salt
50ml whole milk
30ml BACARDI Reserva Ocho Rum

Rum Syrup (for drizzling over the rum cake :))

100g demerara sugar
50ml water
100ml BACARDI Reserva Ocho Rum
Juice and zest of 1 lime

Icing/Decoration:

200g icing sugar
20ml lime juice
10ml boiling water
1 medium pineapple (alternatively I used a pack of dehydrated pineapple slices which can be bought from the supermarket).

Extra butter for the tin
1 x 22cm non-stick bundt tin

Continue Reading

Lunch

Fried Beef Jollof Rice

By on November 19, 2019

Being both Nigerian & Ghanaian I can never say which Jollof rice is better ( as I don’t want trouble! Lol) but honestly, I believe each of them have their own strengths and whenever I make Jollof I usually draw inspo from both sides. What I would say is that this particular jollof recipe is inspired by the ones I ate when I was in Nigeria. As you may or may not know, Jollof rice is a one-pot dish and is simply rice cooked in a delicious aromatic tomato stew! It’s eaten in almost every part of West Africa from Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Sierra Leone (the list goes on) and traditionally it’s cooked in a cast iron pot over an open flame of coals and firewood. This method imparts a unique yet, delicious smoky flavour & I tried recreating my own at home which I will be sharing with you! Hopefully you find this useful X

Beef Jollof served with an extra side of BBQ suya ribs

Utensils:

  • Stainless steel pot
  • Stock pot
  • Chopping board
  • Blender / food processor 
  • Knife
  • Tin opener 
  • Cling film or foil 
  • Wooden cooking spoon

Fried Beef:

750g diced beef

1 Maggi cube

1 scotch bonnet, deseeded & chopped 

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

1 small onion, shopped 

1 cup of water (to steam) 

2 cups of oil (to fry)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

Jollof:

3 cups of long grain rice 

2 cans plum peeled tomatoes 

2 mediun onions, sliced

2 tablespoons del Rica tomato onion & tomato pureé (normal tomato puree should do).

1 tablespoon garlic & ginger paste (alternatively 2 garlic cloves)

500ml beef stock 

50g butter

Oil 

Spices:

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon curry powder

½ teaspoon thyme 

½ teaspoon sugar (for tomatoe sauce)

¼ teaspoon white pepper 

Salt 

Continue Reading

Dinner | Lunch

Sweet fried plantains.

By on October 19, 2019

Who doesn’t love plantains? I find it can be enjoyed any way and can go with almost any savoury dish.

During a recent trip to the market I set my eyes on a well placed stall with an array of plantains bundled in sets of 4 varying from green to bright yellow ones speckled with black & brown dots. I picked up a set of the yellow ripe ones to make with the stew and rice I planned on having later that evening. I learnt the secret to making sweet plantains is selecting the riper ones. The browner and more speckled it is the more promising it will be and of course the softer it should be at the touch. 
I made this over the weekend, the first time in a while. 

Peeling the skin off, I scraped the first layer of the plantain with a knife. The texture feels slightly rough at the touch and scraping it off reveals a much softer layer which becomes sticky at the touch. I slice diagonally on a chopping board. Sometimes with the plantains in my hand, a way my mother usually does it after many years of practice. 

I place the sliced plantains in a bowl and sprinkle with salt and sugar. Sugar being the secret Ingriedient to amplifying the sweetness and lending a crispy yet caremalised outer layer.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe plantains 
  • 1 cup vegetable oil 
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (large pinch)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar 

I think it’s best to use a non-stick pan or a skillet.

Heat the oil on medium heat, the oil must be hot before adding the plantain. To test for this, drop in a slice of plantain & once it starts to crackle add the remaining.
It’s always a good idea to cook in batches, and again I found over-crowding the pan with plantain (which I am often very guilty of) makes it hard for them to cook evenly.
Cook them on both sides for about 3 minutes until they are golden brown and transfer to a dish, I find using a kitchen towel is great for soaking up excess oil.
Once all the batches are cooked leave to cool before serving. It’s often tempting as I have a habit of picking at them because they taste so good.

Served it with Rice & Chicken Stew.

Continue Reading