Lemon Marshmallow Creme

Lemon Marshmallow Creme

I love lemon a lot so when I wanted to make this marshmallow creme,I thought,why not make it lemon? and am glad I went for the lemon flavor instead of just vanilla. This is a light and airy creme.It can be spooned over ice cream and maybe some hot fudge,sandwiched between cookies,used as a filling in cupcakes,a dessert component or just enjoyed by spoon fulls.

If you want it plain,just omit the lemon and orange zest.

You’ll need;

2 Egg Whites

130 g Sugar

1/4 cup Water

A pinch of Salt

4 Tbsp Corn syrup

A splash of Vanilla

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 orange

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

Make the sugar syrup by combining the sugar,salt,corn syrup and water in a sauce pan over medium heat.

Stir until the sugar dissolves,stop stirring and let cook until it gets to 240°F or soft ball stage(the cold water test.drop a little in cold water,if it forms a ball that is pliable between your fingers,it is ready)

Before the sugar syrup gets to that stage,whip your egg whites to soft peak,add the lemon zest,orange zest and the juice of 1/2 a lemon

Whip. When your sugar syrup has reached the desired temperature,pour on the side in a slow stream while whipping your egg whites.It might look soupy at first but keep whipping.

Whip until thick,add the vanilla and whip to incorporate.

 You can also use this as a filling for marshmallow tea cakes like I did or serve it on a cookie.

Enjoy!

Nigerian Style Salad

 

salad

This Salad is packed full with flavors from different vegetables and salad dressing or mayonnaise.This is a compulsory item(unofficially) on every party menu.It is usually eaten on the side accompanied with some sort of rice(jollof,fried,white). When I was about 13 or so,I used to think that this was the way all salads where made.So I was a bit surprised when I went to a camp in New York and saw a bowl of lettuce and tomatoes and it was called salad,I stood transfixed and someone must have noticed my confusion because she asked if salad was a strange word for me,don’t we have salads in Nigeria? Lets just say it was the beginning of a “food learning experience” for me,now,I want to know how everything is made,I even collect regional cookbooks(mostly pastry and dessert books) just to learn all the exciting things in the world of food.

 

There is no specific way to make this,the idea is to just make it pretty and delicious. But this is how I usually make mine.

You’ll need;

1 small cabbage or 1/2 of a large cabbage (shredded)

Lettuce (I could not find good,fresh lettuce so I omitted it,but in the picture above,lettuce was included) cut into 1/2 inch pieces

3 Large carrots,2 grated,1 diced

1 can of sweet corn or you can use frozen

1 can or frozen Green Peas

1 can Baked beans

3 firm tomatoes (2 sliced thinly,1 diced)

4 Hard boiled Eggs,sliced

1 Cucumber,half sliced,half diced

1 Potato,diced

1 red onion,sliced,smaller parts diced (optional)

Mayonnaise,as needed

 

 Prepare everything you need.

If using fresh corn,peas,potatoes and carrots,boil them in salted water until tender but still firm.Sieve and rinse in cold water to stop cooking process.

Salad preparation if you are using canned peas and sweet corn,just drain,no need to boil.

Combine all the diced elements in a bowl and the eggs that did not come out perfectly.

 You can put anything you want in.I had some left over chicken so I added it to the mixture.

Add some Mayonnaise to bind it all together and give it a good mix.

 

Assembling

On a tray,spread 1/2 of the shredded cabbage to cover the bottom.

followed by 1/2 the carrots

Spread the veggie mix on

and cover with the remaining cabbage

Now arrange the slices of vegetables as shown

or you can arrange it this way too…

 

wrap tightly in cling film and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with more mayonnaise or salad cream.

salad

Hot Shot Bonbons

This combines the hotness of chili and the lusciousness of Chocolate.I especially enjoyed the ones with the cookie base.

It is a no-bake recipe that is why we are using store bought cookies,but you can make your own cookies if you prefer.

For the Ganache filling,you will need;

110 ml +2 Tbsp Heavy cream

1 1/2 tsp Chili Flakes

150 g Dark chocolate

1 tsp butter

Little round cookies(if using)

More chocolate for dipping

Combine the heavy cream,and chili flakes in a saucepan

 Heat until warm,remove from heat and leave covered at room temperature for 30 min-1 hour

Reheat again,break the chocolate into pieces and place in a bowl,place a sieve over the bowl and pour the cream mixture in

Press the chili with a spoon to get as much flavor as you can

Chili Chocolate ganache

let sit for a min or two,then stir to combine

It will look like this at first,keep stirring until you get a uniform mixture

Add the butter and give it a good mix

Let sit until it has cooled and thickened.

Insert a Star tip into a pipping bag and fill the bag with your thickened ganache

Pipe little stars on a tray lined with parchment paper

Piped Chili ganache

or pipe on biscuits if using(I used honey biscuits)

 Put in the refrigerator and let it set.

Melt your chocolate,you can add a tablespoon or so of oil if it is too thick.

Dip your ganache in the melted chocolate and coat all round,remove with a fork or dipping fork,tap at the edge of the bowl to remove excess chocolate and place back on the parchment paper.

Before the chocolate sets,you can decorate with a flake of chili

With cookie base

Let it set before biting into it.

Enjoy!

Chicken soup

I’ll admit, this picture does not do the soup justice at all,it sure tastes better than it looks. I like to make this when it’s all winter-y and cold,it worms me up and I forget for a moment that it is freezing outside.

You can use you favorite vegetables but make sure you add carrots and potatoes.

This makes a big pot of soup.

You’ll need;

1 whole chicken or 1.5 kg of any chicken part(cut into bite size pieces)

2 Onions (quartered)

2 Chili (optional)

2 Stock/bouillon cubes

Black pepper(to taste)

2 Bay leaves

Salt to taste

3 cloves of garlic

1 inch ginger

3 Potatoes (cut into bite size pieces)

Carrots (cut into bite size pieces)

1/4 Cabbage,cut into 1 inch

Any other vegetable you wish to add

Water (as needed)

Wash and cut your chicken

Bite size Chicken

Chop the chili,garlic,onions

Chicken soup I used both red and white onions, put in the pot with the chicken and grate the ginger directly into the pot

 Add all the spices and about 1.5 L of water.

Stir it and leave to cook for 45 min- 1 hour

Skim off any white form you see forming

Cut your potatoes and any other vegetable you are using

Potatoes

 Cabbage

I used frozen vegetable mix in addition to these.

After 45 min-1 hour,add your potatoes and carrots and let cook until tender.

Add the rest of the vegetables

The cabbage goes in last

 Let it come to a boil and remove from heat.

You can enjoy it as it is or serve over a bed of noodles or macaroni.

Enjoy!

Salted caramel Chocolate hearts

 

 

How about some handmade chocolates for valentine.  I used a combination of things I had made on this blog before. You can use regular caramel if you prefer.

You will need;

Candied Salted Peanuts

Salted caramel

Black pepper to taste. (helps to cut back the sweetness)

1 Tbsp heavy cream or condensed milk

about 100 g dark chocolate

 

Combine 2 Tbsp of the salted caramel and 1 tbsp of heavy cream in a small bowl

Salted caramel + Heavy cream warm for 10 sec in the microwave and stir until uniform

crush a hand full of the candied nuts and add to the mixture,add the black pepper too

+ crushed candied peanuts & Black pepperand give it a good stir

Melt your chocolate and temper it,this is important.

Line the mold with a thin coating of chocolate.

there are a range of chocolate molds you can use,you can get them in the plastic form or silicon form,you can use tiny paper cups too but then they won’t be hearts.

place in the refrigerator for about 5 min, when it is firm,fill them just to about 3/4 full,leave enough space for sealing.

Let the filling set a bit,you can put it in the refrigerator for about 3-5 min

Cover the opening with more chocolate.

place in the refrigerator again for 5-10 min until firm and the sides starts pulling away from the mold.

turn over the mold and tap it gently to remove those that don’t fall out on their own.

You might want to use a small mold that uses less filling like mine. You can use a hot knife to trim the edges so it has a smooth and professional finish.

Enjoy and Happy Valentine!

Lovestruck Brownies

 

So valentine is around around the corner and I decided to do something a lil special.This is a very simple dessert to make and you can decorate it any how you want it,you can leave it plain or just dust it with some icing sugar,with some ice cream and you’ve got a perfect dessert.You don’t have to be in a relationship to treat yourself this holiday,do something special for yourself and if you are in a relationship,make this single serving brownie hearts to complete your menu.

You will need;

115 g Butter

10 Tbsp Cocoa powder

57 ml or 1/4 cup oil

220 g Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp Vanilla

4 Eggs

190 g Flour

1 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Salt

1 Tbsp Coffee

 

Preheat your oven to 160°C,if your oven is too hot,you might want to adjust it a bit because chocolate burns easily

Melt butter,oil and cocoa powder over a pot of boiling water,mixing to combine

Stir until melted

take off the heat and mix in the sugar,coffee and vanilla

then beat eggs in one at a time,mixing after each addition

mix in the flour,salt and baking powder

mix until just combined,you don’t want to mix it too much so you don’t develop the gluten in it

if you have heart shaped baking cups,fill each until 2/3rd full or you can bake it in a small heart shaped pan or a rectangular/square baking pan and just cut out mini hearts with a cookie cutter or a stencil when you are done baking

 and bake for 10-15 min or until a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean

alternatively,you can cut out a stencil like the one below out of paper or cardboard and use it as a guide to cut out the heart shapes after the brownie is cool

you can also cut out some for the individual brownies to use as the base,cover it in foil.

Now the fun part………. you can just dust it in powdered sugar/icing sugar,serve with ice cream and same strawberries and call it a day or….

whip up you favorite frosting and cover each of the brownies,you can use a spoon or a small spatula,you can make it smooth or playful mess (I once heard that there is nothing like a mistake in art)

spoon some melted chocolate around the edges and let it run down freely

 Sprinkle with some sprinkles(I crack myself up).You really can’t go wrong with sprinkles

or……..

 Cover with some chocolate ganache

Nutty Love Brownie and put some shredded coconut around the sides or

 some Candied peanut

alternatively,cut into 2

place 1 half back in the mold

and fill with whipped cream,nuts and caramel

 cover with the 2nd half

and freeze for about 30-40 min or until firm enough to handle

remove from mold and cover the sides with more whipped cream

 fill the top with a mixture of Salted caramel and crushed candied nuts

or what I like to call “organized mess” or “perfectly imperfect”

 slather on some whipped cream flavored with strawberry jam or syrup or any frosting of choice

and place little cut pieces of candied or dried fruits and nuts all around it

 and if you absolutely must have strawberries,have got something for you.

 chocolate covered strawberry dipped partly in shaved white chocolate

or……..

pipe a border around the top of the brownie

then cut a strawberry into little pieces and fill the center

ta da

melt some strawberry jam in the microwave or you can use strawberry syrup.Coat the strawberry with the jam

you can leave it as it is or drizzle some more over it

That about wraps it up

Have a wonderful Valentine’s day.

Till next time,I remain yours truly

Chef Iretidayo

 

 

Tapioca Drink

So,the first time I made this,I was craving some Tapioca but in the form of a drink and not pudding. I searched for a recipe but could not find any so I went into the kitchen and let my heart guide me. I made it first as you would make the regular pudding type then blended it with some milk. The 2nd time I made it,I decided to add some caramel and candied ginger,that’s why the drink is not white as would be if using just milk. You can use fresh ginger too,I just prefer to use candied ginger in my drinks.I used Tapioca flour for this but you can use the ones sold in lumps,just crush it as much as you can before cooking it.

You will need

200 g Tapioca flour

Shredded Coconut (dried or fresh)

10 Tbsp Sugar(or to your taste)

About 2 inch ginger or 12 thin slices of Candied Ginger or less if you don’t like a very gingery drink

1 L Water

1 L Milk (more or less to get the consistency you want)

Dissolve the tapioca flour in the 1 L of water

Add your coconut,use as much or as littles as you want.

Cook stirring consistently until you get a thick translucent paste

 Add your Sugar and taste,adjust as needed.You can always add more at the end.

Blend in your ginger and caramel if using

Tapioca + Candied Ginger + Coconut Add the milk while blending until you reach the consistency you want.

Taste and adjust whatever needs to be adjusted.

Chill completely. Best served cold.

 Enjoy!