Happy Valentines Day Lovlies
That’s what happens when a post that was supposed to go up on Valentines Day doesn’t because your memory card failed. Anyhoo, I will continue like nothing happened. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Its only right that this day of “love” starts with food for me. I mean that’s bae right there, it gives me comfort and nourishment, what more could a girl ask for? Lol! Okay you might be looking at my title and thinking really? Yes boo, really. I thought this would be the perfect post to launch the new section on my blog called “Creative Space“, In this section I’ll be going out of the box and pretty much doing anything I like. I love the new trend of experimental Nigerian food, and I’m not about to be left behind. Judging from the whole Jamie Oliver Jollof Rice fiasco, Africans don’t want to “mess” with their food, but I’ll go ahead and do it anyway. In the words of the Nigerian Presidential Candidate General Muhammadu Buhari, “Things must change”. I hope this section will also introduce my Non-Nigerian readers to some of the food I grew up on, and in general get more people interested in the Nigerian cuisine. I’ll also be featuring some other version of my “crazies” here, so stay tuned. I’ll be posting daily throughout the week to launch the section, but in the following weeks I hope to post at least once a week.
I’m sure some of you, Nigerian or otherwise might have heard of Milo, for those of you who are not familiar with Milo, Its “the food drink of future champions”, a chocolate drink mix virtually every Nigerian child grew up on. My mum would make us drink hot cups of Milo every morning before we left for school, we had Milo when we were trying to sleep at night, we also had Milo every evening during the month of Ramadan to make sure we were getting enough supplements and vitamins.
Fun Fact: When a Nigerian says bread and “tea” they probably mean “Milo” I was guilty of that for a long while too, so I’m not judging.
The second key ingredient in today’s recipe is Garri, it is a food that is common in most Nigerian homes. It has a grainy powder like texture, almost like very lumpy gritty flour. Its made by finely grating peeled cassava roots, squeezing out the water and then frying the roots in a large pan without oil, this process takes days but its fun to watch. Garri can be eaten “raw” by soaking it in water for about 2-3 minutes with sugar, and it can be accompanied by groundnut (peanut), coconut, milk or milo. It is also eaten with moin-moin (bean pudding) another Nigerian dish, fried meats/fish, beans, etc. Often, it is made into a side dish called Eba which is eaten with Nigerian soups. Garri is a really versatile food, but as far as I know, no one has ever put it in a cupcake.
I never went to boarding school, but my friends often thrill me with their Nigerian boarding school “horror” stories, and of course the topic of food always popped up. One of my friends who went to Atlantic Hall said and I quote “Milo & Garri is standard boarding house food”, I have personally never tried the combo but I was certainly intrigued by it and I instantly thought “I want to put this in a cake, it’ll be delicious!” And you know what? It is. The cake is moist and decadent. It is crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The Garri Milo chocolate cake tastes just as good as regular chocolate cake, dare I say even better? The topping of groundnut really ties it all up for me, I enjoyed one too many of these little treats, you won’t be able to stop too. I experimented with this recipe for a bit and I think I found the perfect combo but you’re welcome to tweak it as much as you like and I’d love to see your results. mention me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook if you try this. I was thinking about putting peanut in the batter? More garri? Less garri? Maybe throw some Elubo (another Nigerian food staple) in there? Anything is valid. For the topping I used a dark chocolate ganache, homemade groundnut (peanut butter), more Garri flakes and chocolate sprinkles. Yum galore.
Now that I’ve realised I can use Garri as flour, orishishi experiments are about to happen. This was so much fun to do, I want to create a boarding house series. So please, I would to love to hear what your favorite boarding school snacks were, so maybe we can reinvent them yummiliciously. If you try this recipe, you’ll never look at Garri the same way. Who would have thought Garri could make one salivate? You’ll thank yourself for trying this one.
See you tomorrow with another experiment. Much love Gbemi x
P.s If you live in the UAE and you would like to buy Garri? Don’t hesitate to contact me by email or on twitter and I could send you the contact info for an African store when you can find Garri and much more.
¾ cup Garri ( Note at the bottom)
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup Milo
¼ cup cocoa powder
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup milk
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup coconut oil
1tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coffee (optional)
NOTE: To prepare the Garri, I dry blended it to fine flour then I sifted it to get a smooth powder.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease your cupcake pans.
Sift the flour, garri sugar, cocoa, milo, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the milk, yogurt, oil, eggs, coffee and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Frost as you like.