Chocolate and Vanilla Cake

My niece turned 4 years old last week and I really enjoyed baking her a birthday cake. She is the most cheekiest munchkin on this planet and I bet you can tell how immensely fond I am of her! In fact I am extremely fond of my little gang (nephews and nieces). She literally makes me happy even though she is stubborn sometimes but I wouldn’t have it any other way! lol.

A week to her birthday, little missy called me and specifically told me what she wanted. Wow! That little girl is so eloquent at her age and has such an expensive taste! She wanted a big cake with strawberries, blueberries and chocolates. So guys, I literally had to ensure that lil mama got what she wanted!

Here is the recipe from scratch. If you try it out, please let me know how it turned! I’d really love to see! Just tag me in your photos @artandfoodgeek on instagram. I had fun making this and hope you do too!

 

To make this Chocolate and Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Icing you will need:

Vanilla Cake 

  • 1 & 3/4 cup all purpose flour (soft flour)
  • 7 tbsp softened butter (original recipe said 1 cup but who wants to live long? Me!)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (brown sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/3 cup milk (about 5 tbsp)
  • 1/3 cup hot coffee (1 tbsp coffee powder in about 5 tbs hot water)
  • 1 tsp powdered nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Chocolate cake add these ingredients to the above ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 Chocolate bar (Kingsbite chocolate broken to little pieces)

Cake toppings

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Sugar Sprinkles
  • Chocolate Sprinkles

Buttercream Icing

  • 150g unsalted butter, soft
  • 340g Icing sugar, sifted
  • 3-4 tbsp whole milk
  • food color

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5. Line the base of two cake tins with parchment paper and grease the sides of the tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar together for about 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Next mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg). Add the cocoa powder if making chocolate cake.
  5. Now gently fold in the flour mixture and mix together. Add the milk and hot coffee to the batter and mix till there are no lumps. (Add the chocolate at this stage when making the chocolate cake)
  6. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and shake it to set it in the pan
  7. Bake the cake for 30-45 minutes. You can also stick a toothpick in the cake and once it comes out clean, it indicates that the cake is ready.
  8. Leave the cake to completely cool before putting the buttercream icing on it. I usually leave the cake in the fridge overnight and work on the buttercream icing the following day.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting method:

  1. Beat the butter on a medium speed for about 2 minutes  until smooth with a stand mixer, or a hand mixer. The color of the butter will change at this stage to a lighter color.
  2. Slowly add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time and mix at low speed.
  3. Mix the vanilla extract with the milk and at this stage you can also add your food color. Pour the mixture into the mixer
  4. Mix on low until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
  5. Apply the frosting on the cake in layers (see video tutorial in the link below) and arrange the strawberries and blueberries on the cake. Sprinkle some sugar sprinkles on the base of the cake and on top. Sprinkle the chocolate sprinkles as well.
  6. Keep the cake in the fridge until ready to consume.

Cake frosting procedure:

  1. Cake frosting tutorial here
  2. Buttercream icing tutorial here
This process is fun! I ended up licking a LOT of the frosting!

 

Really impressed with how moist the cake came out!

 

Bonus tips:

  1. The brand of butter you use has a huge impact on the taste and color of your frosting and the taste of your cake as well!
  2. If the frosting is too thick, add in additional milk (1 Tbsp at a time). If the frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar (quarter of a cup at a time).
  3. Completely towel dry your fruits before decorating the cake with it.
  4. The instant coffee enhances the flavor of the chocolate cake. I also love how it tastes when I add it to my vanilla cake.
  5. Sometimes adding a tablespoon of lemon juice minimises the taste of egginess in your cake.

If you love this recipe, let me know and leave a comment below!

With love

❤ ❤ ❤

ThatAshantiGirl

 

 

How to make Fudgy Nutella Brownies

I am a huuuggeeee Brownies lover! Yes! I  LOVE BROWNIES. So at any point I get, I try to make them experimenting it with other flavors and then sharing the end result with my family – they are my trusted tasters! lol.

I have received countless requests for my recipe for fudgy nutella brownies so I’ve decided to share it here so it is available at all times. It is not a complicated dessert/snack at all. Very easy to make BUT your measuring of the ingredients determines the outcome!

Ingredients:
2 eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour (soft flour)
2 tbsp cocoa powder (I prefer bitter cocoa)
1 cup granulated sugar (I use brown sugar)
1 1/2 cup chocolate (I use Kingsbite chocolate. I melt 1 cup and just break the remaining into tiny pieces)
5 tbsp Nutella (You can put in just as much as you like)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup melted salted butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 4 (350 degrees F/ 177 degrees C). Line your baking pan with parchment paper (a.k.a tracing paper)
  2. Pour melted butter into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in your sugar by hand or machine until smooth
  3. Crack in your eggs and vanilla extract and whisk it for about a minute or until its well mixed.
  4. Whisk in your melted chocolate and 3 tbsp Nutella until combined and smooth
  5. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour, cocoa powder and salt until combined
  6. Stir in the remaining chocolate pieces
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth it out.
  8. Bake in your preheated oven for about 30 mins. ( stick a toothpick in it after 30 mins. If it comes out dry and not wet, your brownie is ready!)
  9. Let it cool in the pan for another 30 mins or whenever it is cool before slicing it up!

Bonus tips:

  • Here is a link to the oven temperature conversion whenever you come across a recipe and you’re confused about the temp settings
  • Grease your pan even when you line it with parchment paper
  • Visit this link to find out what you’ve been doing wrong when baking brownies!

Now that I have promised to make brownies for my friends, I better head off to start preparing the batches!

Tag me when you make your brownies! I’d love to see how it looks and also hear from you on how it tastes!

With love

❤ ❤ ❤

ThatAshantiGirl

Netflix and Chill? Errm Maybe not!

Did someone say netflix and chill during quarantine? Yo! I got excited about this concept because at least I have an account (nah fam… only perching from someone’s account). Fellas, the real problem was data. ‘Data oh Data’!

Can anyone point me to a data provider in Ghana with high speed and low bills with which I can netflix and chill for a month. Or am I being unrealistic? I literally compiled all my favorite tv shows and sat there laughing so hard at myself since the 15gb of data purchased earlier in the month was exhausted after watching 10 episodes of Dynasty on Netflix. I think I am done Netflix and chilling for the whole year!

One thing I enjoy and miss during my travels outside Ghana especially to Europe is free internet! Yes no shame whatsoever… lol. Now that this option is closed, I have to find other ways of watching all my shows without emptying my account!

Sad to say but your girl ain’t netflixing and chilling no more. Will rather read all the books resting elegantly on my bookshelf.

I’m curious to know what shows you’ve been binge watching on Netflix though.

With love

❤ ❤ ❤

ThatAshantigirl

News Flash! I’m an Artist…Rona made me do it

Hey guys…Its been a while. How are yáll surviving this Covid-19 situation? Am I the only one who has gotten used to this quarantine lifestyle? Anyway, I am pretty sure a lot of you have found out you are capable of so many skills you didn’t know or you may have been forced to pick up these skills due to the lockdown.

I happen to fall in the category of those who have ignited new passions and also learnt a thing or two due to Aunty Rona. So when Rona hit and my government decreed a lockdown, I quickly contacted an art supplier and got a couple of art supplies that would last the duration of the lock down. I already had been gifted a set of canvas in December so I was all set. Hmmm.. who knew they’d come in handy!

So I started painting during the weekends and on days that i’d feel determined or inspired to paint. Fun fact is that I studied Visual Arts in school and specialised in picture making so this was really nothing new. Another fun fact is that I have been a creative person since my youngins. It came as no surprise when I opted to study Visual Arts in School. My teachers were a bit disappointed with that choice since those kind of courses were not appreciated in those days. My Dad (bless his soul) was excited that I was going to study that as he knew what I was capable of. Lets just say on his numerous trips abroad, he’d always get me paint brushes and water colors. That “dude” knew me! Damn! ( of course Christy! He was your Dad! lol).

Anyway I digress, so I begun painting again. The first couple of paintings were not so bad. I think I am better now. Below are a couple of works I have done which I must say I am very proud of. I started off by watching some youtube tutorials then painting from my imagination and from pictures that I loved.

Follow my art page on instagram to see more art pieces from me. @artandfoodgeek

So what do you think? If you have started painting, do let me know how it is going. Are you having fun with it? Remember, the most important thing is to have fun with it. Same thing applies to any hobby you have discovered.  Don’t beat yourself when it’s not coming out as great as you want it to. lol. You can always try again. The most important thing is that you are happy doing what you love!

Aside painting on canvas, I also painted my bedroom! Yes, Rona made me do it! It took me 2 days. I laid in bed for a whole day because my legs disowned me. lol! Mehn! My hat off to the professional painters out there. Ohh.. I also turned into a Chef! Thanks to instagram and youtube I am able to whip up food I’d usually buy out. lol! I have also started a vegetable garden. Hoping to harvest my first produce by August/September. Guys!!! Rona got us being Jack of all Trades. Lol!

What have you discovered you can do these past few months? I’d love to know. 🙂

With love Always

❤ ❤ ❤

ThatAshantiGirl