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

Ghanaian Meat Pie

Listen!! This is very simple to make and it requires just a couple of ingredients. Growing up, my dad would buy freshly baked meat pie from SFC (Southern Fried Chicken – I think they’ve closed shop now) every Sunday after church for us. Good old days.

Now, I don’t need to even buy my meat pie from elsewhere as I can bake it myself. There is actually no particular recipe for making the pastry for this meat pie.

On a visit to Julie’s end (one of my very good friends), she baked me some delicious meat pie. I watched her steps and decided to share it on here. I will be trying it out soon. If you do give it a shot, I’d love to know how it went!

Enjoy…

Ingredients

  • minced meat
  • chopped onions
  • seasoning
  • salt
  • chopped green peppers
  • cold butter or margarine
  • milk
  • Flour
  • nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Add a little oil to a frying pan and allow it to heat up. Add the minced meat and onions and allow to cook until brown.
  2. Add seasoning and salt. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
  3. Stir in chopped green peppers.

Making the Pastry

  1. Mix your dry ingredients (flour, salt and nutmeg)
  2. Add butter to the flour and mix with your fingers
  3. knead dough just sufficiently to bind together

 

Check out these pictures for a step by step guide on how to make the pie.

Kneed the dough
Use your rolling pin to flatten out the dough
Use any shape to cut out the pastry and fill it with the prepared minced meat. Brush milk on the edges of the cut dough.
Fold over one side of the dough to cover the other half.
Use the tip of your fingers or a fork to close it up.
Arrange your masterpiece on a pan lined with a baking sheet and stick it in the oven for about 30mins or till your instincts or ancestors tell you it’s ready.
Ready to be feasted on. Don’t forget to take it with a bottle of any chilled drink of your choice.

I do hope you give this a try. Let me know how it goes in the comment section.

With love

❤️ ❤️ ❤️

ThatAshantigirl

Easy Peasy Frittata

Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crust-less quiche or scrambled eggs, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses or vegetables. The word “frittata” is Italian and roughly translates to “fried”.

This dish is very easy to make and can be prepared in less than one hour. I was lucky to have been at the right place at the right time as Chef Gideon decided to show off his culinary skills.  On Fathers day last month, he decided to whip up this meal for his family and yours truly. Gideon’s Frittata was one of a kind! He added very ripe plantains (fried by the way) and lots of assorted meat. Once I bit into it, I was sold! lol! It took the Grace of God  not to devour the whole casserole dish. I mean the dish was THAT GOOD! The juices from the assorted meat and the sweetness of the plantain hit the right places in my mouth!

I kid you not, this dish is the BOMB! Probably the next best thing after Jollof! Ghana Jollof to be specific.

Knowing your girl, I tried my hands on this dish and shared it with my nieces! I loved it and of course they loved it too! Listen, try this out and thank me later! Here are the ingredients and the instructions. Do let me know if you’ve tried this before and enjoy it as much as I do now!

PS: I don’t do measurements. I just gauge with my eyes, hahahah!! I also throw the spices in till I hear my ancestors say “it is enough my child”. Hahah!!!

Enjoyyyyyyyy…

Ingredients:

  • Assorted Meat: chicken sausage, beef mortadella, minced meat  (you can throw in any protein of your choice!)
  • Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow, Green). 1 each
  • Cheese (mozzarella and Cheddar)
  • 1 full Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • 6 Eggs
  • Overripe plantain
  • Spices ( cayenne pepper, garlic and ginger powder and any of your favourite mixed spices)

Instructions:

  1. Peel plantains and cut them up in thin slices (not plantain chips kind of thin). Sprinkle a little salt and fry it in oil like how you would normally fry your plantains. Remove it from oil and place it on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  2. Put some oil – about 2 tablespoons in a skillet ( I’m just forming posh! Oya put oil in whatever utensil you have) and put it on medium heat. Throw in your onions, sprinkle some garlic and ginger powder and saute until your ancestors say its perfecto! Place the sauteed onions aside and do same with the chopped bell peppers, sausage, mushrooms and beef mortadella. 
  3. Put some oil in a pan and cook the minced meat. Add some salt, mixed spices of your preference, ginger and garlic powder and stir till it’s cooked.
  4. In a large bowl, crack in all the eggs. Add cayenne pepper and some salt and whisk to combine.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (I usually just turn the knob to the highest to get the oven super hot before the dish goes in)
  6. Now find a casserole dish or baking dish and start layering all the ingredients. I start with the minced meat followed by the sauteed bell peppers and onions, mushrooms, chicken sausage, fried plantain, beef mortadella and repeat till the casserole dish looks full.
  7. Pour the beaten eggs over the dish and sprinkle the mixed cheese on top of it.
  8. Place the casserole bowl in the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes. once the time is up, turn off the oven and Let it stay in it for about 5-10 minutes.
  9. Take it out and dish it.

With love

ThatAshantigirl

❤️❤️❤️