For two weeks this post has been in my head and I have finally decided to post it.
It was a critical time in my life and best friend’s too. We had been struck by a bizarre affliction called peppersnailedcravingitis. It is a very serious condition and can only be cured by the copious consumption of juicy, plump, tasty giant snails. This are the mammoth cousins of the Escargots favored by the French and although I do not query the French delicacy, their peppered cousins are nothing short of magical.
With rainy season in full swing, here in Nigeria, there really is no shortage of these delicious mollusks.
In our quest to find a cure, we ventured to the Protea Hotel in Ikoyi (Protea Westwood) and ordered their peppered snails with a side of chips.

When it arrived it was cuit à point! That’s French for “cooked to perfection”. It was tender with the slightest hint of crunch. The balance of the hot chillies to the sweet crunchy onion left our palettes in a happy gastronomic wonderland. The chips made a good showing too but I assure it was all about the snails!

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The only blight on this meal was the chapman we ordered; it just didn’t come to the party. It was an odd tasting aspertine laden beverage…..moving swiftly along. Meal duly inhaled we wondered off, sated and replete….until the craving hit again a few days later.
This time we hastily rendezvoused at Terra Kulture a trendy place that gives very good insight into Nigerian culture through its plays, fashion and food.
After a cursory look at the menu, I ordered peppered snails and fried sweet potatoes, my bestie may have had a lapse in concentration, or maybe she was partially cured, because she ordered some mixed grill platter which was DOA. The dish was wrong! Wrong!! WRONG!!! What was represented on the menu was not what arrived on the plate and there were others issues…….however my plate was the picture of perfection.
The sweet potatoes were crunchy on the outside but moist and fluffy on the inside and the snails were well seasoned and tasty. A little bit more tender than I would have liked but it was still an enjoyable meal. The chapman was very well balanced and sufficiently refreshing. Again we parted ways feeling quite pleased with our snail binge.

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After a brief hiatus, we decided an encore at Protea was necessary….we really shouldn’t have; the chef seemed to have been in a foul mood. There was so much chilli in the snails that our lips were numb, or tongues pulverized and we were perspiring like we were in sauna. After that meal trust me, we were cured for life!
Then I got home that evening and a dear, dear friend who knew of my obsession with snails brought over a generous portion; perfectly peppered and cooked. Any guesses as to what I had for dinner? 🙂

20140721-230748-83268638.jpg
Now, I have decided that I should put my own spin on this delicacy. Watch this space for a post on my own peppered snails.

For two weeks this post has been in my head and I have finally decided to post it.

It was a critical time in my life and best friend’s too. We had been struck by a bizarre affliction called peppersnailedcravingitis. It is a very serious condition and can only be cured by the copious consumption of juicy, plump, tasty giant snails. This are the mammoth cousins of the Escargots favored by the French and although I do not query the French delicacy, their peppered cousins are nothing short of magical.

With rainy season in full swing, here in Nigeria, there really is no shortage of these delicious mollusks.

In our quest to find a cure, we ventured to the Protea Hotel in Ikoyi (Protea Westwood) and ordered their peppered snails with a side of chips.

When it arrived it was cuit à point! That’s French for “cooked to perfection”. It was tender with the slightest hint of crunch. The balance of the hot chillies to the sweet crunchy onion left our palettes in a happy gastronomic wonderland. The chips made a good showing too but I assure it was all about the snails!

20140721-225738-82658369.jpg

The only blight on this meal was the chapman we ordered; it just didn’t come to the party. It was an odd tasting aspertine laden beverage…..moving swiftly along. Meal duly inhaled we wondered off, sated and replete….until the craving hit again a few days later.

This time we hastily rendezvoused at Terra Kulture a trendy place that gives very good insight into Nigerian culture through its plays, fashion and food.

After a cursory look at the menu, I ordered peppered snails and fried sweet potatoes, my bestie may have had a lapse in concentration, or maybe she was partially cured, because she ordered some mixed grill platter which was DOA. The dish was wrong! Wrong!! WRONG!!! What was represented on the menu was not what arrived on the plate and there were others issues…….however my plate was the picture of perfection.

The sweet potatoes were crunchy on the outside but moist and fluffy on the inside and the snails were well seasoned and tasty. A little bit more tender than I would have liked but it was still an enjoyable meal. The chapman was very well balanced and sufficiently refreshing. Again we parted ways feeling quite pleased with our snail binge.

20140721-230315-82995633.jpg

20140721-230311-82991215.jpg

After a brief hiatus, we decided an encore at Protea was necessary….we really shouldn’t have; the chef seemed to have been in a foul mood. There was so much chilli in the snails that our lips were numb, or tongues pulverized and we were perspiring like we were in sauna. After that meal trust me, we were cured for life!

Then I got home that evening and a dear, dear friend who knew of my obsession with snails brought over a generous portion; perfectly peppered and cooked. Any guesses as to what I had for dinner? 🙂

20140721-230748-83268638.jpg

Now, I have decided that I should put my own spin on this delicacy. Watch this space for a post on my own peppered snails.

Don’t you just hate walking past a dessert display longing to plunge in head first but you can’t because you are either lactose intolerant or can’t take gluten or diabetic or just on a diet….sigh…..does it ever end? I have marvelous news for you; there is hope and it is called “Coconut citrus cream cake”.

By now you know that I am a recipe trawler and I found this fascinating recipe that truly seemed too good to be true. I took a quick stock of my supplies and realised that I had all the ingredients to hand even the odd sounding agave nectar.

In case you are wondering how I got hold of agave nectar in Lagos, I must quickly point out that it was given to me by my best friend. She has undergone a total life style change and diet overhaul which means no sugar, gluten or dairy consumption. You would think that her life would be dull and dreary but no it isn’t! Because of her I am now aware of a whole new realm of foods that include quinoa, agave and almond flour. She is a nut for almonds by the way; just in case you were curious…….anyway I digress……

The original recipe called for just lime and is in fact a coconut lime cream cake. I took one look at it gave it my own twist and ended up with something quite marvelous. Instead of a pistachio crust I used dankuwa or dankwa and almonds.

Dankuwa is peanut based snack from North Nigeria; it is spicy and sweet and invokes memories from my childhood; It is a real treat.

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I also took the liberty of using lemons, oranges as well as limes for a zesty zingy kick to this dessert.

Ingredients
Crust:
1/2 cup flaked almonds
6 balls dankuwa or dankwa
2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
pinch of salt
Filling:
1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight (you could also use coconut cream if available)
1 avocado
6 Tbsp Agave Nectar
2 tbs lime juice
2 tbs orange juice
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp coconut extract
Zest of 1/2 lime
Zest of 1/3 orange
Zest of 1/3 lemon
Topping
1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight (you could also use coconut cream if available)

The “How – to”

Mix the crust ingredients (dankuwa, almonds, agave, and salt) in a food processor until the mixture holds together. Divide evenly between the muffin pans. Press the mixture firmly with your fingers or the back of a spoon into the bottom of the pan, set aside and commence making the filling.

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In a food processor combine the rest of the ingredients. You only want to use the fatty, cream part of the coconut milk or coconut cream which, if chilled the night before, will be nicely separated to the top of the can and will scoop out easily. Mix ingredients until well combined and evenly distribute the batter into the tart shells almost to the top (leave at least half an inch) and place in freezer.

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To make the topping use your second can of coconut milk the same way as the first, scooping out only the solids. whisk with hand mixer until it resembles whipped cream; it will firm very soft peaks but won’t hold it’s shape. I sweetened the coconut whipped cream a little with 1 tbsp agave nectar.

Pull cream cakes out of the freezer and create a smooth top with coconut whipped cream. Place back in freezer and allow to set up for at least 2 hours. The longer it stays in the freezer the better.

When you ready to serve remove from the freezer and take cream cakes out of pans. If they are frozen solid they should ease out fairly easily with some gentle teasing from a knife. Be careful that the base doesn’t separate from the creamy center and top.

20140718-225906-82746803.jpg

Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. And you should have a delicious treat with varying citrus notes that will delight your palette.

Don’t you just hate walking past a dessert display longing to plunge in head first but you can’t because you are either lactose intolerant or can’t take gluten or diabetic or just on a diet….sigh…..does it ever end? I have marvelous news for you; there is hope and it is called “Coconut citrus cream cake”.
By now you know that I am a recipe trawler and I found this fascinating recipe that truly seemed too good to be true. I took a quick stock of my supplies and realised that I had all the ingredients to hand even the odd sounding agave nectar.
In case you are wondering how I got hold of agave nectar in Lagos, I must quickly point out that it was given to me by my best friend. She has undergone a total life style change and diet overhaul which means no sugar, gluten or dairy consumption. You would think that her life would be dull and dreary but no it isn’t! Because of her I am now aware of a whole new realm of foods that include quinoa, agave and almond flour. She is a nut for almonds by the way; just in case you were curious…….anyway I digress……
The original recipe called for just lime and is in fact a coconut lime cream cake. I took one look at it gave it my own twist and ended up with something quite marvelous. Instead of a pistachio crust I used dankuwa or dankwa and almonds.
Dankuwa is peanut based snack from North Nigeria; it is spicy and sweet and invokes memories from my childhood; It is a real treat.

20140718-230820-83300018.jpg
I also took the liberty of using lemons, oranges as well as limes for a zesty zingy kick to this dessert.
Ingredients
Crust:
1/2 cup flaked almonds
6 balls dankuwa or dankwa
2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
pinch of salt
Filling:
1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight (you could also use coconut cream if available)
1 avocado
6 Tbsp Agave Nectar
2 tbs lime juice
2 tbs orange juice
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp coconut extract
Zest of 1/2 lime
Zest of 1/3 orange
Zest of 1/3 lemon
Topping
1 can coconut milk, chilled overnight (you could also use coconut cream if available)
The “How – to”
Mix the crust ingredients (dankuwa, almonds, agave, and salt) in a food processor until the mixture holds together. Divide evenly between the muffin pans. Press the mixture firmly with your fingers or the back of a spoon into the bottom of the pan, set aside and commence making the filling.
20140718-224342-81822983.jpg
In a food processor combine the rest of the ingredients. You only want to use the fatty, cream part of the coconut milk or coconut cream which, if chilled the night before, will be nicely separated to the top of the can and will scoop out easily. Mix ingredients until well combined and evenly distribute the batter into the tart shells almost to the top (leave at least half an inch) and place in freezer.

20140718-225109-82269159.jpg
To make the topping use your second can of coconut milk the same way as the first, scooping out only the solids. whisk with hand mixer until it resembles whipped cream; it will firm very soft peaks but won’t hold it’s shape. I sweetened the coconut whipped cream a little with 1 tbsp agave nectar.
Pull cream cakes out of the freezer and create a smooth top with coconut whipped cream. Place back in freezer and allow to set up for at least 2 hours. The longer it stays in the freezer the better.
When you ready to serve remove from the freezer and take cream cakes out of pans. If they are frozen solid they should ease out fairly easily with some gentle teasing from a knife. Be careful that the base doesn’t separate from the creamy center and top.

20140718-225906-82746803.jpg
Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving. And you should have a delicious treat with varying citrus notes that will delight your palette.

When I was a child I pondered and wondered on the origins of this cake’s name. Did it cost just a pound to buy the ingredients? Did you have to literally pound the cake? Was it only found in a dog pound? I can honestly tell you that I do not understand the real genesis of this marvel but I know where it will end if you were to bake or purchase this baked yummie. It won’t end well for the pound cake but your taste buds and your entire being will be enveloped in rapturous joy.

 

 

 

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I found a great recipe that was dead easy to follow that I could not resist trying it.

I had all the ingredients so it seemed like it was meant to be; a fabulous family friend, who is an impeccable baker, had given me tonnes of gourmet cream cheese and my best friend had just given me a Kenwood mixer – what other reason could there possibly be not to plunge in head-first?

 

Here’s what you need

 

3 cups (390 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups (340 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup (226 grams) cream cheese at room temperature

2 3/4 cups (550 grams) granulated white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla bean paste (you could use 2 ½ teaspoons of vanilla essence)

6 large eggs at room temperature

 

The “How-to”

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place oven rack in center of oven. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick spray and dust lightly with flour) a 10 inch (25 cm) bundt pan.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (with the paddle attachment), or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go along. Continue beating on medium-high speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the vanilla and beat until completely incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then carefully add the flour mixture, in three additions, and mix until just incorporated (Ensure that the flour is well mixed in but do not over mix). Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 55 – 70 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

I split the batter into two bundt pans (smaller than the recipe called for) so my baking time was about 55 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 20 – 30 minutes so it has time to set. Remove the cake from the pan to finish cooling.

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Hubby hauled one of these delightful cakes to work and it was happy addition to their day; not a crumb was spared.

Look out for my next post show casing a more colorful side to this recipe. You will be pleasantly surprised; I know I was 🙂