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My love for baking is really surprising to me because I have never considered myself to have a natural talent for baking. I still scream, running in the opposite direction when I encounter a recipe that uses yeast. Yeast makes me panic; I can’t explain it.
However, which each passing day, I seem to dream more and more in cake. I think in cake, I want to make cakes. I want the cakes to be stunning, unique and delicious. Come to think of it, it is beyond cakes, I want to make the best entremets. I want my desserts to be amazing……as I said, it’s weird.
Weird as it is, I have taken, little wobbly steps towards achieving my goals. Last year, I would only cover my cakes in whipped cream or nothing at all. Once or twice, I tried a few butter cream cakes…….I wasn’t crazy about the results. They were fine; at least the cakes disappeared into approving bellies without a trace, but for me it could be better.
Then in November, my friend, Darbuni, asked me to make her husband’s birthday cake. The request left me in cold sweat. Now I was having nightmares in cake and butter cream land!
I started by sketching a cake for her which she loved. Phew, that hurdle was easy. Next I had to figure out how to make a two tiered cake that would look elegant and not topple over on its way to her house……more cold sweat.
In the end, it turned out well. She loved it and her husband avowed that it was the best cake he had ever eaten. I was teary eyed and VERY relieved.
It translated well from the sketch wouldn’t you say?
This cake is my “Adam” if you will because it inspired subsequent cakes with a constant evolution in the design and finish for each.
By the time my first son’s birthday came round in January, I had started experimenting with mousseline butter cream which I loved. The texture was perfect and it wasn’t sickenly sweet.
He got two cakes; since his birthday fell on a Saturday, he got a cake to share with the family at home and a big four layered one to take to school the following Monday to share with his friends and teachers.
His cakes were huge hits, the playful application of butter cream made it age appropriate and beautiful. With my new love for all things moussey, I made some meringues and it was a superb addition to the cake pops and lollipops adorning the cake.
These cakes went on to beget a birthday cake in February that I made for a good friend and ardent client. I had made her birthday cake last year; it was a Tuxedo cake covered in whipped cream and topped with fresh strawberries.
This year’s cake was a little more complex with macaron and meringue toppings for extra sophistication. It was also my first attempt at a water-colour effect butter cream application.
These water-colour cakes begot birthday cake that coincided with the Valentine’s Day weekend. A client called and said he wanted a death-by-chocolate-cake for his wife.
For this creation, I made layers of decadent chocolate cake filled with lemon curd (to cut the chocolateyness of it all) and the it was all covered in chocolate italian meringue butter cream (imbc); again this was a first for me and I loved the way the chocolate gave the butter cream more depth of flavour. I decided on red chocolate drip effect to add a wow factor and for contrast against the dark butter cream.
Now, the month of March was filled with much festivities and celebrations. For a fiftieth birthday cake (it was a last-minute emergency cake) I opted for a simple but effective finish. The cake was studded with 50 Ferrero Rocher chocolates; the effect was quite lovely too.
The crimson beauty from February, begot another striking green number a few weeks after; yes FFF cakes are pretty prolific.
I received a request to make a birthday cake for a young-at-heart forty-year old lady. The fun factor had to come out and I went for fresh roses and fruits with a bright green chocolate ganache finish.
By putting a youthful twist on our bright drip cakes, I made a girlie version for a young girl finishing it off with fress strawberries, Ferrero Rocher and Raefellos.
My second son was born in March and I wanted his cake to be special but on the eve of his birthday, I also had a client’s cake due the following day. So there I was till about 2 am doing my best to finish both cakes.
Eventually, I pared down the plans I had for his cake and kep the designs for the cakes simple; the fatigue was REAL!
For my son’s cake, I drew inspiration from the two tiered cake I had made last November but his was bigger….I almost regretted this decision because hoisting and stacking the cakes unassisted was not exactly the highlight of my night. But it all came together in the end. Both cakes were well received and duly inhaled 🙂
The white chocolate drip cake above begot the cakes below. Although none of the cakes appear the same on he outside they are exactly the same on the inside; 3 layers of luscious lemon blueberry cake filled with lemon curd, topped with a variety of fresh fruits. These cakes also come from the lineage of the pink water-colour cake from February.
Ombre butter cream also featured strongly thid month, thus, the green ombre cake from January begot designs for the following cakes. And the chocolate imb red drip cake as well as the 50 Ferrero Rocher cake begot a grand chocolate cake that I delivered to a special lady on her birthday at the end of March.
The pink ombre, raspberry and strawberry cake (picturedin the middle above) was ordered again by the same client within a week of the first one. And this time, I decided to keep the flavours the same inside but changed up the outside and attempted the upside down drip technique for the first time.
I had seen the technique on @cakesbycliff’s Instagram’s page. I nearly had a coronary but it turned out ok. I also applied the same technique to my mum’s birthday cake in early April.
The 50 Ferrero Rocher birthday cake begot another cake for a very elegant lady who turned 50 but did not look a day over 30!
In the spirit of creativity I made a “stripe” cake which turned out well considering that my medium is butter cream.
The stripe cake begot another stripey descendant which had more colour and embellishments. The clients were head over heels for this creation.
Making children’s cakes can be complicated especially when the child knows what he or she wants. I prefer cakes that have compleely edible elements on them, so when I was charged with making a birthday cake for a 7 year old who’s mum wanted lots of fruits on it, I needed to dig deep.
Drawing from my 2nd son’s birthday cake and the chocolate imbc chocolate drip cake, I came up with these two fun cakes creating hedgehog cake toppers from fresh fruits.
The 7 year old wasn’t sure about having hedgehogs on his cake but his parents and everyone else were thrilled with it. 🙂
In the spirit of keeping things interesting, I flipped the script on our cake making ways in May and made a series of upside down drip cakes in quick succession whuch made them easier to flip.
The yellow sunshiney one was a wedding anniversary cake, the red was a birthday and the biggest cake I have ever dared to flip was Femi’s cake. His birthday was yesterday. I wanted something that stood out. It stood out and stood tall. 🙂
Here ends the FFF cake geneology for now. Although there will be a post dedicated to cheese cakes which I can’t wait to share.
I leave you with aeriel views of our creations.
Egusi soup is not usually my favourite thing to eat and it is not helped by the childhood memories I have of spending HOURS shelling them.
Egusi is essentially the seeds of a melon or squash (please don’t ask me which variety 🙂 ) which have been dried. They are then shelled and the white interior is what is milled and used in cooking.
However, after I made the egusi recipe that I am about to share with you, I must admit that I have had change of heart. It is easy to make and would be excellent for a weekend meal.
I bring this recipe in conjunction with Evron Food Store. They provided all the ingredients used in its preparation and used the photos for a media campaign which ran earlier, in February.
It was fun cooking and shooting the whole process. Of course eating it was the best part of it all!
Please note that this post is not sponsored by Evron Food store and all opinions are mine.
The ensuing slide show will set out the process in 8 simple steps.
The first step to making a great meal begins with using the best ingredients and mis en place.
To serve 4 people you will need:
- 200 grams goat meat (cut up in medium-sized pieces)
- 1 medium-sized smoked/dry fish
- 2 teaspoons milled cray fish
- 100 grams milled egusi
- 4 tablespoons palm oil
- 2 scotch bonnet peppers aka ata rodo (chopped)
- 50 grams finely julienned utazi leaves (you could use pumpkin leaves or kale but the utazi is wonderfully fragrant so it’ a nice addition)
- Salt as required.
Boil the goat meat until its tender. I seasoned mine with some ginger, the crayfish and salt but you cam season it however you prefer to. Reserve the stock.
Next, Bring a some water to boil and steep the dry fish in it with some salt for at least 15 minutes. This helps to rehydrate it as well as get rid of any grit/dirt on it. Carefully debone it and extract the fleshy bits and set aside. Now follow through on the easy steps in the slide show.
I opted to serve mine with some steamed rice although the normal pairing is with eba, pounded yam, fufu or other similar starchy meal (there so many options! 🙂 )
The “How To”
If you make this recipe, please take a picture and tag us on instagram using #foodfashionfusion. We will be happy to repost!