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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.
If you’re a sweet tooth or a chocoholic or both then chances are high that you indulge in the fudgy comfort of brownies frequently.
When I was approached by a client to make desserts for 50 guests at her birthday party,I had grandiose ideas. The party held at a trendy art gallery and she wanted something that was “arty” and “architectural”. I was buzzing with excitement at the prospects until I was brought crashing down to earth when I was informed that
A. There would be limited access to refrigeration; in fact there was no fridge at the facility just a poky freezer.
B. During the event I would be located in an adjoining room, which would not be air conditioned, and
C. The budget was not unlimited; I hastily cancelled my order for edible gold leaf! Yikes!
This left me in a quandary because I had to figure out how to prepare a beautiful dessert that would not perish in the Lagos warmth and humidity and one that did not rely on refrigeration.
Then it hit me! Brownies! Of course! I quickly decided to incorporate flavours and textures that would complement one another, look beautiful and create a wow factor. This is how I ended up with my gourmet brownies served with raspberry coulis, orange syrup, cream cheese frosting, dankwa and sugar caramel.
The prep work was insane but the results and reactions made it all worth it.
Here’s a quick guide if you would like to attempt this delightful dessert.
Ingredients for brownies.
1/2 cup butter (113 grams)
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
The “How To”
Preheat oven to 175 degrees C and then grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan; be sure to use a spatula to even it out in the pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook; what you are looking to achieve is a cakey exterior with a moist fudgy interior.
I find that it is always better to slice the brownies in your desired portion size when it’s still hot then allow to cool completely before taking it out of the pan.
Ingredients for the raspberry coulis
250 grams fresh or frozen raspberries
1 tbs icing sugar
Juice from 1/2 lemon
The “How To”
This recipe is dead easy and works well with any soft fruit you can find.
Place all the ingredients in pan and cook until the fruit breaks down.
The transfer the contents to a blender or food processor and blitz until you get smooth consistency.
The sieve the sauce to get rid of the seeds. You should have a beautiful glossy ruby sauce that is sweet with a touch of tartness.
Ingredients for the orange syrup.
2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cups water
The “How To”
Wash the oranges thoroughly and slice them.
Place all the ingredients in a thick bottomed pot and cook until the oranges are translucent and a thick syrup has developed.
Carefully take out the orange slices (which may be used as a garnish) and allow the syrup to cool; it will get thicker as it cools.
Sugar caramel is essential granulated sugar that has been melted down. Until is molten and golden brown. Pour it into a greased heat proof container and let it set. Then shatter it and use the shards.
Note: molten caramelised sugar is extremely hot and must never be handled with bare hands!
The major prep work is complete and now you are ready to plate! Simply spread cream cheese frosting on the brownies (I used store bought this time) top with dankwa and sprig of mint accompanied by the raspberry coulis and orange syrup.
For more about dankwa, please read this post.
The dessert was well received; the guests were delighted and surprised which was great for me.
A massive shout out to the best sister in the world; Moe – she hot footed it down to the party to help me amidst the sea of brownies and cream cheese frosting.
It is amazing how being knocked sideways by an ailment forces you to literally sit still. Well knocked sideways by malaria I am but the whole sitting still business….sigh…..is driving me a little coocoo.
Granted I am relieved not to be a human jungle gym for a day; the boys are making do with their father and I am not complaining……
So I figured that I could write a post from my sideways position.
FFF has grown in the last 6 months and I must say that I am very very proud. In addition to our baked goods, we now offer a range of meals for small events and our clients are always pleased with us.
Below is a list of FFF’s party favorites. I promise that any of these dishes will bring an amazing dimension to your party. Enjoy!
Our spicy meatballs are now almost legendary 🙂 . You can try it yourself using this recipe or contact us to place an order
Another firm favourite is our pan roasted potatoes. They are just simply delicious
FFF’s whole chicken roasts are perfect for family gatherings especially for Sunday lunches. We have two delicious options; pesto roast chicken and lemon roast.
When it comes to canapes, well, let’s just say people swoon. And we are happy to watch them swoon too because a lot of love goes into each and every canapé on the platter. Be inspired and try a canapé recipe here or simply order 🙂
Our lasagna brings out the closet Garfield in all of us. Here at FFF we don’t discriminate. Even Garfield must eat. Try the recipe here. Of course we will be more than happy to take your order.
In our journey as caterers we have discovered Garfields as well as cookie monsters. Our cookies are yum and make for great party favors! Who knew?!
Brownies! What can we say? We make the fudgiest, chocolatiest ones around. Just ask anyone who has tried them.
I defy any Nigerian party to not include rice on the menu. We have great unexpected options too. Our Thai Style Spicy Jollof rice has been pleasing palettes for over 5 years. Our Dafaduka is also a crowd pleaser.
A great pairing with rice is fried plantain popularly known as dodo. So why not? We offer that too.
We love rosemary and our rosemary baked chicken is loved by all who have tried it.
A crisp fresh salad will add color and vitality to any table. We make some of the freshest around.
We would like to thank our clients for choosing FFF. We looking forward to gaining new ones.
Go ahead and add a uniquely delicious dimension to your party. To ensure that you make the right meal choices, we will have a consultation and design the perfect menu for your party.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We can’t wait to hear from you.