Kitchen

Caribbean Food Festival

So the Olympics are almost over (as is the Summer if today’s weather is anything to go by…)  but there are still plenty of reasons to smile this August in London.  Not only is it the Notting Hill Carnival next weekend – but on Friday 26th – Saturday 27th August, Grace Foods UK is holding its first ever Caribbean Food Week Food Festival at Windrush Square right here in Brixton!

Expect demonstrations, performances, and most importantly lots and lots of samples of delicious Caribbean cuisine.  Yup, taste dumplins, roti, jerk chicken et al til your heart’s content and then dance off all the calories during Europe’s biggest street party the next day.

What more could you ask for this Bank Holiday Weekend..

Okay besides good weather 😉

For more information visit:

 

www.gracefoods.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/caribbeanfoodweek

BH xx

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The Great Brixton Bake Off

The Great British Bake Off is a big deal in our abode. For me it’s actually one of the few ‘reality’ competition shows where I don’t want them to all lose.

And this year it seemed like the whole nation was gripped with Bake Off fever. Sitting rooms across the land were full of soggy bottoms and feverish muttering of “I can, I will, I must!”.
Maybe that’s how me and the OH ended up having our own mini bake off throw down on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Brixton last weekend.

Brixton housewife

Mr Vs Mrs… Who will be crowned winner?

So here is the recipe for the winning* cake. I should probably say my mother was the (female) judge, so she may have been slightly biased in her decision.

Feel free to try the recipe and let me know what you think or share you favourite cake recipes.

*My cake won!

image

Brixton Blackout Cake

Chocolate Frosting

300g icing sugar

100g unsalted butter

40g cocoa powder

40ml whole milk

1 measure of spiced rum

Chocolate Custard Filling

5 tbsp light muscovado sugar

5 tbsp custard powder

75g cacao power

600ml whole milk

1 measure of spiced rum

Brixton Blackout Cake

100g unsalted butter

250g castor sugar

2 eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 baking powder

3/4 bicarbonate soda

110g plain flour

90g coconut flour

160ml of whole milk

2 measures of spiced rum

Chocolate Toppings

50g dark cooking chocolate

Method

Start by putting your butter to one side to warm to room temperature and preheating your oven to 170 degrees (gas mark 3).

Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Once blended add one egg at a time.

image
Slowly beat in the cocoa, baking power and bicarbonate soda.

Next add the plain flour and the milk. Once mixed add the coconut flour until the mixture in completely combined then add the rum.

Fill two cake tins with the mixture and place in the oven for approximately 45mins.

Once the cakes are in the oven start to make your custard. Mix the custard powder, sugar and cocoa powder together in a saucepan. Next, stir in the rum until you get a smooth paste. Then add the milk a tablespoon at a time. The challenge is to add all of the milk without making any lumps. Place on a medium heat to allow to thicken. Remove from heat and place custard into a shallow cake tin lined with cling film and place in fridge to chill for one hour.

Melt 50g of chocolate and drizzle over a rolling pin which has been covered with baking parchment and place in the fridge to cool.

Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool and begin to mix your icing. Beat the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together. Once combined add the milk to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time. Finally add the rum and continue to mix for five minutes.

Remove tthe custard from fridge and layer onto the bottom half of your cake then top with the remaining cake. Ice the cake with your chocolate icing and decoration.

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As I open a bag of treats that my mother has brought over, I can’t help but smile… Amongst gardening books and baby grows, a goddess gazes up at me.

Has the sun set on the domestic goddess?

Has the sun set on the domestic goddess?

The Original Housewife…  Recent problems aside, this women has shaped how many British women view their role in society….

Domestic Goddess: noun, informal

A woman with exceptional domestic skills, especially one who excels at cookery and preparing meals.

…I am not one of them, yet I admire any person who is highly skilled, motivated and passionate about what they do.

And the self titled Domestic Goddess, Nigella, is not alone in her passion for domestic supremacy.  We are in a time when classic DG skills like baking, knitting, gardening, sewing, and cooking are all making a revival – Dare I say it they are “#trendy”. Just look at BBC programming for examples.

It seems that everybody wants a slice (or at least an amuse bouche) of that old Domestic Goddess life.

Pushing nostalgia and 1950s fashion lusts aside, that life was due to necessity and not as glamorous as many companies, the BBC or Mad Men would have us believe.  Fortunately, as society changed, gender roles became more undefined and technology adapted to suit, freeing DGs to step through the Stepford gates onto the world stage.  As society and technology progressed so did the Domestic Goddess.  Her skill set diversified; baking alongside banking, motherhood alongside management, all to achieve the relentless goal of finding a balance between her responsibilities, aspirations, commitments and dreams.

In this blog I salute  a couple of the domestic Goddesses that have inspired me.

1) My Mother  This I’m sure is no surprise.  Studies show that it is the mothers achievements that play the most significant role in determining the aspirations of offspring.  From as early as I can remember my mother has worked, and I mean worked hard, yet still found time and energy to be spontaneous and caring.  She has shown me how to be determined and focused yet still find the work/life balance.

2) Boudicca Boudicca was queen of the Iceni people of Eastern England and led a major uprising against occupying Roman forces, and I had an absolute fixation with her when I was 6.  I think she was officially my first girl crush.  Obsessed, I pleaded with my mum to call me Boadicea, slightly different from the name change requests I receive from my students now… Although before I get all “the youth of today” my love of Boudicca originally spawned from a children’s television programme called Bill the Minder, in which the main character’s little sister was called Boadicea.

3) Josephine Baker To a fifteen year old girl, the autobiography of Josephine Baker read like a film script; a poor girl finds fame and becomes America’s first African American millionaire, moves to France, joins the resistance, becomes a spy, then in later life aims to overcome racism by becoming mother to her Rainbow Tribe of adopted children from around the world… Maybe Ms Jolie is also a fan.

4) Minna Salami In a small, sweaty dance studio in 2008, I met Minna shaking her thang to the Brazilian beat.  I couldn’t believe this beautiful, intelligent women was so humble… And brave.. Quitting her successful profession as a graphic designer, she declared her passion to become a writer and within a year Ms Afropolitan was born.

5) Benazir Bhutto Hearing my mothers childhood reminisces of how it was normal for her mother to pace “respectfully” behind her Pakistani husband along the cold East London streets, I knew that a women becoming the prime minister of Pakistani was an incredible feat.

6) Margaret Thatcher (Ok so I would not call her a goddess but…) A while ago I was asked whether I thought Barack Obama would really make a difference to the lives of young black boys, which lead me to the rather uncomfortable conclusion that the milk snatcher had inadvertently empowered and inspired a young mixed race girl from Peckham. Now I’m sure this was never her aim.  But she knocked down barriers for me that I never even knew existed. Growing up I never thought it was particularly impressive to have a lady as prime minister, in fact it was my norm.  If I wanted to become prime minister when I grew up, no big deal.  What I have learnt from this is that you never know who you inspire just by doing your job, also never assume that you have nothing to gain from somebody you despise.

With a couple more to add, the question I pose to you is..

Who has inspired you?

BH xx

15 responses to “Kitchen

  1. interesting post. Yes, I was fascinated by Josephine Baker, too. Barack O. inspiring young black boys? (dont get me started on him, please….) I love Maggie and was very sad about Benazir. I admired her, because she knew how dangerous her life was.

    • Thank you for your comments. Personally, I am really inspired by Barack and Michelle Obama. Such a powerful strong couple and I remember watching the original presidential campaign and thinking that Obama was by far the most educated and suited person for the role period.

      In my post, I mentioned president Obama, to explain why I mentioned Thacther on the list. Regardless of whether they agree or disagree with the political policies and actions, a generation of children will grow just assuming that having a president that looks like them is normal. This is a tremendous and powerful thing, which until Obama only white young boys were privileged to. There is no greater way to show young people that “they can” than by showing that “you did”. The same goes for Maggie (whose political policies I abhor) her presence as prime minister instilled in me the belief that women in powerful positions was the norm.

      The first step in achieving a goals is self belief, game changers, change self perceptions, no longer “I can’t do that because I’m a girl/black/gay/Jew” but “if I want to become prime minister/president/scientist/astronaut this is what I have to do” the powerless then become powerful.

      So perhaps I shouldn’t include Margaret Thacther on this list but write another blog about Gamechangers…. Hmmm time to get typing…thank you again for commenting and sharing your opinion and inspiring me 😉

      BH xx

  2. hi, I know why you included the ‘big 0’….yes, I agree, that many many boys/girls/various races will see that ‘hey he did it, so can I’ ……unfortunately, the ones who live under him, (majority of us, anyway) feel that it is a sham……I am not challenging your opinions, or respect for someone who ‘won’ the presidency through ‘honest’ means, just letting my opinion leak out. (sorry) I like your blog; you are welcome to your own views. We say here in US, ‘it’s a free country’ but, the way things are going, it might not be for very much longer.
    You are doing a great job. Good wishes to you.

    • Noooooooooooo!! Please do challenge my opinions!! Isn’t that the whole point of blogging, to share ideas and learn from others? I loved your comment because you shared a different perspective with me:-) I only clarified my opinion, as I wanted to make my personal view on Obama and Thatcher very clear, as on reflection from yours and other’s comments, I wasn’t convinced that I had done successfully in my original post. What’s more, it was a genuine thank you for making me reflect on my post, it’s really insightful to see how my ideas come across and are interpreted and how I can work on improving my writing skills!

      So please always always share your opinions life would be so boring if we all thought the same 🙂

  3. thanks for your gracious reply. Well, I was thinking about my grumpy remark about the president. Others from other cultures/nations have different views from one another. That’s what makes life interesting. Yes, it is good to put Obama as a ‘model’ for someone to achieve to. Being president of a nation is a very high honor.
    I was serving in military in Europe (dinosaurs roamed the earth then) during some of Thatcher’s reign…..I read the German news, the Brit news and Armed Forces News. Not everything I read about her was flattering. So, she was not perfect, but her position as a woman Prime Minister was something for other British daughters to aim for. Benazir knew from a young age that she was destined for something important, I was sorry to see it interrupted by her murder. She at least, started ‘something’ in that country, so that another young woman might have dreams of leading, too. She was brave, plain and simple.
    I like your blog.

  4. oops! When I said ‘brave, plain and simple’, I didn’t mean she was plain or simple, that is a phrase we say in some regions of US, that means you have emphasized what you just stated….. She, Benazir, was brave, attractive, smart, strong/strongwilled and determined.

  5. I’m always amazed, probably because I just never really looked, at how fascinating all the blogs are and how different from one another. You have a very unique style!

  6. My Mum inspired me, too. She was practical and optimistic and a strong character. I was inspired by our first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard. It was good to see a woman get the top job.

  7. This is fun. I nearly fell off my chair when first I saw Thatcher’s name; but you had a really good reason for its being there. 🙂

  8. Agree with you wholeheartedly on no. 3. (not that I go in for war).

    Also, whatever Margaret Thatcher’s politics, they are not worse than many other high ranking politicians – I think the hate levelled at her is because she was a woman. And she didn’t leave her child in a pub, then get away with it.

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