Making my own goodies

September 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

Some of you may have seen on twitter (I am @lauramenenberg, by the way) that I have been doing my fair share of making sweets recently. Perhaps it’s because we were stuck at home last week and I had nothing better to do. Perhaps its because of the low sugar content in Zambian food and thus we crave sweet food (and drinks) more often (store bought sweet goods are fairly poor quality here). Nevertheless, I attempted making sweet and savory crepes, maple donuts, and my mother’s famous chocolate chip cookies. Now, on average when living in the US, I probably bake sweets about once or twice a month (usually, this is a result of our parents forcing us to have dessert! 😉 ) so this was over the top in my books.

 

Crepes

Crepe breakfast, Lusaka, Zambia

I used the basic crepe recipe from my “How to Cook Everything” book. For filling, I used brie and apples (a Menenberg tradition) for my savory crepes and lemon juice (lime juice is the Leyde tradition) over 1 1/2 tbs of powdered sugar. They were delicious, if I do say so myself.

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Alas, I don’t have any pictures from this baking endeavor. I also don’t want to share the recipe without permission, since it is a Leyde family tradition. So, let’s just say these were a good first try – I had to substitute large chopped milk chocolate candy bars for chips and brown sugar isn’t the same here as at home. I also overcooked them slightly (my mom’s recipe for cookies is essentially underbaked). They do deserve another try to perfect my African version.

 

Maple Ball Doughnuts

This was truly adventurous attempting doughnuts. I had never attempted to deep fry anything before and was pretty much going by my recipe and by my instincts (and the help of the ladies I live with!). HERE is the link to the recipe I used. The recipe stated to add enough flour to get the dough into a workable state but not to add to much to make it tough. This was very tough to gauge – I never felt like it was workable at all and by the time I added “enough” flour it was starting to be tough. It was incredibly sticky and I wasn’t able to shape it into bars at all. Thus, I went with it and ended up with balls. As the French say, “C’est la vie.” Another African problem I encountered, was that our stove fluctuated temperatures from 280 deg F to 480 deg F. This meant that some were over done while others were under done. I might try these again but the stove issue was definitely the most frustrating part.

 

All in all, it was a great week of experimenting and I don’t think any one complained about being a taste tester.

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