Tag Archives: vanilla

Recipe for my husband’s birthday cake (by popular demand)

Le boo had his birthday a couple of days ago and I baked him a fabulously decadent cake. I am not a professional baker and my cake making resume doesn’t go further than cupcakes and those home made naked cakes. I certainly had never decorated a cake before but after hubby flat out refused to let me order him a cake I took it upon myself to bake him one because every foodie knows that a birthday is not complete without a birthday cake!

So here’s my recipe for the chocolate and vanilla marble cake.

1. 2 and a 1/2 cups of flour
2. 225g of unsalted butter
3. 1 cup icing sugar
4. 1 cup granulated sugar
5. 2/3 cup milk
6. 4 large eggs
7. 4 teaspoons of vanilla essence
8. 1 teaspoon of salt
9. 2/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
10. 4 teaspoons baking powder

For the cream and decoration
1. 1 pack of malteasers
2. 1 pack of M&Ms
3. 1 cup of coconut candy
4. 1 cup of peanuts
5. 4 packs of whipped cream powder chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavor
6. 1 stick of unsalted butter (200g)
7. 2 cups of icing sugar
8. 1/3rd cup of milk
9. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
10. Cappuccino wafer stick

1. Preheat oven (most Nigerian ovens come in low, medium and high. I let mine preheat on medium) then grease your cake pan. I used a 9 inch Teflon cake pan. Rub butter on the sides of the pan and lightly dust it with flour.

  1. Get a mixer! They have some pretty affordable ones available in stores and online. Mixing butter and sugar by hand is tiring and for a woman who has to multitask an electronic mixer allows you do other things while it creams. Allow the butter to melt a little at room temperature before putting it in a mixer. I used the K- beater in my Kenwood kitchen machine and set it to medium. Put the butter in first and let it mix till it is fluffy then add the sugar (both granulated and icing sugar) and allow it cream till fluffy.
  2. Break your eggs into a bowl and add the vanilla essence and whisk them together. Add the mixture to the butter and sugar into the mixer.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl and add it to the mixer.
  4. When thoroughly mixed, divide the mix into 2 halves. Leave half in the mixer and add the cocoa powder to the one in the mixer and allow it mix together.
  5. Get your greased cake pan and put in the cake mix from each half spoon by spoon alternating vanilla and chocolate. When it’s all in, get a clean wooden spatula or the handle of a long spoon and draw a Z in the cake mix once or twice to give the cake it’s marble appearance.
  6. Put it in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick put into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Do not open the oven before it’s 45 minutes to prevent your cake from collapsing which might happen if a cold draught gets in.
  7. When the cake is done put it on a cake stand to cool.
  8. Wash your mixing bowl and put in the butter, whipping cream powder, milk, icing sugar and vanilla essence and allow it mix until it forms a thick cream.
  9. Refrigerate the cream for 10-20 minutes.
  10. Put the cake on an elevated stand and scrape off any burnt edges.
  11. Use a spatula to slather cream all over the cake and the sides of the spatula to smoothen the cream so that the thickness is even. Save some of the cream.
  12. Put the cake in the fridge for 5-10 minutes so the cream sets a bit
  13. Get a board and rolling pin and grind the cup of roasted peanuts till they are crushed to very small pieces, set aside.
  14. Take a sharp knife and cut the wafers into two or three pieces to fit the height of the cake.
  15. Divide the M&M’s according to colours
  16. Bring out the cake from the fridge and sprinkle the peanuts at the base of the cake all around
  17. Line the sides of the cake with cappuccino wafers and put an M&M on top of each cylindrical wafers, the cappuccino helps the M&M stick to the wafers.
  18. Pour the coconut candy in the center of the cake and use M&M’s to spell out the birthday message on coconut candy.
  19. Line the top of the cake with M&M’s and malteasers but leave space between the big balls and the little balls.
  20. Get your remaining cream and a piping set and draw a twist out decoration on the base of the cake with the icing, all you need to do is have a straight line of cream and gently twist it so it forms a ring.
  21. Also draw a line of cream with a wider nozzle in between the malteasers and the M&M’s and around the coconut candy.
    And that’s how you make a home-made decadent fabulous cake.


For questions and clarifications please drop a comment. Thank you.



Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Urban Culture


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Don’t take the piss out of my vanilla sky!

For a while now I’ve been unable to write. Call it a lack of inspiration or an unwillingness to write anymore bad news. With Boko haram bomb scares, economic recession, shocking deaths and doctors being sacked all over the news, it’s hard to get one’s mind into a place happy enough to write anything less dismal. On the flip side I wasn’t sure my readers would appreciate an ‘Alice in wonderland’ approach and worried that taking on the role of ostrich burying her head in the sand, acting like the world was painted in vivid shades of white and pink would be too darn eccentric! (I prefer optimistic)
But people, sometimes reality sucks! Sometimes we need to get away from it all and find our happy place if not, we risk losing our sanity. I found myself missing the old, funny, witty chutzpah before the state of our nation broke my heart. After a hard day or a bad mood, I knew I could get a good laugh out of writing a post on my blog. Needless to say, though the passion and anger of my recent posts have portrayed the state of our country, I want my happy back. Like my friend R said, peeps need to read something different from all the bad news the papers carry. The world is depressing as it is. So voila! πŸ™‚ My new resolve was born and people I’m proud to say that no matter how grey the skies look all I see are vanilla skies. (It’s the only way I won’t be needing botox by age 40!) πŸ˜‰

Don’t get it twisted, I’m not giving up on Nigeria, we cannot give up because the day we give up, we lose everything. Our words and our prayers and every little action geared towards making Nigeria better will all count one day but for now, I’m gonna rise above this and find my happy place and while I’m at it keep praying for my country and if any of you comes up with a way Miz Chutzpah can save Nigeria or even her own corner of Lagos, I’ll offer my services with a heart full of passion for my country and the Nigeria of our dreams! (Avengers assemble!) πŸ˜‰

Lots of lemonade’s gonna come out of this bunch of lemons. Thanks chutzpah fam for tolerating my long absences without suing my ass (Though I don’t think you could do that legally) πŸ˜‰ Nevertheless, I apologise. #plentyhugsandkisses

I read a tweet recently that I found so utterly ridiculous, I just had to share it and the amazing thoughts that entered my head after reading it.
Disclaimer: ‘I love vanilla, I always have, chocolate is the only flavour that trumps vanilla on my list’. (I’m talking basic flavours oh, not the hundreds of new flavours we have nowadays. Last time I visited an ice cream shop, it was like writing JAMB).
Back to the tweet:

Tweet from @UberFacts
@UberFacts: Vanilla flavoring is sometimes made with the urine of beavers.

Did I hear an ewwwwww? Yep! My first reaction. Did I hear an ‘It’s a lie joor!’ Yep, my second reaction, so I googled it and voila, it was true as my bank statement which I actually do wish wasn’t true! Why would animal urine be used in food and perfumes? Ok perfumes I can understand since regardless of how many thousands of Naira a millilitre of perfume may cost, it still tastes awful! But food? How was it even discovered? And to think that it has to be a mature, male beaver makes my mind wander…

There are so many beautiful things created from things murky, terrible, frightful or just plain ugly. Of course there’s the popular lemons from lemonade but since I’m not so aversed to lemons, I’d prefer beaver’s urine to vanilla cos there’s no way in hell I’d ever consider a beaver’s urine remotely desirable. Urine in general isn’t regarded as waste for no reason, although a minute percentage of the world’s population would disagree. I still remember my cousin sitting on the toilet bowl with a ball of cotton wool in her hand positioned right at an angle to catch just enough drops and she would religiously wipe her face with it day and night. I have as much an idea about this Barbaric practise as you do, she claimed she saw it on TV. All I know is she still has the smoothest skin I’ve ever seen. (If you like, practise it at home! O.Y.O). πŸ™‚
Then there were the oddball patients who confessed to drinking their own urine as miraculous cures for varying disease conditions. We could say that these group of people believe in the ‘process’. No matter how unfavourable a circumstance is, as long as they can see the end results, they’ll carry on like they were on a Caribbean cruise ship having the time of their lives.

I for one have never enjoyed the process. If I could skip the pain and get to the gain, I would in an instant, but life isn’t always like that. Sometimes we may wallow in beaver urine till it stinks off our skins all in the hope of getting our own piece of Vanilla sky….
Sometimes doing the wrong thing seems so easy, less painful and way faster than just sitting there like you are in a clinic’s reception waiting for a nurse to tell you it’s your turn to go in; Your turn to finally get that job, your turn to hammer, your turn to find love, your turn to be celebrated. Yes, sometimes waiting for your turn can take forever but don’t be tempted by the treacherous shortcuts, remember that though you may still be in line and the line may look endlessly long, it’s already your time to be happy. With the break of a new day, God gives you all the ingredients you need to make it full of joy and laughter regardless of your circumstances cos as long as there’s life, we still have a chance.

Next time you’re about to delve into your favourite ice cream, think of the beaver’s urine and how it transforms into something so delightful and be thankful about the problems in your life cos the more impossible they are, the more fantastic your life’s gonna turn out. Relax, it’s just the opening act, the show’s just about to start and it’s gonna be fab!

So here I am, determined to be happy no matter what my 5 senses relate to me! Here I am telling the world; “Don’t take the piss out of my vanilla sky”. It’s liberating, you should try it! πŸ˜‰

Have a great day peeps….xoxoxo πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰


Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Inspirational


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