Wednesday, 7 December 2016

TRYING DURIAN FRUIT FOR THE FIRST TIME [VIDEO]

I'm in Singapore for the first half of December for a couple of special occasions. And while I'm here, I'm trying to experience as much of the food culture as possible. So far so good, and I look forward to sharing more about that once I have time to put all my footage and images together.

Anywho, durian was high up there on my list of things to try during this visit. After hearing so much about this polarising (and stinky!) fruit, I was curious to see on which side I would fall. When I finally got the chance...well, check out the video to peep my reaction ^_^



Tuesday, 6 December 2016

#AfricanFood Panel Discussion at Facebook HQ [VIDEO]

A week ago today (29th November 2016), I attended the #AfricanFood event hosted by Pop Up Africa and Do it Now Now (click on each link to find out more about who they are and what they do).

The event brought together a range of passionate foodies who are making their mark in the African food scene here in the UK. From foodpreneurs to bloggers, journalists and cookbook authors to TV chefs. Essentially, a glorious melting pot of like-minded creatives who want to usher our diverse African cuisines into mainstream consciousness.

And boy, was I glad to be in that room. I got to hear the unique experiences of others in the field and gathered heaps of inspiration. I left feeling encouraged and excited about the new year - both in terms of the positive direction that African cuisine in general seems to be moving, and also in terms of my own personal projects, goals and vision for The Vegan Nigerian. Once in a while, it's necessary to pause and take stock of the direction you're heading in, and this event was certainly a catalyst to that end.

The evening began with an ice-breaker where members of the audience split into teams of eight to answer African food related questions. This was followed by the main part of the event: a panel discussion to discuss a series of questions pertaining to the current state and future of African food. The third part of the evening consisted of food entrepreneurs giving short presentations about their businesses.

A few things I took away from the various discussions on the night: the importance of perseverance and consistency; the need for us to support and build each other up within this growing community; the importance of taking pride in what we do.

Below is a video with extended highlights from the evening. Hope you enjoy and take something away from it!


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

PLUM UPSIDE-DOWN MOCHA CAKE

Vegan plum upside-down cake...vegan mocha cake...there's a lot going on with this single layer of deliciousness. 

This was the product of visiting home on the day of my sister's birthday, raiding our fridge and cupboards to pool together ingredients that would result in a slightly unconventional cake. My sister loves chocolate, but I didn't want to make another run of the mill fudge/brownie number. This plum upside-down mocha (chocolate & coffee) cake, with a mocha-flavoured caramel sauce, hits all the same spots that a decadent chocolate cake would, but it's also more grown up in its flavour profile and has a lot more depth, reflecting (she says poetically) the very real, bitter-sweet awareness that my little sister is no longer a kid *sob*. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a try. Feel free to skip out on the rum/brandy for an alcohol-free version, but the subtle kick it gives though...so worth it! x

Ingredients
Cake:
- 300g self-raising flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 150g soft dark brown sugar
- 50ml strong black coffee
- 400ml tinned coconut milk
- 120ml sunflower oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp rum/brandy (optional)
- 4-5 ripe plums

Mocha caramel sauce:
- 400ml full-fat tinned coconut milk
- 100g soft dark brown sugar
- 40ml strong black coffee
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp rum/brandy (optional)

To make the cake, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the cocoa powder and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, add the black coffee, coconut milk, sunflower oil, vanilla extract, and rum/brandy (optional) and whisk together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold gently, being careful not to over mix. 

Line the base of a round springform cake tin with a round piece of baking paper. Grease the sides of the tin with a little sunflower oil.

Core the plums, discarding the seeds in the middle, and slice into rings. 

Arrange the plum rings onto the base of the cake tin, fitting as much or as little of it as you desire.

Pour the cake batter over the plums. Bake in a pre-heated oven, 170C, for 25 minutes. To check that the cake is cooked at the centre, stick a skewer in the centre and make sure it comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool before taking it out of the tin, turning it upside down and peeling back the baking paper to reveal the plum design.

To make the mocha caramel sauce, place all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally and keep an eye to make sure that it doesn't burn, but essentially you want to boil it until the sauce starts to reduce down and thicken. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes. You'll know it's ready when the sauce coats the back of a spoon when you dip it in and out. 

Decorate the cake as you wish, drizzling a generous amount of the sauce over the top. I've also used slices of fresh plum, freeze-dried fruits, and a little sprinkling of crushed granola. Be as creative as you want! It also goes great with coconut ice-cream ;)








Friday, 18 November 2016

THE VEGAN NIGERIAN CHRISTMAS DINNER *15/12/16*

*Advanced booking required*

It's the last Vegan Nigerian pop-up restaurant of the year and the festive season is upon us. What better way to round off the year than with a delectable three-course meal? 
Expect mouth-watering food, Christmas tunes, and the usual warm atmosphere. Share, invite...would love to see you there :) <3 

Any special dietary requirements? Email: vegannigerian@gmail.com 

Menu
Starter: Coconut, sweetcorn and scotch bonnet soup (gf) 
Main: Roasted stuffed pepper; baked sweet potatoes; carrot, fennel & mint salad; gravy (gf) 
Dessert: Christmas cake with pineapple/orange compote and whipped coconut cream

When: 15th December 2016, 7.30pm
Where: Paradise Unbakery, 59 Chamberlayne Road, London, NW10 3ND

Eventbrite - The Vegan Nigerian Christmas Dinner



Thursday, 10 November 2016

POP-UP RESTAURANT #6 IN PICTURES























It's been almost two weeks since the last pop-up restaurant and although I've shared updates across other platforms, I'm only just getting round to posting on here. Is it just me or does the increasingly cold weather inspire extreme bouts of procrastination? Simple tasks suddenly seem to require epic levels of strength and motivation to get done. Anyway, better late than never...

The most recent pop-up was in the style of a buffet - that much-loved format that makes life oh so easy - featuring jollof rice as the lead, supported by a bunch of salads, mountains of plantain and sauces to liven things up. Desert was a trio of chocolate/almond cake, lime tart, and apple/ginger spiced puff puff.

A lot of firsts at this one:
- A collaboration. With the wonderful sugarcane juice company Guarapo, who supplied us with fresh, cold-pressed sugarcane juice infused with lime and ginger. It was the perfect accompaniment to the meal.
- A weekend event. At last, after requests to host a pop-up on a Saturday, finally got round to it.
- A new location. In South West London, to be exact. Slowly but surely, the pop-up is making its way around the capital. From West to North West to South West. Next time, East?
- A professional team. Not that my family and friends haven't been professional at previous events - ha! What I mean is, the Vegan Nigerian team is growing slowly and I had the help of new hired team members to make the evening go smoothly.

The next event will most likely be a Christmas-themed dinner and I am so excited to put together the menu for that! Stay tuned for more info and head over to Facebook and Instagram for more of my stuff!








































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