Category: My Kitchen

Easy Mandazi recipe




I have loved mandazis my whole life… I don’t think there’s a Kenyan who can claim not to love them. In my childhood, these used to replace the daily breakfast toast on special occasions, and also made for a great snack with the after school tea.

These little beauties are very popular all over East Africa… I want to say they are the equivalent of a donut? – I could be wrong though… but who cares as long as they are delish! Rumour has it that the best mandazis are found in coastal towns like Mombasa… and this might just be true because at Pinewood I have had some of the best I’ve ever had in my life!

I recently decided to finally attempt making them, and after some failed attempts, I finally nailed them. This recipe is now a family favourite. Imani requests these every other week to take to friends at school. They are easy to make, and so delicious with a hot cup of tea or coffee. The kids will love them. So come on, try something different with this recipe and let me know what you think 🙂




700g self raising flour

6 Tbsp sugar

2 eggs

1 cup coconut milk

1-2 Tbsp cinnamon/cardamom or all spice

Enough oil to deep fry


1. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and coconut milk

3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and all the wet  ingredients and slowly mix into dough

4. Knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, or until it stops sticking to the sides of the bowl, and you have a smooth dough

5. Cover the bowl with the dough with a damp cloth and rest it for 15 minutes

6. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 1cm thick piece

7. Cut into desired shapes using a knife or cutters. I used a round cookie cutter for mine. Deep fry for 1 minute on each side, until golden brown

Serve warm or cool





Easy peasy Chocolate Brownies


I’ll confess, am no chocoholic… I never have been. I hardly ever crave chocolate, or go out and buy a chocolate bars. And I cannot stand chocolate flavoured ice cream. Believe me,  I have tried! I have tried every brand I could find, same verdict… I just don’t like chocolate ice cream. BUT give me chocolate in cake form and I’ll eat it to the last crumb! I will have a brownie any day, anytime, anywhere! I seriously love brownies, hard-ish on the outside, perfectly moist and soft on the inside, plus they are so easy, and fast to make.

Here is my brownie go-to recipe, Imani loves them and the Man as well. Give it a try 😉

Easy peasy brownies



115g butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 tsp good quality vanilla extract

1/2 cup flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Icing sugar to dust


1. Pre heat the oven at 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 9in baking tin

2. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, and make a well in the centre.

3. In another bowl, using a wooden spoon, combine and mix all the wet ingredients.

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

5. Pour and spread the combined mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

6. Let it cool, then cut into whatever shape you fancy… squares, rectangles, circles…whatever!

7. Dust with icing sugar

These don’t last long in my house… I probably eat half of them myself to be honest 😉 They are great for bake sales and potlucks. Served with coffee… a match made in heaven! Enjoy!

Super easy Iced Lemon Traybake


Iced Lemon traybake… some of the sweetest words in the English language. I just love these little evil things. Once you have a piece, you are hooked. By now you’ve probably figured I have a terrible sweet-tooth… so you will have to bear with 😉

iced lemon traybake
Iced Lemon Traybake
iced lemon traybake

This is a very simple recipe by the queen herself, Mary Berry… I worship her! It’s easy to make as you simply mix all the ingredients in one bowl, whisk everything together and voila!

Down to business…


225g butter, softened

225g caster sugar

275g self-raising flour

2 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

4 Tbsp milk

zest from 2 lemons (I use bergamot whenever I find them, I love the gentle flavour)

For Icing:

3 Tbsp lemon juice

225g sifted icing sugar


1. Preheat the oven at 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 12 x 9 in roasting tin.

2. Weigh out all the ingredients into one large bowl and mix well for 2 minutes and all the ingredients are well blended.

3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top

4. Bake for about 35 – 45 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed in the centre with your fingertips. Remove from oven and let cool in the tin.

5. As the cake cools, time to make the icing, mix the lemon juice and icing sugar to a runny consistency.

6. Once cake has cooled, spread the icing evenly over the cake. Set a side to let the icing set.

You can divide the cake into small squares, or whatever shape you fancy… after all, it is your cake 😉 This iced lemon traybake is perfect for bake sales, or potlucks. You can also serve it when you have friends over for  afternoon tea… you know, those times you pretend to be posh 😉





Butternut squash Mac n’ Cheese

It’s squash season…yay! And my favourite is butternut squash! My lovely neighbour, Monique, gave me this huge one the other day, I didn’t want to make the obvious ‘Butternut soup’ with it, so i decided to find some other idea… especially something the kids would love.

This ‘cheat’ mac n’ cheese did the trick and was delicious! I thought i’d share it with you. It’s quick and easy to whip up. It’s a perfect comfort meal. The butternut gives it the sweet, earthy taste, the cream cheese gives it a smooth creamy texture that no child… or adult will resist. I added some spinach – just because I can, and because no doctor has ever said ‘eating too much veg is bad for you’. This is a recipe that’s ready in a flash and perfect for a weeknight.

Butternut squash Mac n'Cheese
Butternut squash Mac n’ Cheese


200g any sort of small pasta, the sort you would add to a soup. (I used Ditalini lisci no. 68)
250g butternut squash, peeled and cut up into chunks
1 medium onion
2 Tbsp Olive oil
500ml water
1 cup spinach (I used frozen for this recipe)
100g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Cook the pasta according to packaging instructions

2. In a large sauce pan, fry the onion in the olive oil until translucent, add the butternut squash and stir everything together.

3. Add the water to the vegetables and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes or until the butternut is just about cooked through.

4. Add the spinach and continue boiling until the butternut is cooked through. Once done, drain off the excess water.

5. Mash the butternut and spinach, adding the cream cheese to give a beautiful creamy mash.

6. Drain the pasta, it should be cooked by now, and add to the butternut-spinach mash.

7. Stir everything together and season to your taste.

8. Serve hot

We had this with a gorgeous Côtes du Rhône – ‘Domaine Les Tourres Saint-Maurice 2015’ – divine! The kids had water 😉

Have a try and let me know what you think 🙂


Easy and delicious Marble Cake

Cake is my greatest weaknesses. I have never understood how anyone can say no to a slice of cake. I literally walk around with a knife and fork in my bag… just incase a cake pops up in front of me from nowhere. Yeah, I am that prepared!

This marble cake is my version of Mr. Hollywood’s recipe. I’ve reduced the amount of butter and sugar as I find the original recipe too sweet for my taste – Paul, if you are reading this… am so sorry, I love you!

Ok, aprons on, wine glass full… let’s get baking!

Delicious and easy Marble cake
Simple Marble Cake

Original recipe by Paul Hollywood


150g unsalted butter (softened)
150g caster sugar
1/2 tsp organic vanilla extract
3 eggs (large)
250g all purpose flour
3 tsp baking powder
40ml organic full-fat milk
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Icing sugar for dusting


1. Preheat the oven at 180˚C/350˚F/Gas Mark 4. Line a 1kg bread tin with parchment paper, or if you have a silicon one, even easier (I use one).

2. In a large bowl, beat the butter, 130g of the sugar, and the vanilla extract until light and fluffy. I find using a hand-held mixer much easier for this. Add the eggs one at a time as you continue mixing. Sift the baking powder and flour on to the mixture with 2 Tbsp of milk and fold in gently.

3. Spoon 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared baking tin.

4. Sift the unsweetened cocoa powder onto the remaining mixture and add the last milk and 20g sugar, fold in until well mixed.

5. Spoon the chocolate mixture over the cake mixture already in the tin, using a fork, gently swirl the 2 mixtures into one another. This will create the marble effect.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 55-70 minutes, depending on the temperature of your oven. Check if cooked after 55 minutes by inserting a skewer in the middle, if this comes out clean, it means it ready. Mine is normally done within 55 minutes.

7. Remove cake from the baking tin and let it cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar once completely cooled.

Served with a cup of tea for an afternoon snack! Bliss.