Last week I was thinking about my primary school days. I was the child who seldom asked for pocket money and was happy with carrying a lunchbox for recess. I have no idea why I just typed recess, we called Breaktime! My usual was bread, a pack of maputi and a drink(raspberry). It wasn’t unusual, a lot of us carried food to school and on the rare occasion, you would get 50c. If you were really lucky then you would get a dollar.
While I never complained to my parents, deep down I wanted to buy mbirwembirwe that was sold by the women at the school gate. In case you are wondering, mbirwembirwe is a powder that you just eat using your tongue. I don’t know what it is or how its made. My friends always shared. We ate a lot of things that looking back we should not have eaten. Not once did we get sick by eating this food. This was a time when we would buy icing sugar by the teaspoon, I think it was 5c a teaspoon We would just lick it to our heart’s content. Wow, that was so bad! LOL! After school, the women would have mafreezit(popsicles), orange ones were my favourite
If you were loaded then you would go into the shop, MaAreno to be specific and buy yourself chikendikeke(candy cake). I don’t remember buying it for myself. So if I said I loved it, that would be a lie but it was definitely a part of my childhoodIt is a heavy, yeasty, sweet cake with a pink icing. Which is why we loved it as kids. I am also realising that we ate a lot of sugar but we also walked to school and played a lot too. Oh to be that age again! An absolute dream.
I used Fiso’s recipe for this cake. I used a heart shaped tray because I wanted a bid bun but you can always a small one.
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup lukewarm milk, 105-115 degrees F
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2-1 tablespoon water
- pink food colouring
- In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over the warm milk. Stir to combine. Allow to sit until frothy, about 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix in the softened butter, egg, vanilla extract, and yeast with water to for a wet dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Grease 6 large muffin tins and preheat oven to 340 degrees F (170 C). Use a spoon to transfer the dough into the prepared muffin tins, about 3/4 full. Use the back of a wet spoon to smooth out the tops. Cover and allow to rise until puffed, about 30 minutes.
- Bake in preheated oven until lightly golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out dry, 25-30 minutes.
- Allow to cool on wire rack to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, add the powdered sugar. Mix in a drop of the colouring and tablespoon of the water. If too thin, add more powdered sugar. If too thick, add more water. Drizzle over cooled cakes.