TINGA TINGA TINGA TINGA… Tales from Africa

I love my nephew so much that sometimes, I forget I’m actually not his real mother. Every single thing he does gets me excited and makes me laugh. He recently started dancing and it is the cutest thing ever. He moves his shoulders from side to side, looks around and smiles.

Anyway, there’s a children’s series on CBeebies called Tinga Tinga Tales and he absolutely loves it! The moment they play the opening song, he gets up from wherever he is and starts smiling and jumping. He runs to the TV, looks back at us smiles, looks back at the TV, turns around and smiles. It’s the cutest thing ever. So we started calling him Tinga or Tinga Tinga.

 Tinga talestinga 2

His 1st birthday was on the 26th of July and I decided to make him a cake. In my bid to experiment, I decided to make a Tinga tinga cake. I had never worked with sugar paste icing before so this was extremely adventurous..

I did not realise how much time and effort it takes to carve out and mould shapes, I decided to make the monkey, elephant, lion and tortoise. This took all night to colour, carve, mould and stick together.

 lion

Lion – The King of Tinga Tinga 1

I made two vanilla cakes, not sure what I was going to do with them yet but along the way, I decided to put one on top of the other to create contours, the idea was to make the base a jungle but time and experience did not permit that. I finished the cake at 3pm just as guests were arriving #phew.

 Elephanttortoise

It took a lot of time and effort but I loved every single bit of it. I wanted it to be perfect for my little boy and he seemed to love it.

Happy animals

Final Cake

He loved it sooo much, he started tearing off the animals (I could feel my heart ripping in two as he picked up each object and devoured my handiwork *sigh*. But it also made me happy because it meant he loved it, he only goes for things he finds attractive)

Hopefully, one day I will make the jungle I intended to but for now, I think this worked perfectly.

The journey to the baking shores

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” – Julia ChildBaking randomly became a hobby of mine; actually not exactly randomly as growing up we had baking sessions with dad and sometimes mum and Aunty Justina.I was much smaller then so I spent most of my time licking the batter and eating the cake. I was quite chubby as a kid, hence the nickname mama. Thinking about it now, I had another nickname; liki liki (covers face). Could it have been from licking batter? lol Who knows?
 
So baking has always been somewhere in my system. Dad often came home with the latest Kenwood equipment that could blend, dice, shred, and mix. We would spend the next few months experimenting with each part of the equipment.  We baked, made our own minced meat, made ice cream, tried to make sausage, etcetera. And then we stopped baking for a while and randomly we decided to start baking again, at this point, V1 and V2 had moved to England and so I had sole responsibility, hehe (actually, Aunty G was in charge with V4 as my sous chef). 

I had an amazing Aunt, Aunty F(God bless her soul) who came to visit and saw us baking, she decided she needed to teach us how to do it the proper way and made me cream the egg and the whisk the batter by hand. I didn’t last 15mins, I disappeared to the room, V4 disappeared next and then Aunty G followed (what naughty children we were). Aunty F said she will come back to teach us how to bake. A week later she returned with a bread recipe and then I disappeared again. Lol. Now, I so wish I stayed and learnt how to bake bread. *Sigh*
 
My next attempt was at Imperial. I went to Sainsbury’s,bought my ingredients, made the batter and waited patiently for it to rise and bake. 45mins later, my cake was burnt! I had grilled the cake!!!! I turned the oven to grill instead of bake *sigh*. It was hilarious though. We managed to salvage what was left of the cake. It was a disaster but one thing that stood out was the taste. Somehow I managed to make delicious burnt cake.
 
Post University, one random day after work, I decided to start baking again. My first red velvet cake was a disaster. My tongue was red and it tasted bitter. I followed the hummingbird recipe to the letter. Hummingbird what went wrong? It occurred to me that the recipe that hummingbird publishes might be missing some secret steps, who knows? I decided to mix and match different recipes and I have discovered a recipe that does work for me that my family love (I believe).
I’ll be posting my different experiments and experiences. One thing I know for sure now is baking is an art! 
A few pictures of some of the cakes I have made:
 
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