Who knew there was an Accra version of Monopoly? I’ve only seen a banner for it at Accra mall, but will keep en eye out. I was at the mall looking for a yoga mat (Game, 82 cedi or so, depending on colour) and had a cold coffee at Second Cup, when we spotted the banner for Accra Monopoly. Accra Mall is actually listed as #4 of TripAdvisor’s top things to do in Accra, which I might not agree with. But it has A/C, cinema, Shoprite and Game, and it can be a nice change of scene. We just went to see “Hidden Figures” there. And there is a Woodin store, wonderful Ghana fabrics by the yard, just a riot of gorgeous colours. Or is this the Vlisco window? Both are lovely. There is a bigger Woodin store in Osu, on Oxford Street, nice ready-made men’s shirts and fabrics by the yard.
Inspired by Beb’s RecipeDrawer‘s Apricot Sponge Pudding, which uses dried apricots, I made a sponge pudding with fresh pineapple. Counting down to holidays, there were also some apples in the back of the veg drawer, and I had found nice flaked coconut (at Palace, for those who know Accra). Food shopping here is better than expected, as long as you are prepared to try a few different shops for very specific things. Strong bread flour can be a challenge; the local Tema flour can normally be found but is sometimes very moth-infested, but a new French brand just showed up in Marina Mall (another mall, #15 of 55 things to do in Accra – mysterious) which is OK. So we manage. Anyway, back to the pudding.
Apple-coconut sponge pudding with pineapple
4 red apples (peeled, cored and diced – about 300 grammes)
150 grammes fresh pineapple
1 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp potato flour
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup butter
Bake 30 min in moderate oven, 180C.The recipe notes that the fruit mix needs to be hot, so I quickly boiled up the apple slices and sugar, then thickened this with potato flour. Pour in glass dish, then mix topping together and bake. I used less butter and less sugar, as the fruit was quite sweet, so the top did not get very golden. Nice quick weekday dessert.
The sun sets just after six PM, and the kitchen is dark at the best of times, so the photo is not great. But the pudding was good! Lots of fruit flavour. It probably would have been even nicer with more butter, but this worked fine.
One last Ghana@60 photo, a banner-festoned roundabout.
It’s Good Friday, a public holiday here in Ghana and another sunny day. We just went for a walk in the neighbourhood. Actually we just meant to go to the bakery nearby, we overlook their backyard and they were cooking something that smells amazing: goat pepper stew, and maybe jollof rice? They have cooked lunches some days. But the bakery itself was closed, so we went for a slow amble nearby. We met this goat at the 233 Jazz club, and even managed to buy phone scratch cards in a tiny shack of a shop. Success!
Yesterday was a big football day: the Black Stars of Ghana played the Mambas of Mozambique, at the Accra Sports Stadium. It ended 3-1 in favour of Ghana. The national football team stays at the hotel next door when they are in town, so we heard the cheers as they arrived last night. Here they are heading off this morning. I had vague plans of an overnight trip to Cape Coast over Easter, but after a long week of power cuts, increasingly bad Internet and intermittent (then no) running water one day at work, I just wanted to stay home and enjoy some modern comforts. The rainy season is starting, and it is going to get worse, my colleagues say. So a little apple cake and iced tea here feels wonderfully luxurious — not to mention having a toilet that flushes!
Another easy apple cake
3 small eggs
100 grammes sugar
100 ml milk
40 grammes soft butter
170 grammes all-purpose white wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 apples, peeled cored and sliced
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
Use a 24 cm baking tin, with baking parchment in base. Whisk eggs and sugar, add softened butter, and stir in rest. Toss apple slices with sugar and cinnamon, bake at 200C for 35 minutes or so. Cool slightly. Serve with ice-cream, if you have some.
Happy Easter to all!
Notes: this was slightly overbooked but good. And one nice surprise is OK ice-cream here, though it has often melted and been re-frozen. It is a challenge to get ice-cream home when it’s a really hot day (every day is hot), so I have plans to try making some at home with a powdered milk base and fresh fruit.