I recently spent countless sleepless nights developing 5 new recipes for a book publishing competition taking place in London. Sadly, I did not get to the final or even meet the panel of judges, so I decided to share photographs I had taken throughout the process on my Instagram page. I must say I have grown in terms of my food photography skills, the pictures did not look half bad at all. Nevermind that I did not make the competition though dear readers, this only means I have 5 new recipes to include in my upcoming book, of which you will get a free sample as a subscriber to my blog.
Looking on the brighter side of things, CNN International contacted me through my Instagram page. They were running a competition to find their 9 choice desserts of the world. Guess what? They picked my “As paleo as possible” malva pudding to be featured. I am completely stoked about this and it is so rewarding to get recognition for the hard work I put in to developing and celebrating recipes of all sorts from the African continent. But how did this happen?
Last year, CNN Travel launched the #CNNFood hashtag, which I have been using since about August 2015. I got featured as one of 5 African food bloggers to follow in September 2015, a badge of honour I am wearing shamelessly. I continue to use the “CNNFood hashtag. And this is how they found me. About a week ago I received the following enquiry from @CNNTravel:
“Hi there, thanks for using the #CNNFood hashtag. We love this photo – do you mind us using it in our dessert story? What country are you in? Could you tell us a little more about this dessert: what does it have in it? Did you make it yourself? Did you do this for our CNN dessert challenge?”
This is what I had to tell them. And it tells an interesting story about how I developed the recipe in the first place, taking a little bit of something from the countries that mean the most to me.
“Hi @cnntravel. I am in the UK for a few weeks but live in Lagos, Nigeria, where I created this dessert. And no, I am not Nigerian but Botswana born and raised to Ghanaian expats. I was not actually aware of the dessert challenge to be honest but I created it for a book writing competition for African recipes. I wanted CNNFood to see it anyway because of past entries. For the publishing competition with Red Magazine and Harper Collins I chose to enter recipes from the Southern region of Africa. For my dessert entry, I picked none other than the quintessentially South African dessert from the Cape, Malva Pudding. However I created it with a twist. I wanted to challenge myself so I have created an “as paleo as possible sugar free malva pudding” using almond flour, egg, butter and sweetener. I also played with the story of the origin of Malva pudding, said to have emerged in the 1970s at a party. The word Malva is also the Afrikaans name for geraniums… hence the addition of rose coloured [carnation] petals. I am a complete sucker for ginger too and incorporated stem ginger at the very top. Malva pudding is usually served with a buttery toffee sauce but I took it a step further by making an Amarula Liqueur toffee sauce (an alcoholic drink made with marula fruit, which grows abundantly in Botswana). I do have the recipe that I can email upon request but it will also be included in a free sample of my upcoming recipe book for website subscribers. Many thanks”
And there is how it happened. A huge thank you to CNN Travel for the feature.
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