All the packing, planning and pondering is finally coming to a head.
I’m off to Japan. Yay. I think.
I doubt anyone will understand how much this means to me.
This trip has been my bucket list for close to 15 years.
Whilst all my friends were dreaming of owning a car, or even going off to Ibiza, I wanted to see China and Japan.
This rocky week has been full of sleepless nights, tearful outbursts and a resurgence of my teenage acne.
The anticipation is killing me.
For the last four days, I’ve been fighting the urge to chomp down on all manner of evils. Its actually come to the point where I’ve placed a ban on certain items. Suddenly things I clearly would never normally eat look tantalizingly appealing to me.
I’m practically there now. Yay!
So as a compromise, I’ve decided to make myself a treat.
A sweet treat.
Its called Chin Chin and its a West African snack.
When I was a kid, my aunt would always give us chin chin to take home with us.
At the time I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t allowed to keep the tin for ‘safe keeping’.
It was partitioned. And dole out at particular points in the day.
I had to wait, what felt like years, after dinner to grab a handful of it, only to dash to my room and wolf it down. But then I’d suddenly realize, stop myself, and disappointingly stare at my last one for as long as I could hold out.
Sometimes I’d even promise myself that I’d save it for later.
I never did.
This is why I always thought it was a kind of dessert. Now I know it was just my mother trying to put a cap on my nasty little addiction.
The original uses margarine, and is deep fried.
Its a great classic, but I’ve taken this classic recipe and tweeked it a bit.
I know how much of a tricky subject altering classic recipes are, so please accept my apologies to whoever is offended. It is still delicious though.
I’ll be putting up the video of how I made this on my youtube channel soon enough.
225g plain flour.
I just want to add that I made two batches of Chin Chin, one version was gluten free (for me) and the other was not (for the German). I created my flour blend with the help of this fantastic blog.
100g caster sugar
1 tbs baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tablespoons of honey (you can substitute with this with golden syrup, just be aware that it does alter the colour)
75 ml milk ( I’ve opted for soy)
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla flavorings of choice (this is entirely optional)
Sift the dry ingredients( flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and baking powder )into a bowl.
Make a well in the center and mix in the rest of the wet ingredients.
Using your hand or a food processor, mix well until combined.
Place on a board and knead the dough for about 5 minutes.
Roll out using a rolling pin. You may need to sprinkle some flour down, as it might still be a bit sticky.
Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out shapes. I’ve opted for star shape, seeing as how its Christmas but you can cut them into squares (that’s the traditional shape).
Place on a lightly greased baking paper lined tray.
Allow the cut-out dough to rest for about 5-10
Now bake in the oven for about 20 – 30 minutes at 180 degrees.
Be sure to check intermittently to avoid burning.
My first batch were a little battle scarred from my neglect.
P.S The time it took me to write this blog, was coincidentally the time it took me to distractedly chomp down the whole tray of Chin Chin. I had intended to take them as a snack for my flight, but I guess:
Old habits die hard.
Thank you all for visiting my blog this year. It has really warmed my heart to share my inner workings and recipes with you all.
I doubt I’ll be able to easily update my blog whilst travelling around in Japan. I will try, but if I am unable to, I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
See you in 2015 x
Zipporah Gene Goetze