Following a Recipe - a True Story

Many of you will know that before I left the UK I downloaded a selection of recipes, some from the Sainsbury’s website. I have been truly thankful for this. Especially when the internet is not working.

I wanted to make a chocolate courgette cake as we were meeting a group of doctors who would be involved in some AIDs work. This is how it went:


Addis version

4 medium “Sainsbury’s British free-range eggs”

4 eggs of assorted sizes, the shells having been washed and bleached. (Yolks vary in colour) I broke each one into a separate container and did the ‘sniff test’ just in case.

150ml Sainsbury’s vegetable oil

Roughly 150ml of any old oil (the marks on the measuring jug have worn off)

130ml of Sainsbury’s fresh semi-skimmed milk

Bingham treated water mixed with ‘Big Cow’ milk powder and stirred. (You can only get full-fat here)

300g Sainsbury’s “Fair Trade” light soft brown sugar

I chose from two different packets of brown sugar (definitely not fairly traded) - one was lighter and more finely ground (they were supposed to be the same product)

350g British plain flour

350g local flour, not sure what it contains as I can’t read Arabic

75g cocoa

75g Kakao (still a few months till it expires)

400g courgettes

400g courgettes, bleached, washed in clean water and dried

1tsp Sainsbury’s “Taste The Difference” Madagascan vanilla extract

1 tsp essence vanilla flavour…stuff

100g unsalted butter by Sainsbury’s, softened

100g local butter salted (bought out of the supermarket freezer)

250g icing sugar

250g white powder from a packet labelled “Ice and sugar”. (lost a little in translation – say it quickly!)

The cake should be cooked at 170°C in a fan oven. I guessed at number 7 on my electric oven (which is labelled 0-10). The electricity stayed on for 40 minutes whoopee! It is cooling now and seems to have come out OK. Now I need to transport it intact in a minibus on potholed Addis roads. A different challenge.

PS – we did transport it. There were potholes. And rain. And therefore mud. A great deal of cloyingly sticky mud. With the help of an umbrella and a plastic bag covering the washing up bowl I was transporting the cake in it made it to its destination. Phew!


Well done Chris!  When we come please can you make one for us?

Well done for rising to, and succeeding in, your baking challenge! The cake looks superb.

The. Cake looks fabulous very impressed by your interpretation!

Brilliant job Chris! You always manage to produce amazing food whatever ingredients and equipment you have.

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