One of my last posts, I was regaling my distaste of garden eggs. I believe I HATE Ogi more than I hate Garden Eggs. Ugh!!! Ogi just never agreed with me for one second and my mother pressed on, thinking I will cower down. If you’ve ever read Barbara Taylor Bradford’s Act of Will you will understand to an extent. Till date, my dad stays out of our fights because he says we have been at it since pregnancy, so he won’t get involved. Both of you are two of the same person, he says. My mum is an amazing cook, children loved coming to our house. Nieces and Nephews, the children of friends, yet her own child turned her nose up at her food. My grandma, also an amazing cook tried her best to make me like the thing. Naaaaa, I refused. Despite being served with delicious akara or moi-moi, I would manage to finish my plate leaving the Ogi.
My mum did not believe in throwing away food, so if it took you 1 hour, you will finish it. I used to hold my breath and take in half a spoon, all the while making vomit threatening noises, which earned me stern looks and warnings from my mum. Imagine eating a bowl of Ogi so slowly, till it turns into a cold solid glob of yuck. I called her bluff a few times and threw up, resulting in a good smacking for throwing up intentionally and messing up everywhere. Lord knows I was a very mischievous child, so a little part of me derived pleasure in watching her horror of me vomiting over the floor. Even the smacking wasn’t so bad, because it meant I will no longer have to endure finishing the bowl of Ogi. Ogi was the bane of my breakfast, along with custard and cereals. I was a veeeeeery difficult child to feed. With Ogi she finally gave in and picked her battles somewhere else. She has jokingly told me, that I will get my just desserts when I have a picky eater for a child, and I should not look to her for any sympathy. Lol. She said she actually prayed for a child that will eat, when she was expecting my sister. Her prayers were answered. My sister eats like a horse. Bottomless pit is what we call her, yet she is model skinny and very tall.
I will like to shout out to Nkem O because she inspired this, after dropping a comment on my Garden egg stew post regarding our common hatred for Ogi. She thought of making it in a dessert, and it got me thinking. It is possible you know. It didn’t even take me long before Crème Brûlée filtered through my thoughts. Crème Brûlée is a French dessert which basically means burnt cream. I don’t like processed custard. Eeeeew, that flour that turns light orange once you mix it with water and boil till it thickens. Naaaa, you can’t pay me to eat it. Crème Brûlée is made from home-made custard, and after my first taste years ago, I am a huge fan, so it was an easy choice for me. Yes people, I loved it. Experimenting produces some astonishing results. Dunni who has hated Pap for over 2 decades, went through the bowl and licked the spoon till the end. If you hate pap like me too, welcome to the journey of eating it as a dessert. If you already like Pap, Yay for you, because you are going to love it more.
You will need
1 cup (250ml) Pap mixture – i only had the yellow variety, use whichever blend you wish
A dash of Vanilla essence
3 Egg yolks
Milk – optional
Sugar – to your taste
Demerara sugar – brown sugar
Pineapple chunks – or your choice of fruit
Crème Brûlée is made with double cream or heavy cream (american), so I simply substituted the double cream for Pap. Lol
1. Take a thick chunk of Pap, add a little water from the tap to dissolve it
2. Boil water in the kettle and pour over this thick mixture. If you are skilful, you will cook the Pap immediately. Me, I don’t get so lucky.
So it’s back to the pot to cook it.
For some of you reading, you can make your Ogi in a bowl, without needed to put it on the cooker. My mum makes it like this too. She doesn’t cook it in a pot. Once she pours the hot water over the thick mixture, it thickens immediately. My mum says cooking it in a pot reduces its sourness.
3. Once, you transfer it to a pot, add a dash of vanilla and leave it on the heat, till it thickens. You want to get the consistency of Ogi that you will serve, but slightly watery. if you leave it too long on the heat, and it becomes too thick, simply dilute it with milk
4. While the Pap is cooking, break 3 eggs and extract the yolk. Whisk the egg yolks with sugar in a bowl that can withstand heat. I used roughly 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: to extract just the yolk, break the egg into two and pour the egg yolk unto your fingers, and allow the egg whites slip through your finger.
5. Once the Pap has cooked and is bubbling nicely, take it off the heat and pour into the bowl containing the yolks and sugar. Make sure you are whisking constantly while you are pouring in the pap.
The next step is to pour it into small ceramic bowls (ramekins) and bake. I hesitated at first, because old memories of eating Ogi flooded back, and one of the reasons I hated it was the lack of texture. I thought of serving it with crackers, or some pastry which I have eaten at a restaurant. I did not have pastry at home, but I had fruit. Pineapple to be exact. I love baked pineapples, so I lined the base of my ramekin with chopped pineapples.
6. Add chopped pineapples or your choice of fruit
7. Pour in the Pap and egg mixture more than half way. Add more pineapples
and top it up with more pap mixture. Remember not to make a watery pap and egg mixture, otherwise your dessert will not set.
8. Place the ramekin in a deep baking tray, and add cold water to the tray, till its level gets to almost half of the ramekin. This creates what is called a bain-marie, which is a French word for water bath or double boiler. Place it in the oven, set the temperature at 200 or Gas Mark 3 and let it bake for 45 minutes. A bain-marie is a way of cooking gently and gradually at an almost fixed temperature. You can use a bain-marie for many uses e.g. melting chocolate, making custard, making sauces. My Food Network knowledge coming to the rescue. Lol
I was quite anxious for my result, and thinking I was a genius, I found on Google that Crème Brûlée with Pineapples was not a new thing. I was slightly deflated, but still elated that at least I came up with a novelty idea of using Pap and creating a true Nigerian dessert. So, go to town with yours. Use any fruit you like or any spice you want – cinnamon, cloves, even lavender, rose water, the list is endless. Let’s make our very own Pap very Posh and sophisticated.
9. Let the Pap Brûlée bake till the top feels wobbly, then take it out of the oven
Here’s the result after baking. Thick and creamy.
Technically, Crème Brulee is served cold, so after baking, you leave it to cool in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours till the custard sets and when you want to serve you sprinkle brown sugar over it and then burn the top which makes it a Brûlée. With my childhood memories of cold Pap, I did not want to risk hating my creation, so I eat it warm and I still loved it. I will put it one ramekin in the fridge next time and try the other warm again. Whichever temperature tastes best wins. After al this is a new creation. If the French serve Crème Brûlée cold, this is Pap Brûlée. The rules can change. Now my mum is around, I want to truly shock her by making Pap that I will eat with delight in her presence. Lol. I will tell you guys her response.
To burn the top, you need a blow torch. As I did not have one, I simply used a lighter. It was more time-consuming, but it was worth it. What is a brûlée without the top being burnt and crackling. Delicious. I tried to use a grill as suggested on some sites if you don’t have a blow torch and it was a disaster, so I will NOT recommend it.
Here’s my result of patience, using a lighter
see the chunks of the pineapple that has baked in the creamy mixture. Even more yum
This is a Dooney’s Kitchen Invention. Something I am very very proud of and I know I will take far. Imagine seeing Pap Brûlée on a menu, or shop bought, with a multitude of flavours. This is Pap 2.0, Pap in the 21st century. A true Food Fusion. 9ja meets France. A delicious delight. If you have tried many of my recipes before with success, and you are skeptical about this one. Journey with me into new territory of a Nigerian dessert. Try this, trust me you will like it too.